I've just been reading a fantastic blog by George Monbiot - on the strange things going between the UK government and defence industry. Or maybe they're not strange at all... maybe it's the same old malarkey.
"On Friday, the National Audit Office published a report which appeared to congratulate the [British Ministry of Defence] for going only 11% over budget on thirty acquisitions, such as attack submarines, destroyers, Eurofighter aircraft and anti-tank weapons. This overspending – a mere £3bn or so – is a heroic improvement on the ministry’s usual efforts. The story was spoilt a little when we discovered that it would have looked much worse were it not for some creative manouevres by the 1st armoured accounts division, confounding the enemy by shifting money between different parts of the budget."
"But what the audit report failed to answer, or even to ask, was why we need attack submarines, destroyers, Eurofighter aircraft and anti-tank weapons in the first place. Are the Russians coming? Is Angela Merkel preparing to mobilise a few Panzer divisions? It is preposterous to suggest that we face the threat of invasion, now or in the foreseeable future." British writer George Monbiot: Defence Against What? »
This is all very interesting - the article appars to focus on conventional weaponary, and Monbiot argues that the British military-industrial complex has effectively shot itself in the foot - in terms of going on another 'adventure' any time soon. But, as you may recall, the British government and military establishment are busily building some new Weapons of Mass Descruction - last week, weapons inspectors went to visit Aldermaston to check out the situation.
A few weeks ago, there was an article in the UK newspaper The Guardian, about how by scrapping its £76bn plan for new nuclear weapons, the British government could spend the cash on tackling climate change instead. Interestingly, the Guardian mentions the figure of £76bn as having been mentioned by "scientists, industry bodies and others" as being a suitable amount of spondulicks to "almost guarantee emission reductions from 150m tonnes of carbon a year today to the necessary level of around 60m tonnes by 2030". Coincidence?
Read on: The Guardian: Could scrapping Trident save the planet? »
Back to Monbiot - he quotes the British government's 'Defence Vision':
“'We face new challenges and unpredictable new conditions. Our strategy must evolve to reflect these new realities. For the future this means [among other positions] … holding fast, in the face of change, to our underpinning military traditions'”
Emphasis is mine. Same old traditions... same old warmongering.
Where I come from (Ireland) there's not much going in terms of warmongering (apart from US military using our civilian airports). How about your country? What's going where you live?