ERC Research Papers
Cost Effective Defence
Published October 2006
By Lewis Page
Britain’s military is in crisis; under-equipped, undermanned, undersupplied and severely overstretched. Spending is not matching aspirations and there is an emerging consensus that this must be addressed. But what is the most intelligent way to apportion those funds in terms of costs versus capabilities?
The Economic Research Council, Britain’s oldest economic think-tank, has commissioned Lewis Page, author of “Lions, Donkeys and Dinosaurs – waste and blundering in the Armed Forces” to explore how the UK could radically reorganise its Armed Forces within the existing budget to finally move them beyond their redundant Cold War footing. Page explains in detail what equipment and capabilities needs to be bought and discarded and how funds can be found for a 50% pay rise for combat troops. Page lucidly illustrates how;;
Disproportionate resources in money and personnel are spent on:
• Anti-submarine warfare
• Surface-based defence against enemy air attack
• Overcoming enemy armoured forces using ground units
• Delivery of explosive strikes deep in enemy-held territory
Insufficient effort is being made in:
• Provision of deployable ground combat troops with a small logistical footprint
• Utility/transport helicopters
• Both heavy and light military air transports
• Sea-based aviation of every type
Page finished by making detailed reccomendations for:
• Savings – 7 areas that could be cut
• Spending – 9 areas that need resource
• Cost-neutral improvements – 11
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