Defence to cut or not to cut?

  Cymro. 11:18 04 Feb 2018

BBC link

So here we go again with a story much like those we have heard before. The only question is are you in favour of defence cuts? Personally I believe we should never miss a chance to cut down on defence spending. We are not the leading world power we used to be and it is about time we began to realise that and start living within our means.

  john bunyan 11:37 04 Feb 2018

Our Defence spending HAS been cut, from around 4.5% oh GDP to just 2%, the NATO agreed minimum. In the past, Chamberlain and, later, John Nott found to their cost what happens if we cut too much. The first duty of any Government is “The Defence of the Realm” and we are nearly at a point of being unable to resist an aggressor. Those, like Corbyn et al who think all potential conflicts ca be solved by talks are living in a fools paradise. The Defence Committee concerned was multi-party, what’s more. Live in a Utopian dream world by all means - me , I would carry a big stick, just in case. The threats are too many to list

  Belatucadrus 11:43 04 Feb 2018

I'm not in favour of cutting defence spending, I do however think the MOD needs to re-evaluate it's purchasing policy. They still seem intent on trying to buy the best rather than perhaps buying something "Good enough". The navy ships may be good, but when you don't have enough hulls to adequately cover the area you're supposed to operate in perhaps it's time for a rethink. There are surely better ways of balancing the bang for the buck equation.

  wee eddie 14:01 04 Feb 2018

Part of the problem is that everyone wants more money. Now it's Councils, as well as the Armed Forces and the NHS.

What to cut/restrict.

When it comes to the Armed Forces, it has been a long held belief that they will always be fighting their last battle. The problem is that no one knows what the next battle will be. It is too trite an answer to say that Terrorism is the next frontier. It's not. Unfortunately no one knows what it will be, they can only guess.

  Forum Editor 16:57 04 Feb 2018

"Those, like Corbyn et al who think all potential conflicts ca be solved by talks are living in a fools paradise."

That's pretty much my point of view, as well. What a lot of people don't seem to understand is that a country which is strong in a military sense doesn't have to fight anyone in order to be listened to and respected in the world - it is respected simply because of its military potential. In a perfect world it shouldn't have to be like that, but we don't live in a perfect world.

Cut the armed forces and you erode our status in the eyes of the international community. You might well say that doesn't matter, but I would disagree. It matters a great deal when we sit down at a conference table, or our envoys go out looking to sign trade deals.

An aircraft carrier with our national flag flying is a potent symbol, as is the nuclear submarine cruising the world's oceans. No missiles need to be launched, or shots fired - the mere existence of these weapons systems is enough.

  bumpkin 20:40 04 Feb 2018

* No missiles need to be launched, or shots fired - the mere existence of these weapons systems is enough.*

I agree, a serious deterent with the ability to use it if it has to be so is our best defence.

  oresome 16:59 05 Feb 2018

I'm fed up of hearing the military top brass say that if the Russians were our aggressors we would be quickly overwhelmed.

I'm sure that's the case but I don't think we could ever realistically match their military might on our own.

I suppose the danger is that a depletion of conventional weapons and troops brings the nuclear option closer.

  caccy 17:34 05 Feb 2018

"They still seem intent on trying to buy the best rather than perhaps buying something "Good enough". I worked for nearly 20 years for a US company, in England, who made top end space/military hardware. In their US headquaters/development areas were various posters one of which was "Better is the enemy of good enough!".

All engineers, me included, want to make something better even if it is "Good enough"

  bumpkin 19:52 05 Feb 2018

We can never compete with the super powers which they know but the fact that we can do some very serious damage if attacked is the deterent.

  Govan1x 10:01 06 Feb 2018

Maybe to late to worry about our Defense, We were invaded years ago and the government encouraged it.

Now all we have to worry about is the enemy within.

  john bunyan 14:14 06 Feb 2018

Are you referring to the last successful invasion in 1066? Since then we have just about managed. If you refer to immigrants, what about ore invasion of Australia, New Zealand, America etc? I suspect if Sitting Bull, Geronimo etc had owned Gatling guns and artillery, the USA would have President Hiawatha?

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