Argument In The UK On Defense Spending Will Spread To The U.S.

Last Updated Jul 1, 2009 6:14 AM EDT

The British Labor Government is facing a major budget crisis that has been building for several years. The biggest casualty of it all will probably be their Armed Forces. The argument in that country may foreshadow the one to come in the United States. It is almost a given that at some point Obama will need to make major cuts in the U.S. defense spending as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down. The first budget proposed makes major changes to the future of spending in the U.S. by restructuring the major defense programs funded.

In England they are facing the problem of their heavy social spending, falling revenue and attempts to stimulate the economy. The government only has so much money and it has already discussed raising taxes significantly. Now as part of their future planning they are proposing major cuts to overall defense spending. This has started a discussion about what are the defense needs of the nation and at what level to fund it.

Like the U.S. has done over the last nine years England has taken money out of acquisition to fund current operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Unlike the U.S. their troops have suffered from poor equipment that has led to problems when deployed. In a situation like this there are two ways to cut the defense budget. First you can cut some big programs and nibble at the edges of all the others reducing the number of ships and aircraft and men. This leads to less-and-less capability with an inefficient support base. The other, as recommended by the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) is to do a review from scratch and figure out what missions are necessary and fund the forces to do that.