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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?

Key Points:

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
 Superfighters
 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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