Wednesday, November 29, 2006

We Need Weapons

The military-industrial complex is a monster not to be stopped. Not in the US and not in the UK. Perhaps nowhere.
No one noticed. Or if they did, no one complained. The government didn’t even bother to issue a press release. Last week, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) quietly secured a £1.7bn increase in its budget. The spending for 2006-7 was allocated months ago, which means that another fund must have been raided to find the extra money. It’s the equivalent of half the annual budget for the Department for International Development. But another billion or two doesn’t make much difference when we are already sloshing out £32bn a year on a programme whose purpose is a mystery.


But what the audit report failed to answer, or even to ask, was why we need attack submarines, destroyers, Eurofighter aircraft and anti-tank weapons in the first place. Are the Russians coming? Is Angela Merkel preparing to mobilise a few Panzer divisions? It is preposterous to suggest that we face the threat of invasion, now or in the foreseeable future.

Even the MoD acknowledges this. In the white paper it published at the end of 2003, it admits that “there are currently no major conventional military threats to the UK or NATO … it is now clear that we no longer need to retain a capability against the re-emergence of a direct conventional strategic threat” [footnotes omitted]

Just who is looking to attack who? Why is defense spending such a huge portion of most budgets. Yeah, I can see it in Iran, NoKorea, Syria because Bush could attack them at any moment, but the UK? With the poodle in charge, I'm sure they're safe,

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