A couple of posts ago I posted the excellent poem by Gil Scott-Heron Work For Peace. That piece talks about what we all know – that the military and the finance sectors work together whenever it suits them.

However, at the moment there seems to be an interesting little schism in the UK which could cause Defence Minister Liam Fox to resign. The Government (which is little more than a cheerleader for the financial sector) wants to cut funding to the armed forces and Fox is up in arms about it (pun intended) . The UK currently is the 3rd highest funded army in the world.

Rank↓ ↓ Country↓ Military expenditure, 2009[3]↓ % of GDP, 2008↓
1 United States United States 663,255,000,000 4.3%
2 People's Republic of China China 98,800,000,000 2.0%
3 United Kingdom United Kingdom 69,271,000,000 2.5%
4 France France 67,316,000,000 2.3%
5 Russia Russian Federation 61,000,000,000 3.5%
6 Germany Germany 48,022,000,000 1.3%
7 Japan Japan 46,859,000,000 0.9%
8 Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 39,257,000,000 8.2%
9 Italy Italy 37,427,000,000 1.7%
10 India India 36,600,000,000 2.6%

The government wants cuts, it says, in order to clear up the mess made by the financial sector (without actually punishing the financial sector for making the mess in the first place of course). However, the army’s position was hinted at by a former general who in one little statement revealed much about the mentality that leads to murderous military ventures in Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond.

In response the proposed cuts, General Sir Richard Dannet a former head of the UK army said this

“I think that if the UK wants a significant role in the world, it has to have some significant means of power projection.”

Power projection. This is of course what gangsters the world over do…if you want to be taken seriously, you occasionally  have to make an example of someone.

Chomsky called this “performing an exemplary action” and it is one of the most convincing real reasons (as opposed to the fake ones like WMD etc) for the invasions still going on and being planned.

Personally, I think that any cuts that inhibit the ability of the UK to “project power on the international stage” aka “bomb people” or “perform an exemplary action” would be a bonus.

Unfortunately I am not sure that we will see this. They still intend to push ahead with new generation nukes etc and I would expect to see a climb down on this with all the predictable “won’t put the nation’s security at risk” type quotes. After that, the government will get quickly back to inflicting death by a thousand cuts on all non-military services in the UK.


  1. As Marina Hyde rather neatly pointed out over Fox’s videogame blather last month, the Defence Secretary is a twit’s twit. If the Conservatives do end up cutting the military, it’ll probably be because they’re trying to keep him away from as many dangerous toys as possible.

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