USA/Großbritannien — Defense Leaders Address Fiscal Constraints

LONDON, June 8, 2010 — The top defense lead­ers of the Unit­ed States and Great Britain today dis­cussed how to obtain the mil­i­tary equip­ment and capa­bil­i­ties their coun­tries need when fund­ing is hard­er to come by.

Defense Leaders Address Fiscal Constraints
U.S. Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates, right, speaks at a press con­fer­ence at the Lan­cast­er House in Lon­don, June 8, 2010, while British Defense Sec­re­tary Liam Fox looks on.
DoD pho­to by U.S. Air Force Mas­ter Sgt. Jer­ry Mor­ri­son
Click to enlarge

U.S. Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates and British Defense Sec­re­tary Liam Fox touched on a vari­ety of top­ics in a meet­ing today, they said at a news con­fer­ence after­ward, and cop­ing with a dan­ger­ous world amid eco­nom­ic con­straints was one of them.

Fox not­ed the new British gov­ern­ment that took office in May inher­it­ed an eco­nom­ic “train wreck.”

“Peo­ple don’t quite under­stand the size of the pub­lic debt in the [Unit­ed King­dom],” he said, “but it’s prob­a­bly about the equiv­a­lent of bor­row­ing some 1.2 mil­lion pounds every sin­gle day since the birth of Christ. … So it’s not going to be an easy finan­cial back­drop against which to make deci­sions in a very dif­fi­cult glob­al secu­ri­ty envi­ron­ment.”

Gates said the U.S. mil­i­tary is grap­pling with sim­i­lar issues in an era of fis­cal aus­ter­i­ty that’s occur­ring in the face of an evolv­ing strate­gic land­scape.

“I said a while ago that the Unit­ed States can­not have a strong mil­i­tary with­out a strong econ­o­my,” he said. “That’s true of every coun­try. … One way we’re try­ing to deal with what we expect to be extreme­ly lim­it­ed growth in the Amer­i­can defense bud­get going for­ward is take a very hard look at how we spend our mon­ey, and to make sure that we’re spend­ing it on those things that give us actu­al mil­i­tary capa­bil­i­ties, both now and in the future.

“The effort that I have under way is not about how we fund cur­rent oper­a­tions – that’s already tak­en care of,” he con­tin­ued. “But rather, [it’s about] how we fund our cur­rent force struc­ture and how we make prop­er invest­ments in the future.”

That requires a hard look at how the depart­ment is spend­ing mon­ey in areas oth­er than force struc­ture and invest­ment in mod­ern­iza­tion, Gates said. He added that he hopes NATO allies deal­ing with the same prob­lem will take a hard look at over­head reduc­tion and busi­ness prac­tices before con­sid­er­ing reduc­tions in force struc­tures and capa­bil­i­ties.

Fox not­ed that the British mil­i­tary is begin­ning a defense and secu­ri­ty review that will involve, in part, com­ing to a real­is­tic assess­ment of how much it can rea­son­ably afford, based on the country’s antic­i­pat­ed secu­ri­ty require­ments and the threats it faces.

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →