[A-List] UK imperialism: fiscal crisis
Michael.Keaney at mbs.fi
Sun Mar 10 23:20:17 MST 2002
MoD cuts threaten Scottish regiment
The Herald, 11 March 2002
THE Ministry of Defence has been told to fund
its enhanced role in the war on international
terror by cutting existing military units to prune
£1.3bn from its £23bn annual budget.
The Treasury demand, that all major
departments cut spending by 5% to underwrite
NHS improvements, is certain to rekindle the
debate over the survival of up to 10 British
regiments, including at least one in Scotland.
The MoD has already received £155m from the
government's contingency fund to help pay for
the estimated £261m cost of the UK's part in the
war in Afghanistan, but has been told that it will
have to find the rest from its own resources.
Gordon Brown, the chancellor, has also told
Geoff Hoon, defence secretary, that there will be
no additional cash for boosting anti-terrorist
capabilities in the wake of September 11.
Even the prospect of a UK contribution of up to
25,000 troops to any US-led campaign against
Iraq later this year is unlikely to loosen the
The MoD produced a pre-budget discussion
paper last month which highlighted the need to
field light but powerful forces for
seek-and-destroy missions against terrorist
bases, improved military intelligence, and a new
role for territorial part-timers in guarding key UK
Service chiefs have also been lobbying for cash
as Army manpower dips to 100,000 - almost
9000 less than the minimum recruitment target -
the RAF has disbanded the fighter squadron
tasked with the defence of London, and the
Navy is losing its Sea Harrier fighters.
In Scotland, despite assurances that regiments
was not at risk, at least one poorly-recruited
battalion is likely to be disbanded.
The one plus point on the military horizon is that
one or two Scottish battalions are likely to be
given upgraded training to make them part of
new "light brigade" formations which can be
deployed rapidly to troublespots worldwide for
combat or peacekeeping missions.
Full article at:
Mercuria Business School
michael.keaney at mbs.fi
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