British defense funding is in a parlous state. At the time of the Falklands War, it was 5 percent of british GDP, which enabled the Royal Navy to propose, mount and dispatch a substantial task force within a day or so of the Argentinian aggression. Today, it is a mere 2 percent.
Intelligence analyst Glenmore Trenear-Healey has commented:
That this continues to occur while British armed forces are overextended in commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan and suffering from the accelerated deterioration in their equipment from unanticipated overuse cannot be justified.
Swingeing cuts are forecast in the number of Royal Navy surface ships and aircraft. The Royal Air Force suffers from inadequate heavylift capability; ELINT aircraft bordering on unserviceability from fatigue faults and a woeful lack of helicopters to support the British Army.
The litany of complaints about flimsy, unsuitable equipment that our soldiers currently have, is reason to challenge the government's 'duty of care' responsibility for military personnel.
This is vitally important to the Anglo-American alliance. If Britain is to be an active partner in the primary alliance in defense of freedom, it must have the equipment to back up the effectiveness of her servicemen.
Winston Churchill and former Labour foreign secretary Lord Owen agree, which is why they have helped to found the UK National Defence Association. Their target is a mere 3 percent of GDP as an acceptable level of defense funding. Responsible political parties should agree with that.