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Now I will post the rest .........
Part Two ..........|
This call was echoed by Nato’s chief, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who pointed out how unfair it was that US defence investment represented 75% of the Nato defense expenditure, where once it was only half. Having been forced to extend his war on Libya by another three months, Rasmussen wanted to see Europe’s governments come up with more money, and no nonsense about recession. Defense to him is measured not in security but in spending.
The call was repeated back home by the navy chief, Sir Mark Stanhope. He had to be “dressed down” by the prime minister, David Cameron, for warning that an extended war in Libya would mean “challenging decisions about priorities”. Sailors never talk straight: he meant more ships. The navy has used so many of its £500,000 Tomahawk missiles trying to hit Colonel Gaddafi (and missing) over the past month that it needs money for more. In a clearly coordinated lobby, the head of the RAF also demanded “a significant uplift in spending after 2015, if the service is to meet its commitments”. It, of course, defines its commitments itself.
Libya has cost Britain £100m so far, and rising. But Iraq and the Afghan war are costing America $3bn a week, and there is scarcely an industry, or a state, in the country that does not see some of this money. These wars show no signs of being ended, let alone won. But to the defense lobby what matters is the money. It sustains combat by constantly promising success and inducing politicians and journalists to see “more enemy dead”, “a glimmer of hope” and “a corner about to be turned”.
Victory will come, but only if politicians spend more money on “a surge”. Soldiers are like firefighters, demanding extra to fight fires. They will fight all right, but if you want victory that is overtime.
To be continued .........