With David Cameron refusing to ‘un ring fence’ the development budget it will fall to the MoD, Social Protection and other spending departments to bear the brunt of future cuts in public spending, which we all know are going to hit hard.
Part of that development fund has, does and will go to India. India no doubt has a great deal of poverty but it has a vibrant economy, a burgeoning military and even an active space programme. In the last 5 years DFiD has spent over £1,000 million and plans to spend over the next three years, approximately £285 million per year. This is on top of trade between the two nations.
Whilst the Defence Chiefs are squabbling about who gets the biggest slice of a rapidly diminishing cake, almost everyone (including us) is agonising over whether we can afford CVF and having to resort to off balance sheet ‘buy now pay later’ PFI’s for air to air refueling aircraft, the Indian Armed Forces have been doing a spot of shopping.
On top of the $50 billion of equipment purchased in the last 5 years they have plans for another $80 billion over the next 5 years.
On the shopping list is over 120 fighters, ISR systems, artillery, air to air refueling aircraft, 3 AWACS aircraft and in an ironic twist, 29 Mig 29K naval fighters and aircraft carrier or two.
David Cameron talks of an integrated approach to development aid, security and defence.
Go on then Dave, join them dots up.