Only Mad Dogs and Englishmen (and a Scot) go out in the midday sun: HMG, the sandal wearing hippy brigade, DfID and the MOD, a ranty guest post from the Mintcake Maker
I do find it quiet amusing that on one hand the above mentioned idiots (sadly I don’t mean HMG in this case, though they do come a close 2nd), those annoying long haired, sandal wearing, whale hugging, world is full of pink fluffy rabbits and happiness moron who on one hand don’t want us to have an armed forces because they would rather the spend the money on other stupid social projects and yet they want us to remove people like Gaddafi from power. All very amusing.
What is not amusing is having a bunch of woolly brained, soft and useless MP’s backed up by a large group of sad, wet and useless members of the public (there is a name for them I believe, after the newspaper read) who think we should atone for the sins of our past. Yes we did some bad things in the past, so did the rest of the European nations with empires and you don’t see the French or the Spanish moping around feeling bad about what has happened in fact it’s quite the opposite attitude, and on the whole I think the British Empire (and I say that with pride) did good rather than bad.
I should now, after ranting, explain where I’m going with this. What gave me the idea for this post was threefold. Firstly it was hearing the news that Dr Fox has declared his dislike for raising the DfID budget and more importantly setting it into law, probably as he sees it as a threat to the defence budget and quiet rightly so. Secondly was a little something Gab mention about how the Italian armed forces have a small budget but get other money from other departments. My final thought was how often the armed forces are deployed to help out in humanitarian ops.
So here is my simple idea. So let’s give a set amount of the new, larger DfID budget (£11.5bn) and the FCO budget (£4.6bn) and I would suggest 5% over the next 5 years to help pay for humanitarian activities that the HM Armed Forces carry out. On an interesting note (after reading this article) that the entire combined budget of the MOD, FCO and DfID is just 7.6% of the entire UK budget. Anyway back on track, if we took 5% of both the FCO and DfID budgets and transferred it to the MOD to purchase dual purpose equipment, to provide both humanitarian and military use, they would have £4bn to spend.
So what can we do with £4bn? Here are a few of my suggestions:
- 6x modified Dutch Joint Support Ship, total cost £1.5bn (approx £250m per ship). Replacing the 4 Forts, Argus and the Bay we lost. 6 will enable 2 to be deployed with the FP squadrons, 2 to be part of the ARG and 2 for training/refit. Slightly modify the design reducing hangar space and Ro-Ro deck to increase EMF capacity to around 200/250.
- 5x C-17 Globemaster, total cost £750m (approx £150m per a/c). This would allow for 6 permanently ready with the RAF and 3 planes for DfID work which could also be used by the RAF and 3 in maintenance/airframe rotation
- 10x A400m, total cost £1bn (approx £100m per a/c). These would be bought of Germany form the 13 they don’t want. Allowing the RAF fleet to increase to 32 there by providing 2x 12 plane squadrons, 4x planes for DfID and 4 planes as spares/maintenance
- 12x UT 512L (think ICGV Þór) derived Forward Presence ships, total cost £600m (approx £50m per ship). The MOD would pay for weapons integration and pay part of the cost of the vessels as well, upto 50%since they will be for minor ops by the navy as well. These Vessels would have a flightdeck and hanger and still be able to carry 3x 20ft ISO side-by-side on the back of the ship. Here is a nice pic of the UT 512L: http://www.ship-info.com/prog/skip.asp?id=K135218
- This still leaves about £450m to spend (because £300m of the £600m would come from the C3 budget for paying 50% towards the UT 512L). This could possibly be spent on some containers containing different equipment (possibly containing water purification, electricity generation, SAR, expandable medical facilities, etc) or maybe even some more helicopters, etc
If anybody is a bit confused as to how I would use the FP ships and the JSS then please look at my post about the future navy. Hope you guys liked this post, sorry about that rant at the start I just get rather annoyed by the current crop of politicians, okay for the past 10 years in fact, as the vast majority of them seem to be a complete bunch of clueless ******* (insert any suitable word).
So ideas please, on what you would spend the £4bn on and it cannot be full-on military equipment such as MBT, destroyers, etc .
Answers on the back of a postcard (or just below would probably be easier)
[TD, prices are a bit out but the thrust of the argument isn’t about detail but a realignment of funding priorities)