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be around 8% - which is a big cut

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Dołączył: 24 Wrz 2010
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PostWysłany: Wto 2:24, 19 Paź 2010    Temat postu: be around 8% - which is a big cut

The government is cutting defence spending sharply. But because it does not want to acknowledge the implications of what it is doing, it seems intent on continuing to fund expensive projects that are totems of big-power status - while chipping away at the real substance.
The full details will emerge later this week. But,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], if the leaks are accurate, it looks like the defence cuts will “only” be around 8% - which is a big cut, but modest compared to what the government has planned for the universities. (Foreign aid,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], for some weird reason, remains sacrosanct.)

These are big decisions. Surely, the government should have taken its time and done a real “strategic review” rather than the pretend exercise it is going to sign off on, tomorrow.
October 18, 2010 1:15pm in Britain | Comment
Personally, I wouldn’t mind if Britain decided drastically to reduce its global pretensions, if?this was a conscious decision - made after mature reflection and debate about Britain’s place in the world. But this exercise is nothing of the kind. It’s been a complete mess - rushed and incoherent - but with lasting consequences for the country.
So Britain will continue to be a nuclear power. Not only that, but it will stick with a very expensive nuclear option - the submarine-based Trident system. The defence establishment’s deeply unlikely claim that there is no cheaper nuclear option to the ?20 billion cost of renewing Trident has not been seriously challenged.
The Cameron government also appears to have given into the navy’s demand to build two new aircraft carriers - even though we may not be able to afford any actual planes to put on the second carrier. In an age of ever more sophisticated guided-missile technology, these carriers risk becoming massive floating targets. But to pay for them, there will be deep cuts in the Navy’s frigate capacity and in the size of the army. This seems very odd,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], since - at the moment - these are precisely the bits of the armed forces that are most in demand. The navy is helping to keep the sea lanes open in the Gulf of Aden. The army is, of course, heavily committed in Afghanistan.
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The headlines in Britain tomorrow will probably be dominated by the announcement of the results of the Strategic Defence Review. I wish it deserved the title “strategic”. Actually, the cuts in defence spending that will be announced tomorrow were agreed in a great hurry - and driven above all by budgetary imperatives, rather than any coherent strategic vision. By bringing British defence spending down below 2% of GDP they risk doing lasting damage to the country’s remaining aspirations to the status of “major power”.

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