DefenceSynergia Commentary – Defence Spending – A Historical Perspective  

 

 

 

DefenceSynergia Commentary – Defence Spending – A Historical Perspective  

Seen on an RAF Lossiemouth, 1st Line aircraft servicing notice board some years ago:

“We the willing led by the unknowing, have been doing so much with so little for so long, that we’re now qualified to go anywhere and do everything with nothing.”

 

DefenceSynergia (DS) has followed the emerging leaks and alleged informed opinion re the findings of the imminent Integrated Review for many months. Much has been said, little is encouraging. We remain concerned.

 

Despite the cloak of mystery, it does seem that there will be core changes announced revising past Doctrine and Planning Assumptions. It seems inevitable that there will be a major shift in funding and order of battle (ORBAT) towards Cyber, Space, Artificial Intelligence, unmanned and drone technology, information gathering, target acquisition and prosecution systems at the expense of the more traditional ORBAT. This might possibly be acceptable if it is all properly funded and resourced.

 

Perhaps an Army of 73,000 can be more effective than a larger Army through the use of technology. Perhaps 170 upgraded MBT will have more punch and survivability than 300 older, unmodified types. Maybe the RAF can operate as effectively with only 3 P-7 Wedgetail AEW aircraft (a single surveillance barrier), with 9 P-8 Poseidons to do the job more than 30 Nimrod MR2s did until recently, and with fewer Typhoons and F35B than planned in SDSR 2015. And arguably the RN can achieve the Government’s ‘Global Britain’ East of Suez ambitions with fewer ships than it had when the UK last operated that way. Frankly, DS doubts this conjecture but remains open to persuasion with facts.

 

The outcome will depend upon whether this Government and MOD have a Strategically-based cohesive plan which they are prepared to fully fund and resource to match the known threat. Not, as successive British Governments have done to date, talk a good game and then starve Her Majesty’s Armed Forces of the cash required to achieve the goals assigned at almost every level. Only then will we know if the old sign is current or consigned to history:

“We the willing led by the unknowing, have been doing so much with so little for so long, that we’re now qualified to go anywhere and do everything with nothing.”