Sunday, November 09, 2003
Cuts masquerading as 'flexibility'

Lord Bach, Minister for Defence Procurement, was musing about cutting £1bn from the procurement budget (no doubt redistributed to needy Labour constituencies) and focusing on networked communications.

Because the future will probably see more conflicts that are smaller and spread throughout the world, Lord Bach said the UK must invest in capabilities that will drive down the cost of deployments. Indeed, he said, the whole structure of the armed forces should be configured around agility and deployability.

Bach said the changes would require difficult choices. There have been rumours and reports in the UK media that those difficult choices will involve cutting £1 billion ($1.67 billion) from the defence budget. These include: reducing the planned buy of 12 Type 45 destroyers to eight; cancelling the third tranche of Eurofighter Typhoons, bringing the number down to 130 from 232; and withdrawing about 120 Challenger 2 MBTs from active service.

Defence cuts masquerading as modernisation and flexibility. Via Quidnunc.


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