A recent report by the UKNDA written by Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon and Vice-Admiral Sir Jeremy Blackham claims the UK ranks below Argentina in the world military ranks. While I support the aims of the UKNDA (a fully funded defence budget) Is this really what the debate has been reduced to. How can former Admirals and Air Marshals really come out with such statements.
The report goes on to say the UK actually ranks 31st in terms of armed forces manpower and 64th in terms of “serious militarisation” when other factors such as proportion of GDP are taken into account.
According to the authors France, Spain and Argentina are all ahead of Britain in the defence league tables. (seems strange as France has a larger GDP that the UK and spends significantly less than the UK)
Firstly, should it matter where the UK ranks in league tables as long as our defence commitments are met?
Secondly, the authors seem to have gone out of their way ( a long long way) to give the UK a silly ranking on their list. I’m not sure what “serious militarisation” means but I am guessing it compares a state of the art SSN with a 30 year old SSK on a like for like basis or see’s a fully fitted Typhoon with top notch pilot the same as a broken down A4 Sky Hawk flown by a reservist.
Can these former service chiefs really believe this stuff or is this just an attempt as with so much to grab some headlines in the Telegraph? Either way it cast a very dim light on the people who are suppose to be running our military and may give some very good indication into why our £36 billion a year investment does not go as far as we would like. It’s also interesting to note that almost every service chief that has left the armed forces has bemoaned the state of the service they left behind, yet I can’t remember a single one resigning from their post over the matter.
The UKNDA sounds alot like the Think Tank That shall not be named to me. I really do not feel that such absurd claims are constructive in such an important debate. There are no easy answer’s to the countries current predicament and skewing the facts to such an extent is really not helping.
Read the full report at the link