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Is the US right to be concerned about UK defence cuts?

09:19 UK time, Friday, 15 October 2010

Hillary Clinton has said the US is "worried" over the scale of the UK coalition government's planned spending cuts on defence and the impact on Nato. Is there cause for concern?

The US secretary of state told the BBC that Nato must be "maintained". She said: "Each country has to be able to make its appropriate contributions."

The Treasury has been pushing for a reduction of up to 10% on the £37bn Ministry of Defence budget between 2011 and 2015.

Leading military figures insist the UK's defensive capabilities must be maintained. However, Mr Cameron has said any fears over defence capabilities were "unfounded".

Will the defence cuts undermine Nato defence capabilities? Will the cuts have an effect on our military commitments in Afghanistan?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments

Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    If the MOD wishes to save money then get rid of the TA.

  • Comment number 2.

    Could it be Ms Clinton is simply echoing the many US experts who say that UK spending cuts are not the way out of our recession?

  • Comment number 3.

    Technically, they don't have a right to be concerned, but as we are their biggest military allies (by population), the comment should be taken very seriously. Personally, I don't think the defence budget should be cut while renewing Trident is on the cards. The Trident strategy is a dinosaur left over from the cold war. Knock Trident on the head, have some minor defence cuts, bring everything military up to date including salaries and housing and get back to being the best (not largest) military in the world.

  • Comment number 4.

    Is the US right to be concerned about UK defence cuts?

    Sod the US, I'm concerned about UK defence cuts.

    Issues about equipment aside, we are already in the completely amoral situation when much of the after care given to injured soldiers has to come from charitable organisations.

    And thats before you move on to plans for a nuclear weapons deterrent which seems to be more of some kind of trade jolly, an excuse to give billions to US industry.


    And aircraft carriers which are supposedly vital for our national defence, but to pay for them we have to scrap pretty much every other ship in the navy.

    It all looks a bit ragtag 'bit of this, bit of that' rather than a comprhensive defense strategy.

  • Comment number 5.

    Could it be Mrs Clinton is simply playing politics and having a go at our non-Labour government?

  • Comment number 6.

    Of course Hilary Clinton is right to be concerned.

    That lady has more leadership in her left toe, than this awful joke of a UK "government".

  • Comment number 7.

    The US is simply worried that we will stop spending our money with their arms industry. Its all about vested interests, not about defence.

  • Comment number 8.

    Its an home concern for UK and US has no right to express its concern,if an individual or nation is ammending its policy its completely their own take,the concern is not why UK is cutting its defence forces the main concern for US is that they will have to deploy more troops in to the hostile area which will disturb their budget,and might force the US to call back its extra troops deployed into the region.

  • Comment number 9.

    If the US want to storm gung ho round the globe as unelected world policemen then let them get on with it.

    We're a tiny skint nation devoid of national resources and overrun with people. We'll cut our cloth accordingly and to hell with the Yanks.

  • Comment number 10.

    If they are that worried they can always give us a sub. Since The BP incident, Obama has clearly shown that behind all the posturing he is anti-British and one can only conclude that any 'concerns' regarding our military capability will be born out of purely self-serving considerations.

  • Comment number 11.

    Of course there is reason to be concerned.
    No doubt there will be a stream of anti- American and anti-British comments on HYS over this question.
    There will be comments from anti-war protesters whose lives are so distant and comfortable from the realties of real life and its dangers.
    There will be comments from the guilt ridden (if we leave them alone, they will leave us alone) brigade along with; let us get rid of our Aircraft Carriers and nasty bombs, then those victimised foreigners will be peaceful and love us.


    In truth, those Israeli hating, Westerner hating radicals will not leave anyone alone until they are either beaten or, get hold of some nuclear device and then as a consequence are vaporised by themselves or us.
    They are bred to hate, live to hate and ultimately hate kills them.
    Their lives have no light, no vision, no love, no joy, just…hate!!

    Other nice peace loving nations like Russia, China and North Korea will be overjoyed if we cut our armed forces. I’m sure they will follow suit very quickly!!

    If you think different your are just kidding yourself!

  • Comment number 12.

    We should all be concerned about MOD cuts.

  • Comment number 13.

    Aye, about time every Government cuts its Defence budget. What is it in aid of except mischief abroad?

  • Comment number 14.

    It may have escaped Hillary Clinton's notice (along with a few other American politicians), but there is still a World Wide recession going on. Many countries have borrowed too much and are having to make cuts in state spending to reduce their repayments of the existing debts and prevent the running up of more.
    If she is so concerned, then maybe as it was the American sub-prime scam that cause the financial meltdown, she should agree some sort of compensation package on their behalf, to pay back some of the money that was lost to it. Alternatively she could always agree that any American institutions or where the USA has influence over the people holding the Gov't debts (allies only of course), any interest on those borrowings is reduced to 0.25% or even 0% for the next 5yrs - better yet, force them to cancel it, then we'll have them money to pump into the defence and other budgets.
    It would also help if she headed up a world meeting to discuss and put in place world wide banking restictions to ensure this sort of thing does not happen again and if it does, then not only the institutions, but the individuals responsible are held to account.
    Someone somewhere is making a fortune out of the current World financial mess and I think we deserve to know who and how much they are getting. No pun intended, but there are people out there laughing all the way to the bank.
    Otherwise she should keep her nose out and let us get on with sorting out the mess that has been left.

  • Comment number 15.

    why don`t they just look after their own affairs mand not try to dictate to us what to do with our tax money ,
    if it was not for their banking blunders over loans we would no be in this mess

  • Comment number 16.

    We should tell the US where to go. We could cut our defence budget in half overnight if we weren't involved with them. We've got a big bullseye on us as a result of our relationship with America. They only care about our defence budget because so much of it goes to the states - Raytheon, Boeing etc. - The US economy survives on war. It's time for Britain to become the elder statesman of Europe and strive towards peace. You don't hear of terrorist attacks in Finland or Switzerland, do you? We can still have a first-rate army, navy, air force and special forces without trying to police the whole world.

    The US would do better to concentrate on their own defence issues, i.e. their appalling records on torture, their constant use of British troops as target practice (friendly fire) and their gung-ho attitude that shoots first and asks questions later (i.e. the British aid worker killed during her 'rescue' mission - the yanks should've just fired a cruise missile at the camp - she'd have stood a better chance of survival).

  • Comment number 17.

    Ooooh dear. Hillary Clinton is worried is she? Perhaps she should have supported up over the Falklands recently rather than grovelling to the South Americans. The thing is Hillary, when Labour were in power they would do whatever you wanted. In fact Tony Blair started a war on the basis of lie to crawl up to you. Now the people in charge believe a 'special relationship' should not mean us toadying to you and sacrificing British lives on your say-so.

  • Comment number 18.

    Surely our defence is our business?

    I am quite happy for us to have high defence spending, but really, it's the UK's business what it does with its defence spend.

  • Comment number 19.



    Isn't this the very same Hilary Clinton who met with Argentinian president, Cristina Ferndandez de Kirchner, and conspicuously failed to back Britain in relation to the legitimacy of the Falkland islanders right to self-determination under UN law (resolution 1571 I believe)?

    Ironically, her intervention would have a reasonable basis if she means that her administrations blatant attempts to win over the Latino vote in the US has now led to a situation where the tensions between Argentina and the UK have now risen over the Falkland islands to the point that military force may be required.

    David Cameron should spell-out to Hilary that we will only listen to the US if Obama makes a public statement that the US recognises the Falkland Islanders right to self-determination as defined by UN law and that the Argentinians have no legitimate claim over the islands that the US can possibly support.

    Only then should we listen to what Hilary has to say. Otherwise, our government should do it deems to be right for its people and if that means cuts then so be it. We should also pull our troops out of Afghanistan so that they can reinforce the military garrison on the Falklands.

  • Comment number 20.

    Well the UK forces and gear have often been entirely at the disposal of the US it seems to me, so I expect the latter would not like to see them cut and have to spend more of their own money. It's a bit like Trident: we seem to think we have to buy them at a profit to the US, but I doubt whether they would ever be used, or a threat made to use them that did not concur with US objectives. I suppose that's what happens when you're in effect part of an empire though.




  • Comment number 21.

    9. At 10:19am on 15 Oct 2010, chiptheduck wrote: If the US want to storm gung ho round the globe as unelected world policemen then let them get on with it. We're a tiny skint nation devoid of national resources and overrun with people. We'll cut our cloth accordingly and to hell with the Yanks.

    --------------------------

    Sure, we have lots of problems and we have not been wise in our spending (Iraq, Afghanistan), but at the end of the day we do live in a world of changing - but NOT lessening threats. This is a mistake that previous governments have made.

    With shortages of resources, shortages of water and perhaps shortages of food some nations will not stand back and do without, some will not share, some will simply invade.

    Some people think we can all be nice to eachother and prefer a "swords to ploughshares" and "turning the other cheek approach". Get real. Humans are not nice. Without a military response Hitler would have been walking up the Mall. If Ahmadinejad is spoiling for a fight would he be takled out of it; if Iran does attack israel we could easily find ourselves targetted.

    In WW2 we were able to 'gear up' quickly by turning furniture factories and other industrial spaces to build Mosquitos, Spitfires, Wellington Bombers, tanks and guns. Getting a spitfire pilot took just ten hours in the air.

    Today the technology has moved on; you can't build a jet fighter in a week or a month, you can't train pilots to fly them in just a few weeks - and even if all of this was possible we have insuficient factories and skilled labour.

  • Comment number 22.

    11. At 10:20am on 15 Oct 2010, reflector2 wrote:

    'Their lives have no light, no vision, no love, no joy, just…hate!!'

    ---

    Suprised we don't see more of them on here then. I can think of a couple regulars who they should get on with like a house on fire.

  • Comment number 23.

    Is the US right to be concerned about UK defence cuts?

    Yes off course it is right for the US to be worried about it, since the British forces indirectly follow orders from the White House, making the UK army effectively a part of US army. Army budget cuts will affect their army too.

    Is it right that the US interferes with UK budget?

    No off course not. Unless they give us money for free, they don't have the right to tell us what to do or not to do.

  • Comment number 24.

    So far as I can see, Mrs. Clinton is worried because it may mean that we don't feel able to come running every time the US snaps it's fingers - surely that's good isn't it? - the rest of Europe seems to think so!
    So long as we can defend our own island against aggressors, and unwanted immigrants/drugs etc then I can't see how the billions which we spend in the rest of the world can possibly be justified - of course the generals and admirals are complaining - it's called vested interests ! or personal bias - let's accept the fact that to be a "Global Player" with the armed forces we have to detract from the NHS, Education, Public Services etc - which do we want - we obviously can't have it both ways !

  • Comment number 25.

    Who exactly is going to invade us? Why do we need an army/navy/airforce any more? It seems the only thing we use them for is to interfere in other countries affairs... if we stopped doing that, we could scrap the lot and save billions.

  • Comment number 26.

    DOUBLE TALK ON DEFENCE !!....Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, seems to be blaming the last Labour govrnment of over-spending on Defence and at the same time, now warning the Prime Minister about the "draconian" cuts proposed for the MOD. Still fresh in our mind is the plight of a brave sergeant who gave up his protective combat vest to another soldier, and as a result of this selfless act the sergeant lost his lfe when he was blow up by a roadside bomb. What later emerged was that troops weren't combat-ready when they were sent on invasion of Iraq, and many had to buy their own boots and other desert equipments as they weren't yet available in the Forces Ordnance Stores. In a taped message to his wife the late sergeant accused the Chief of the General Staff at the time, Mike Jackson, of lying when he said that the troops were combat-ready and ready for action. In my opinion, too many lives have been lost unnecessarily in combat because of political squabbling at the very top to satisfy their own image of competence in adminstrations.

  • Comment number 27.

    19. At 10:38am on 15 Oct 2010, ChaosMagick wrote:
    "Isn't this the very same Hilary Clinton who met with Argentinian president, Cristina Ferndandez de Kirchner, and conspicuously failed to back Britain in relation to the legitimacy of the Falkland islanders right to self-determination under UN law (resolution 1571 I believe)?"
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I'm not sure the UK really cares too much about the Falklanders but I'm confident it does very much about the oil, and this is a convenient figleaf.

    However I said a few months back that I thought it urgent we made some sort of approach to the Argentinians re a joint venture on the oil before "someone else" did...




  • Comment number 28.

    When looking at defence there are two questions. What do we need and what can we afford? Judging cost as we have seen has been traditionally poor since the big contracts such as the Eurofighter and the carriers inevitably seem to overrun with the extra cost of billions. Judging requirements is harder because as we have seen in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan the "defence of the realm" isn't (and has never been) the sole aim of our armed forces.

    Inter service rivalry as well means we often have multi-million pound contracts with three different companies (almost always foreign) to provide essentially the same thing (eg the Army, Navy and Airforce all have their own UAVs) and no service wants to lose budget or operational capability by relying on one of the other services.

    It is an often used criticism of public services that they are too top heavy and wasteful. Our Armed Forces are perhaps a good example of this with far too many top level officers but they somehow seem to escape the same level of criticism. Tradition and history are often cited by the services against measures designed to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

    The cynic in me suggests Hillary Clinton is worried that the massive defence contracts which the MOD has with US companies may be in jeopordy but perhaps that's being a little unfair as we are Allies in the War in Afghanistan and we seem to be doing everything to make sure our Army has to suffer more than it needs to (just look up the history of the current British army radio if you want an example of how chaotic MOD contracts are and how our troops suffer as a result).

  • Comment number 29.

    7. At 10:13am on 15 Oct 2010, Pete wrote:

    The US is simply worried that we will stop spending our money with their arms industry. Its all about vested interests, not about defence.

    -------------------------

    Not likely. Had we bought more US kit we would have very little trouble with the MOD. The MOD's problems come from europe and the daft and useless projects they are working on.

    The Eurofighter was very late, useless and required converting to a multi-role fighter once it got here. This cost 3x more than the far superior US multi role fighter which also has stealth capability.

    The 2 carriers are vital and aircraft radar can see far further than a ship with surface radar. Also aircraft can transfer from carrier to land offering a much greater range and cambat ability. Unfortunately by not installing catapults and instead relying on vertical landing capability has caused the complications and far greater expense. The US in comparison are developing electric powered catapults which would work well with the nuclear carriers (nuclear provides no steam to power a catapult). With catapults we could buy much cheaper aircraft which are currently available and not behind schedule.

    Our type 45 destroyers are designed to protect our fleets using a weapon which targets incomming missles at supersonic speeds. Unfortunately this was delayed because of french development problems of the weapon which will not be tested! So we dont know if it will work! Also the selection of weapons on the destroyer is very limited and is unable to sufficiently hit land based targets! Nowhere near as good as the US model.

    Brown didnt want our shipyards short of work and so ordered some of the most useless and incapable frigates to be assembled here. These frigates have yet to have any identifiable use beyond cannon fodder because they are barely armed, have limited ammunition and achieve less than the ships we have in service.

    We do also develop our own UAV's which are far more costly than the US versions.

    We are resurecting the NIMROD submarines which have no identifiable use since the cold war.


    So looking at the above we would be in a much better position by buying from the US. A lot of this kit would also be in a service agreement by the US too while the EU stuff costs more to fix and repair.

  • Comment number 30.

    Given the oft quoted derision that the US military pour on our armed forces efforts the sooner we cut the connection with the US that means we follow them like lapdogs into any conflict the better.

  • Comment number 31.

    Hilary Clinton has got some impertinence dictating to us how many people we should kill.

    None is the number I'm looking at.

  • Comment number 32.

    On would assume that there would be a Strategic Defence Review first, then based on it's conclusions a restructure of our Armed Forces. A review of our military procurement procedures seems to be a high priority. Why should it take 4 years to find a replacement for the 'snatch' landrover?
    Equipment costs are a serious issue, often ignored on the grounds of preserving UK Defence jobs. It would seem sensible to make a cost benefit analysis case for each purchase.
    Of course the £100 billion cost of the Trident replacement will distort the defence budget, it's no surprise that the politicians are so wedded to the retaining of this ultimate in national status symbols. Even if it means undermining our conventional forces.
    Trying to avoid the Armchair General syndrome, as 97% of our trade is carried by sea, the Navy has to be able to maintain a credible task force at sea. The Army has to be able to operate abroad when required, how likely is it going to be required to slug it out with other armies as in WWII or is it going to operate with allies on operations, should be the guide to its requirements. The RAF faces the same challenge.
    None of these questions are being asked in this review, the Coalition is going to make short-term piecemeal cuts to trim the budget. It's not going to look good in 5 years time.

  • Comment number 33.

    She totally correct. From what I see the CUTS are affecting the electorate but very little effect on the elected

  • Comment number 34.

    Well said, Post 16!
    Hillary Clinton is simply worried that the UK will be less available to help fight the USA's wars in future, less likely to spend money on American military hardware and less willing to swallow any more claptrap about our 'special relationship', before giving our unconditional backing to whatever they embark on next.

    After Obama's blatant anti-British rhetoric over BP, the Senate's belief that it could summon our senior politicians to Washington to be grilled, and the USA's lack of support for us over the Falklands (which we owned before Argentina officially existed), it's high time we told our 'cousins' across the pond where to go.

  • Comment number 35.

    2. At 10:02am on 15 Oct 2010, holly_bush_berry wrote:

    Could it be Ms Clinton is simply echoing the many US experts who say that UK spending cuts are not the way out of our recession?


    US experts. Now there is an oxymoron considering they were the cause of the financial crisis.

  • Comment number 36.

    The US has good reason to be interested in our forces. We are an active country with motivation. Without us who else can the US rely on?

    EU? They dont want to get their hands dirty ever. The most useless force on this planet and incompetent.

    Russia? Hmmm. The long standing rivalry and the cold war means that they would need a shared interest.

    Middle east? Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa


    So out of this whole world the US has the UK as useful supporters. BUT the UK has the US as their most useful allies too. On a battlefield would you seriously want the US standing with you or the french? The EU is useless even for us and our best ally has been the US for a very long time.

  • Comment number 37.

    26. At 10:56am on 15 Oct 2010, matt-stone wrote:

    DOUBLE TALK ON DEFENCE !!....Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, seems to be blaming the last Labour govrnment of over-spending on Defence and at the same time, now warning the Prime Minister about the "draconian" cuts proposed for the MOD.


    The National Audit Office are the ones blaming the last Labour government of overspend.

    http://www.nao.org.uk/publications/1011/major_projects_report_2010.aspx

  • Comment number 38.

    On the contrary, our defence budget could and should be cut and probably should have happened a while ago anyway. It is not the recession which is causing the issue - Trident is simply unnecessary in our day and age and takes important funding from front line troops who are let down by our desire to continue to build on an already huge nuclear capability.

    I'm half American (and naturally am not as anti-American as many on here) but Hilary and the American Government have no right to say where our spending cuts occur. In fact, the American government would do well do start cutting their defence budget which is frankly ridiculous.

  • Comment number 39.

    She is concerned, so are we. Last time the Conservatives went for the soft targets, like the protection ships around the Falkland Islands it was a disaster. From whom did we need to buy the missiles to stop air attacks, yes, the US. No savings were made at all in fact the complete reverse.
    Armed with this bad experience can they think about the knock on effect of removing a warship, having no airpower, or no land anti-missile systems. All are vital to maintain peace for our people around the globe.
    The easy answer, pull out of Afghanistan.

  • Comment number 40.

    I don't like the US meddling in our politics, but they are right.

    And they're not half so concerned as I am...

    While other areas had money thrown at them, the armed forces were neglected by Labour for 13 years and are in very great need of re-investment.

    Yet here we are talking about further cuts...

    The mind boggles.

    Lord help us if we enter any sizable conflict in the next 20 years or so. These cuts will cost a lot of lives and make Afghanistan look like Sunday School.

  • Comment number 41.

    31. At 11:03am on 15 Oct 2010, chiptheduck wrote:

    Hilary Clinton has got some impertinence dictating to us how many people we should kill.

    None is the number I'm looking at.

    -------------------------------

    So how many should we save from killers?

  • Comment number 42.

    "1. At 09:57am on 15 Oct 2010, Frank Kirkton wrote:
    If the MOD wishes to save money then get rid of the TA."

    Or, put another way if the MOD wants to save money get rid of all its medical staff, most of its specialist engineers and a huge chunk of its vehicle specialist. Plus 1/3rd of the SAS.

    ALL those are TA. The Army has virtually no full time doctors left in uniform. 95% of the medics in Afghanistan are TA and because they work full time in NHS hospitals are vastly more experienced than any regular army medic.

    My father was a TA doctor and served in the Falklands and 1st Gulf war. I was TA armoured corp and was deployed to Bosnia. My regt (which when I served was the recon element of the allied rapid reaction corps) has done 2 tours of Afghanistan.

    Going back in time my grandfather was TA and fought at El Alamein, Italy and then Germany (and after WW2 ended had two horrible years in Sudan and Palestine) and my great-grandfather was TA and served 3 years in the trenches winning the MM at 2nd Ypres.

    How, exactly, does ditching soldiers you barely pay during peacetime save money?

  • Comment number 43.

    7. At 10:13am on 15 Oct 2010, Pete wrote:
    "The US is simply worried that we will stop spending our money with their arms industry."
    So totally true! And Liam Fox (and all the rest) are simply worried that we will stop spending money on our arms industry.

    As for "draconian cuts during a time when the UK is at war", why don't we just fight the wars we can afford to fight, not the ones we can't?

  • Comment number 44.

    There is enough nuclear weaponry in storage around the world to kill every living creature on the planet several times over. Clearly, we’re a species with poor odds of surviving indefinitely.

    The US government, spends on “Defense” (including “preemptive” warfare) and Homeland Security, 8 times what it spends on educating the next generation.

    While wasting money on nuclear weapons may serve in our own interests (which is arguable), clearly it is detrimental to humanity as a whole. I don't know about you, but I would like us to be a species that finds a way to thrive; well into the next century.

  • Comment number 45.

    7. At 10:13am on 15 Oct 2010, Pete wrote:

    The US is simply worried that we will stop spending our money with their arms industry. Its all about vested interests, not about defence.


    On the contrary. We've wasted tens if not hundreds of billions developing our own weapons that offer nothing more than existing US weapons. What does a Challenger 2 tank do that an M1A1 doesn't? Why make Warrior when we could buy M2 Bradley? Why make Nimrod when we could buy more AWACs. Why make Merlin helicopters? The US blackhawk is just as good. Even the SA80 rifle fires the same bullet as the US M16 rifle and the M16 doesn't jam in the desert.

    The deal to buy F35's from the US (15% of the production run for 4% of the cost) is EXACTLY what we should be doing to save money.

    The real reason the US are unhappy about our defence cuts is that the NATO treaty requires US troops to come to the aid of any other NATO member who's attacked. If the rest of Europe slashes its defence capability to two men, a dog and a couple of .22 rifles the US will be treaty bound to jump in and save us the moment there's any trouble.

  • Comment number 46.

    It is slightly troubling when another country and ally attempts to get involved in the spending plans of others.

    That said I do believe the Defence budget is far more worthy of receiving special attention than say the Overseas Aid budget. The ConDems seem to have forgotten that charity begins at home.

  • Comment number 47.

    The Americans should shut up and mind their own business.

    This is our country. We don't take orders from you.

  • Comment number 48.

    37. At 11:15am on 15 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    26. At 10:56am on 15 Oct 2010, matt-stone wrote:

    DOUBLE TALK ON DEFENCE !!....Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, seems to be blaming the last Labour govrnment of over-spending on Defence and at the same time, now warning the Prime Minister about the "draconian" cuts proposed for the MOD.

    The National Audit Office are the ones blaming the last Labour government of overspend.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]





    So according to the Tories Labour were both deficient in not providing enough body armour and helicopters for a war Cameron voted for, yet have also spent too much on body armour and helicopters for a war Cameron voted for?

    Incidentally many of the projects (Mk4 Nimrod, Chinooks, Eurofighter) that Cameron blames for the overspend were commisioned by the last Tory govt, not Labour.

  • Comment number 49.

    Hillary Clinton has said the US is "worried" over the scale of the UK coalition government's planned spending cuts on defence. Is there cause for concern?

    The only reason why Hilary is "worried" is that it will have an impact on the US arms industry, and nothing else.

  • Comment number 50.

    If we got rid of Trident, we wouldn't need to make any defence cuts, infact we'd have £100billion to invest in defence over a decade or two...

  • Comment number 51.

    #29 " We are resurecting the NIMROD submarines which have no identifiable use since the cold war. "

    NIMROD Submarines???? Hopefully not......

    You either mean Trident submarines which with the proliferation of nuclear tech in Iran, North Korea etc plus the fact that Russia still has its nukes pointed our way is still relevant or you mean the Nimrod anti-submarine aircraft.

    THIS still has plenty of use in the post-cold war world. Firstly the Russians still have subs off our coast and China, Iran, Pakistan etc all have submarine fleets. Secondly its a maritime patrol aircraft not just a sub killer and is highly useful for hunting lost, sinking or pirated surface ships.

    Most importantly of all the Mark IV Nimrod isn't primarily a maritime patrol aircraft anyway... its a spy plane. Thats why we lost one over Afghanistan. It uses its remarkable long endurance to relay secure comms among other jobs.

    Personally I'd buy an 'off the peg' US model rather than build 9 of our own but the job it carries out is vital.

  • Comment number 52.

    I was of the opinion that the cuts, if the press are reporting the truth (and that is a VERY big "if", particularly with the BBC when politics are involved) ......but if the Americans think it is a bad idea too then clearly my opinion was wrong.

    It would be good if we had a PM with the backbone to tell them to mind their own business. It is up to us how we spend our taxes, not the Americans.

  • Comment number 53.

    Yes I think the US has every right to be concerned as should we all in Britain. For months before the election Cameron and his cronies attempted to make political capital over the so called underfunding of our armed forces. Within five months of coming to office they are about to slash spending on defence like never before.
    This lot never did give a damn about our armed forces they were just seen as a useful tool to help get them into office and unfortunatly enough people in our country were sufficiently gullible to listen and even worse believe their drivel.

    When ever they are questioned about any of their broken promises they just keep coming out with the same crap "Oh the state of the finances are worse than we feared" absolute rubbish!! they knew exactly how bad things were and also knew it wasn't down to the last government either but instead the banking crisis which left the whole world in debt but have realised that enough people over here are dense enough to swallow any tripe they spout.

    I wonder what Joanna Lumley will say when she learns what nice Gurkah's friends Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg have in store for this fantastic loyal regiment now that,as far as they are concerned they have served their purpose.

  • Comment number 54.

    25. At 10:54am on 15 Oct 2010, Graphis wrote:
    Who exactly is going to invade us? Why do we need an army/navy/airforce any more? It seems the only thing we use them for is to interfere in other countries affairs... if we stopped doing that, we could scrap the lot and save billions.


    So when Argentina invades the Falklands again you'll just let them? How about when some West African gang of murderers kidnaps Brits again? Who's going to charge in and rescue the hostages if we get a repeat of the Iranian embassy seige or Beslan school seige? Community support officers? How about another 9/11 and a hijacked airliner heads towards central London? How about a Pirated oil tanker in the English channel?

    "Other countries affairs" like the flow of oil & gas from the middle East and Russia are what keep you alive. If Britain was suddenly unable to import any oil or gas you'd very probably be dead in a month. (Tesco vans don't run on fresh air and your tap water needs fossil fuel to power the pumps that provide it)

  • Comment number 55.

    I wouldn't worry. A saving of 10% 0ver the next four years? It's nothing is it? It will coincide with us leaving Afghanistan, which is out major cost. We have just left Iraq - another automatic cut. All of you keyboard warriors need not fear. The UK is going to be spending more than any other Eurpopean country to less effect, and with a more rapidly declining economy, for many, many, many more years. This whole news item is just a massive bluff to make you think the government intends to save money. Which it doesn't.

  • Comment number 56.

    "Is the US right to be concerned about UK defence cuts"? is the HYS question. Perhaps Ms Clinton, Secretary of State, should charge UK less for Trident?

    Several old and recent historical issues on this one since WWII.

    Strategically, the UK has, and remains geographically unique for US defence purposes.

    Fortunately, B & B has gone - Blair and Bush - the most toxic combination in UK and US history. One imagines that many Americans feel the same too?

    As for the MoD - it is disgraceful when you look at the list Labour Defence Ministers and their total incompetence and their cosy life then and now.

    Liam Fox is fighting an important corner, and he should be praised for that. If Minister Fox just gets rid of 20% of the 'bonus' culture within the MoD, that will mean that our front-line service personnel will at least begin to get basics that American troops take for granted?





  • Comment number 57.

    My biggest concern is that that overriding mindset of the last SDR was that this country would have around 10 years' notice of a strategic build-up in any nation with which we might find ourselves at war. Then 11 Sep happened. It knocked the idea that other countries would be nice enough to telegraph their intentions to us for 6.

    And yet, when we look around the world we have tensions rising with Argentina (possible conflict ahead there), issues with Iran and possible nuclear capability (almost certainly the next Mid East war-zone), and an economic problem that is still affecting people, causing hunger and poverty, and these are all strong motivations for starting conflict. So maybe we're getting our warnings if we are ready to heed them.

    If that's the case then it will be sheer lunacy to cut away from our core requirements. Yes, there areas that might not need to be kept, but I have concerns about our safety if we become a purely defensive force with no strike capability or ultimate deterrent. We've too many past enemies and telling the world we're neutral will help not one jot.

  • Comment number 58.

    And I thought the US government were for SMALLER government spending. ;)

  • Comment number 59.

    //16. At 10:35am on 15 Oct 2010, U2685397 wrote:
    We should tell the US where to go. We could cut our defence budget in half overnight if we weren't involved with them. We've got a big bullseye on us as a result of our relationship with America. They only care about our defence budget because so much of it goes to the states - Raytheon, Boeing etc. - The US economy survives on war. It's time for Britain to become the elder statesman of Europe and strive towards peace. You don't hear of terrorist attacks in Finland or Switzerland, do you? We can still have a first-rate army, navy, air force and special forces without trying to police the whole world.

    The US would do better to concentrate on their own defence issues, i.e. their appalling records on torture, their constant use of British troops as target practice (friendly fire) and their gung-ho attitude that shoots first and asks questions later (i.e. the British aid worker killed during her 'rescue' mission - the yanks should've just fired a cruise missile at the camp - she'd have stood a better chance of survival).//

    Utter drivel. The US isn't the monster you paint it as. If it was, people wouldn't flock TO it to for a better life.

    As for their military mistakes - they get magnified out of all proportion. Seen from the inside, all armies at war make mistakes. The taliban suffer heavy losses and make huge mistakes, but no one publicises them. The US and Nato is doing way better in Afghanistan than the USSR ever managed.

    As for the aid worker- it's always hard freeing hostages. Remember, if the muslim heroes hadn't kidnapped the poor woman, she'd still be alive.

    As for the US and human rights - even at its worst, it's still better than its enemies. You see people from the muslim world trying to get to the US and UK, not the other way round.

    Still, nothing can stop you people with your racist anti-Americanism, can it.

  • Comment number 60.

    Ooooh! the special relationship,reynard busshy tail will be all a quiver at sexy hillarys intervention.he'll be making out his christmas shopping list to give to slasher george and his chancellory elfs what busy little workers they all are.it will say;"i want two carries .trident,a million more soldiers,lots more saliors and airmen and a brand new office,just for MEEEEE"

  • Comment number 61.

    This a predictable response of the industrial military complex to the suggestion that their pork barrel may not be kept as full as usual. The boys must have their toys and the manufacturers of killing machines must have their profits. They have already got Liam Fox to write a letter to the PM predicting disaster if the MOD's budget were to be cut, which they promptly leaked. Now they have persuaded Hilary Clinton to express similar worries.

  • Comment number 62.

    If the US thinks it will have to replace British front-line and support capability then they will rightly be concerned, but we shouldn't take it into account. This is a British Defence Review and we must do what is best to achieve the maximum security we can AFFORD against the threats that apply to BRITAIN.
    Maybe I'm wrong, but Mrs. Clinton seems to have been told what's in the Defence Review before the people of Britain, which is no way to start. Would the US do the same for us? There is a strong hint in what she said that one of the decisions will be controversial in some parts of Britain, but we'll have to wait and see.
    We really ought to tell the US firmly that Britain is NOT in the business of 'Force Projection' any more . We did it for 150 years or so, and it is now no longer in our national interest to be a 'global player' (ugh!) 'punch above our weight' (never did me any good)or any other such jingoistic rubbish dreamed up by Generals, Admirals or Air Marshals in the losing fight to keep their jobs. With a miniscule merchant marine, and trade increasingly with Europe we should no longer attempt to police trade routes ON OUR OWN, or even as playing Sergeant Lewis to America's Inspector Morse.
    We need to defend our coasts, defend our population against terrorism. and play a part in European defence by protecting the western boundaries of our continent, together with the Nordics, Germans, French, Dutch, Belgians and Iberians.
    And we must NEVER again project the image of a combative little ferret in America's waistcoat pocket

  • Comment number 63.

    The UK defence budget has been disproportionate to its GDP for decades. Time to chop it, rightly. We have over 100 nuclear warheads. That's plenty.

  • Comment number 64.

    44. At 11:23am on 15 Oct 2010, AceofSpades25 wrote:
    There is enough nuclear weaponry in storage around the world to kill every living creature on the planet several times over.
    ----

    Yes, but some people are genuinely comforted by the fact that if they and their family are wiped out by an enemy nuclear attack that thousands of other completely blameless famillies in the enemy country will be wiped out by our government in 'revenge'.

    Whilst the leaders who actually started the conflict sit several mile underground in their nice, safe bunkers...

    Bizarre , but there you go.

  • Comment number 65.

    Abolish the RAF, remerge it from whence it came into the Army and the Navy. The Army Air Force would cover land based operations, the Navy Air Force would cover both maritime and land based operations. Each service would then be able to select the type of aircraft most suited to their requierments, and not the perceived requirements of the current RAF.

    Within the Army remerge the likes of the Royal Signals into the Royal Engineers. With modern combat radio systems there is no longer the need for dedicated radio operators, or indeed data telegraphists. Only a small number of local cable layers and IT support is required, the rest of the kit can be operated by anyone, and long distance comms is usually by satellite. Better still create a single bi-service (once the RAF has gone) comms unit.

    That should save quite a considerable amount.

  • Comment number 66.

    Does the US know what the cuts are going to be before we are told?
    It wouldn't surprise me if they did as they will be very worried that their arms manufacturers won't sell as much.
    Personally I would only like to see Trident cut and all other arms purchases limited to UK companies. Somehow though I think it will be done by the 'good old market forces' method which costs us plenty while losing us jobs.

  • Comment number 67.

    She should mind her own business we would be far better lining up with fellow europeans France and Germany to share defence costs than always follow like sheep the americans.

  • Comment number 68.

    The United States of America is the apotheosis of why capitalism (another word for ruthless exploitation) isn't working. To even conceive that I care what Hilary Clinton thinks is offensive to me. The UK defence budget was monumentally huge in comparison to GDP and I welcome cuts a.s.a.p. It has held Britain back from investing in its future - ironically.

  • Comment number 69.

    Yes they are right to be concerned. Whether the BBC and the left want it there is a very high probability of a war with Iran and their Islamist satellites. The middle east is a definite future war zone with Israel the only ally of the USA and Britain.

  • Comment number 70.

    Oh dear we don't want to upset Hillary do we?

    How dare she poke her nose into our business, it is just like the USA to have a say on everyone else.

    Are the Americans worried that we will not be able to support them with their next conquest?

    I think, and this my my thoughts so I hope the BBC can put this on the forum, is that Hillary is not so much worried about the rest of europe cutting back on military spending as she is the UK because I have noticed from recent events that the UK has always been willing to join the USA with these conflicts, war or what ever you would like to call them. On the other hand of course not all European countries have been so willing or not at first anyway.

    It seems strange that Hillary on one hand is tring to sort out troubles in the middle east and on the other doesnt want the west to cut it;s arms.

  • Comment number 71.

    Dont worry guys our defence budget will barely be touched in comparison to public services......a letter was "leaked" from liam fox, whooops. They just dont want you to be annoyed when we have our country dismantled, going through a forced time of austerity and the military budget will hardly be encroached upon. At a time when we are cutting all of our hard earned social programs which we wont get back for a long time, if ever, we are taking part in an unnecessary and despicable war in afghanistan.....i like how politicians and journalists dubbed it "the good war" and people swallowed it whole.....you're suckers for tag-lines eh?

  • Comment number 72.

    Actually Hillary, I couldn't give a monkeys what you or the rest of the USA think about possible British defence cuts.

    Keep your nose out of our business and put your own country in order before you start mouthing off.

  • Comment number 73.

    51. At 11:35am on 15 Oct 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #29 " We are resurecting the NIMROD submarines which have no identifiable use since the cold war. "

    NIMROD Submarines???? Hopefully not......

    You either mean Trident submarines which with the proliferation of nuclear tech in Iran, North Korea etc plus the fact that Russia still has its nukes pointed our way is still relevant or you mean the Nimrod anti-submarine aircraft.

    THIS still has plenty of use in the post-cold war world. Firstly the Russians still have subs off our coast and China, Iran, Pakistan etc all have submarine fleets. Secondly its a maritime patrol aircraft not just a sub killer and is highly useful for hunting lost, sinking or pirated surface ships.

    Most importantly of all the Mark IV Nimrod isn't primarily a maritime patrol aircraft anyway... its a spy plane. Thats why we lost one over Afghanistan. It uses its remarkable long endurance to relay secure comms among other jobs.

    Personally I'd buy an 'off the peg' US model rather than build 9 of our own but the job it carries out is vital.

    -----------------------

    Cheers for correcting me I did mean the sub hunters. The trident subs I support so I dont want that mix up.

    The sub hunters were 7 yeras late back in 2008. Buying US made kit would have been far cheaper and available to order. The problem with the nimrod (older version) is that it suffered a number of problems and was mostly relaying communications for troops.

    Spending well over the odds on aircraft to relay communications is not a good advertisement and the gov debated getting rid.

    The point I was making is that the US has the tech now and its cheaper and often more capable than ours.

    Thank you again for correcting me though because that was a big mistake

  • Comment number 74.

    Nowt to do with US .Unless they pay for it of course .

  • Comment number 75.

    "47. At 11:27am on 15 Oct 2010, Planet Mars wrote:
    The Americans should shut up and mind their own business.

    This is our country. We don't take orders from you"



    Do you have any concept of what NATO is? If Britain (or any other NATO member) is attacked the US are treaty obliged to defend us. If Britain has cut its army to the bone so that we can't defend ourselves or our allies adequately then the US will need to waste more of their men defending 'our country'. That makes it US business.

    The alternative is that we withdraw from NATO and make alternative arrangements. 'Maybe' the French will defend us if we're attacked? They did a superb job in 1940 after all. At least in the Falklands war the US sold us any weapon we wanted... the French were too busy arming the Argentineans to be any help!

  • Comment number 76.

    As an ex squaddie, I always remember being concerned about the Yanks being our allies, they generally killed more of us than the collective enemy did. I personally would rather fight against them than with them I think I'd stand a better chance of survival.
    As for Hilary being concerned about our cuts where does she get off, I'm concerned about the amount of money the U.S owes NATO which is certainly in the hundreds of millions.

  • Comment number 77.

    I think we should all be concerned about Aircraft carrier cuts but I think Trident is an out of date weapon which can never be used without causing a worldwide disaster. We know now that any Nuclear exchange of several weapons of this type anywhere in the world will cause a global dust black out that will end civilization as we know it. The problem now is maintaining the integrity of our borders and terrorism and Trident will do nothing whatsoever to protect us against that because that problem requires highly mobile ground troops. However the biggest threats to the world are probably overpopulation and the that oil will probably become so scarce as to be unaffordable within the next 5 years. If the UK does not keep energy prices at a level that makes our industry competitive then we will be destroyed by economic collapse and all the politicians words today about defence are meaningless.

  • Comment number 78.

    Yes we should be concerned. We have warnings of terrorist plots that will be felt in this country. The service people keeping our country safe,face being shot at from the front and stabbed in the back by their own government.We need a good defence force to protect our interests. And all those who have given their lives to keep this country free would turn in their graves if they could now see our once proud forces cut to the bone.

  • Comment number 79.

    Yeah the US should be worried. when they go starting wars now in eastern countries, they may not be able to rely on the UK anymore... they may actually need to be taught to distinguish between friend and foe.

  • Comment number 80.

    65. At 11:55am on 15 Oct 2010, SussexRokx wrote:
    Abolish the RAF, remerge it from whence it came into the Army and the Navy. The Army Air Force would cover land based operations, the Navy Air Force would cover both maritime and land based operations.


    You forget why the RAF was created: the idea that the Navy planes would operate over the sea then the Army planes take over didn't work. Such a system couldn't even stop Zeppelins.

    A far more practical solution would be to merge all three forces into one combined defence force modelled on the US Marine corp. It combines air, naval and land based forces into one force ideal for the sort of hard hitting quick in and out intervention that's far more likely these days than protracted land campaigns.

  • Comment number 81.

    Comment 67. I couldn't agree more

  • Comment number 82.

    15. At 10:30am on 15 Oct 2010, gasperike wrote:
    why don`t they just look after their own affairs mand not try to dictate to us what to do with our tax money ,
    if it was not for their banking blunders over loans we would no be in this mess
    • 18. At 10:38am on 15 Oct 2010, The Bloke wrote:
    Surely our defence is our business?

    I am quite happy for us to have high defence spending, but really, it's the UK's business what it does with its defence spend.
    ……………………………………………………..



    Why don’t they mind their own business …it’s the uk’s business what it does with its defence spending blahhhh.Blahhh pointless rhetoric, more blahhh and so forth.

    See comment 11.

    Oh yes, until you need them like WW1 WW2,

    All you Neville chamberlains cannot see further than your computer screens and your virtual reality!! Oh and if you do not know who Neville chamberlain is do your research on who sold out half of Europe before World War Two (now some nit is going to comment about the correctness about that, oh dear!).
    God bless America!! God bless Great Britain!!

  • Comment number 83.

    She's worried that we won't have the capacity to tag along with them on another US crusade for oil.

    Sod the US, we should do what's right for the UK.

  • Comment number 84.

    We should be concerned all defence reviews have been dogged by short-term thinking and quick fixes that proved vastly more expensive in the long term

    Spending on the armed forces is akin to an insurance policy where your premiums look expensive but you cannot predict how and when you need to make a claim. It can be very expensive not to have insurance.

  • Comment number 85.

    Having spent 28 years of my working life in the Armed Forces, I can say with certainty that the MoD wastes money at the same staggering rate as other Govt Depts. Having managed large budgets, the pressure was always on to ensure no underspend by the end of each FY. I was as guilty as the rest in making superfluous spends just to ensure I expended my budget.
    The MoD need not lose any frontline services if it approaches its budget like the Private Sector (in which I now work). Profligate waste is endemic to Govt depts and recent media estimates vastly understate the problem!
    If waste can be addressed, then Hilary need not worry about our defences (which are none of her business anyway!).

  • Comment number 86.

    "Is the US right to be concerned about UK defence cuts?"

    I think it depends what is being cut. I'm pretty sure we have no plans to get out of NATO and I doubt there'll be all that much change to the 'contribution' we make to it. A lot of cost savings can be made without too much affect on front-line forces.

    I can see why America might be concerned though. Like it or not, we are still their closest military ally - and they are ours - so I can understand why they'd take an interest in it.

    There are a few American-hating Brits and Brit-hating Americans on HYS but, let's face it, I'd rather buddy up with the US than, say, Iran or Saudi ... or even France.

  • Comment number 87.

    58. At 11:45am on 15 Oct 2010, Dan Cochran wrote:
    And I thought the US government were for SMALLER government spending. ;)

    ################################################

    Too true, and those wierdo's in the tea party are against all government spending except defence and medicare - which just happen to be two of the biggest budget items, and in the case of US defence the biggest waste of resources on the planet.




  • Comment number 88.

    64. At 11:55am on 15 Oct 2010, Horse wrote:

    44. At 11:23am on 15 Oct 2010, AceofSpades25 wrote:
    There is enough nuclear weaponry in storage around the world to kill every living creature on the planet several times over.
    ----

    Yes, but some people are genuinely comforted by the fact that if they and their family are wiped out by an enemy nuclear attack that thousands of other completely blameless famillies in the enemy country will be wiped out by our government in 'revenge'.

    Whilst the leaders who actually started the conflict sit several mile underground in their nice, safe bunkers...

    Bizarre , but there you go.


    ------------------------------------------------

    Surely you mean MAD not bizarre - MAD = Mutual Assured Destruction

  • Comment number 89.

    The merger of the RAF into other services is a strategic nonsense with an entirely dubious economic rationale. The command structures of all the services are for all real operational respects working as a single entity anyway and so additional savings would be minimal.

    The past is littered with examples of the things that happen when we undergo a wholescale reduction in defence capability: 446AD and the withdrawal of the legions, the decay of the Henry VIIIs fleet and the deliberate decline brought about in the 1930s are but a few. Each of these reusled in catastrophic conflict of one from or another.

    I would look to History anytime over the shady economics of this Government

  • Comment number 90.

    47. At 11:27am on 15 Oct 2010, Planet Mars wrote: This is our country. We don't take orders from you.

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    She expressed a concern (i.e. "WORRIED") - that is far from giving an order. Anyone is entitled to an opinion - especially someone wha does actually have a good head on their shoulders. Also, where would we have been in WW1 and WW2 without the US? I also think the US has earned its right to express an opinion.

    Please wise up - and some manners wouldn't help!

  • Comment number 91.

    Young Hillary has a small concern, I have a larger concern as to which plonkers were allowed to spend money that wasnt there. In the 70's companies were made to go from cost plus to fixed price, stopping the amount of money that one could glean from a project. It appears that Labour Ministers in cahoots with the MOD decided to swop those regulations. I hope there is a legal ruling where these plonkers can charged with total criminal offences against the country.

  • Comment number 92.

    " 58. At 11:45am on 15 Oct 2010, Dan Cochran wrote:

    And I thought the US government were for SMALLER government spending. ;)"

    ==========================================================================
    US model is minimal public expenditure on social welfare, health and education, maximum public expenditure on defence.
    Look at the donations the military industrial complex makes to US political parties.

  • Comment number 93.

    76. At 12:09pm on 15 Oct 2010, I_want_to_emigrate wrote:
    As an ex squaddie, I always remember being concerned about the Yanks being our allies, they generally killed more of us than the collective enemy did. I personally would rather fight against them than with them I think I'd stand a better chance of survival.


    Why don't you join the Iraqi army then? I think in the last war the US killed about 40,000 of them compared to 7 of our guys. The reason we lost so few men was that any Iraqi who stuck his head out of his trench had it instantly shot off by an American... our guys barely saw combat.

    Incidentally (and this goes for any other smug person making "jokes" about US friendly fire) The only US Lt General ever to die in combat was killed by the RAF along with 1600 other killed or wounded US soldiers when a load of Lancasters 2 days after D-day dumped their bombs on US soldiers not German.

    Likewise the last Brits killed by the American airforce in Afghanistan died because the British officer calling in the air support couldn't read a map and gave the US pilots the wrong co-ordinates. Even then the US pilot queried the order until the Brit told him again to drop. He killed 3 soldiers from the Royal Anglicans... the brit officer is facing manslaughter charges. Likewise on July 9th 2008 and RAF Apache shot up 9 Brit Paras. Or how about this:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article3070875.ece
    British soldiers killed 2 Danes in Afghanistan after firing anti-tank missiles at them.

    Accidents happen in war and the US have about the same rate of mistakes as we do.

  • Comment number 94.

    We should tell them to go forth and multiply! American military spending on so called defence is almost 50% of what the rest of the world’s expenditure put together so they can bully the rest of the world. They are an arrogant insular people that steal from nations and take away democracy when it suits them. The only reason they went in to Iraq was to carve it up and steal their oil. The are also one of the most corrupt nations in the world.

  • Comment number 95.

    How about this idea to cut the cost of defence. Why not just sack all MOD staff, has they have proved to us all in the country that they are incompetent and are not fit for purpose. We could then put the Armed forces in charge of their own budgets. They are most likely the best people to decide what defence equipment they require. I would also reduce the number of officers in the forces as they agreed with the last government that they were ready to start two wars and now have failed to complete their missions.

  • Comment number 96.

    The Obama Socialist Republic of the USA, has no right tell any other country what to do in their own internal affairs.

  • Comment number 97.

    #35 Magi Tatcher shows his ignorance with “US experts. Now there is an oxymoron considering they were the cause of the financial crisis.”

    No, Magi, you are as wrong as you can be. It was irresponsible bankers, accountants etc. who caused the collapse (and will do so again if we do not change our tack). The experts had been warning the US of an eventual collapse for nearly thirty years. These same people say that ‘cutting expenditure’ is the last thing you do in the teeth of a potential depression (which is where they believe we all are). Maybe someone should start listening before we really do start falling into a bottomless pit.

    The US actually does have a great need for an economically healthy Europe as do China and India.

  • Comment number 98.

    They are scared that the UK will set a good example which may influence their precious budget as well.
    They put a lots of efforts divide the world to create suitable enemies they could refer to when sharing the federal budget.

  • Comment number 99.

    75. At 12:08pm on 15 Oct 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:
    "47. At 11:27am on 15 Oct 2010, Planet Mars wrote:
    The Americans should shut up and mind their own business.

    This is our country. We don't take orders from you"

    Do you have any concept of what NATO is? If Britain (or any other NATO member) is attacked the US are treaty obliged to defend us. If Britain has cut its army to the bone so that we can't defend ourselves or our allies adequately then the US will need to waste more of their men defending 'our country'. That makes it US business.

    The alternative is that we withdraw from NATO and make alternative arrangements. 'Maybe' the French will defend us if we're attacked? They did a superb job in 1940 after all. At least in the Falklands war the US sold us any weapon we wanted... the French were too busy arming the Argentineans to be any help!

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    I seem to remember that France only recently kissed and made up with NATO after, in 1966, President Charles de Gaulle pulled out saying it undermined France's sovereignty. It did not sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty until the 1990s - over 20 years after it was signed by the UK and USA - and France was selling nuclear capability - such as the Osiraq reactor in the 1980s which could have been used to produce plutonium.



  • Comment number 100.

    I think we should all be concerned the defence of the realm is the number one priority of any goverment and it isnt made any easier by the deficit we currently face. Our armed forces are in pretty poor shape nicknamed the "borrowers" by american forces no one can say they have the right quantity or quality of equipment. Historically this country has always slashed its defence in times of peace like in the early 1930`s and ended up paying the price later.It seems very fashionable to say Trident is outdated and a dinosaur and too expensive unfortunately this sort of attitude is very nieve both the chinese and russians are building subsantial arsenals and Trident still represents the best deterrent money can buy. Ten thousand tanks would cost more and would represent no deterrent.

 

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