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Britain's military power is waning

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Britain's role as one of the world's leading military powers is under threat, an authoritative thinktank warns in a report that directly challenges claims by the prime minister, David Cameron.

The UK has fallen behind Saudi Arabia and is now fifth in the arms expenditure league table, says the latest annual Military Balance survey, published by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

Responding to US criticism of cuts in military spending, Cameron repeatedly insisted that Britain still had the fourth biggest defence budget.

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we've had this discussion the other week, rest assured we'll still be a military power well into the next century, and a global power at that. a lot of countries buy second hand equipment in large numbers which looks good on paper, until you actually question the effectiveness which is crucial. currently and even more so by 2020 the UK will have the best balanced, technical and effective armed forces in the world and more importantly in Europe.

Take our Newest and Latest Astute class nuclear powered attack submarine. in recent war games with the US Navy to test our training and ability they ran one thousand and six scenarios, (not computer based but real life, live exercises) it was only detected three times and sunk once, and this was the US Navy the finest as they come, so we were up against no slouch.

how is our ability waining, Largest Air force in Europe, Biggest Navy in Europe and the only NATO member after the USA with the ability to project force around the world. all these stories about waining power is because we see cuts to the Army to 82,000 soldiers. truth is the UK does not need a big army. it only needs to be large enough to provide defence for our home, overseas territories and dependencies - and the ability to take these back by force if the need arises. the UK does not need to maintain an army the size needed to invade and control another country. - any future military interventions into foreign lands will be as part of a coalition via the UN or NATO. the Falklands war was most probably the last war we'll ever fight alone. - the Key to our future prosperity is the Royal Navy. it always has been and always will be. control the seas and you can control the world couple that ability with an effective Airforce and Army and were onto a winner. so there is absolutely no need to worry about our place in the world.

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I get what you're saying steve, but my concern is that this round of cuts is just another step on the long downhill slope to an EU Defence Force! (And it looks like my Gurkhas are going to be savaged again!)

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I get what you're saying steve, but my concern is that this round of cuts is just another step on the long downhill slope to an EU Defence Force! (And it looks like my Gurkhas are going to be savaged again!)

They will save us if they learn how to use the Long Bow, or phone Joanna Lumley. Seriously its a damned disgrace,when Scotland leaves us they (the Gurkhas) will be needed.
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It's a new world and Britain no longer has an empire to feed off...take away Britain's nuclear arsenal (which by the way is dependent on US missile systems and guarantees) and Great Britian is anything but "Great"

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They will save us if they learn how to use the Long Bow, or phone Joanna Lumley. Seriously its a damned disgrace,when Scotland leaves us they (the Gurkhas) will be needed.

I shall be going back out to Nepal in April, all being well, and I'll be looking at the possibilities of staying there on a more permanent basis. We shall see....

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Am I the only one who doesn't find this concerning at all?

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Am I the only one who doesn't find this concerning at all?

Neither would I if I lived ten and a half thousand miles away!

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Am I the only one who doesn't find this concerning at all?

Mostly, even if the British political class, as demanded by tradition, is dragging their balls over the floor, they are well aware of the fact that they cannot keep on spending at the rate they have. In Europe there is only one possibility left: Have the Germans spend more (as they are the only ones left with money in Europe) and create a pan-European armed force... the problem with that is, if admitted, that it would leave NATO in the ditch.

Edited by questionmark

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It's a new world and Britain no longer has an empire to feed off...take away Britain's nuclear arsenal (which by the way is dependent on US missile systems and guarantees) and Great Britian is anything but "Great"

Actually there has been no "Empire" since 1948,.... the UK Nuclear Arsenal is not dependent on ANY US Guarantees (the weapons are designed and manufactrured in the UK). Neither is it dependent on USA approval to deploy (where you get these ideas from is beyond me). In fact (and you might want to research this yourself). The Nuclear Deterrent is independent of whatever the current Political "Masters" might be - this is to ensure that NO tyrannical Government can call for a Nuclear Strike.

The Commanders of the Nuclear Equipped subs have autonomy in this respect, BUT, with the Caveat that the Weapons Engineer and operators could refuse the request.

Just as an historical note: the UK Designed and built "Red Beard" the largest (in terms of yield) of any pure fission bomb in the world. The record still stands!

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Mostly, even if the British political class, as demanded by tradition, is dragging their balls over the floor, they are well aware of the fact that they cannot keep on spending at the rate they have. In Europe there is only one possibility left: Have the Germans spend more (as they are the only ones left with money in Europe) and create a pan-European armed force... the problem with that is, if admitted, that it would leave NATO in the ditch.

35 Billion Pounds in 2014 is not excessive at all, and well within what can be afforded by the UK. The emphasis being "Quality" not "quantity".

Edited by keithisco
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I get what you're saying steve, but my concern is that this round of cuts is just another step on the long downhill slope to an EU Defence Force! (And it looks like my Gurkhas are going to be savaged again!)

I doubt the UK will ever join a EU defence Force that would challenge NATO. - as for the Gurkhas, why do they always seem to get the ****ty end of the stick by government. it just confuses the hell out of me, they are the Best of the best, loyal as any, you only have to look at the honours list. proportion to size shows you how brave, loyal and committed you couldn't ask for better they really could be considered a jewel in the crown of the army. There is a defence review next year lets see how that pans out. the MoD will have a surplus by then. fingers crossed.

35 Billion Pounds in 2014 is not excessive at all, and well within what can be afforded by the UK. The emphasis being "Quality" not "quantity".

exactly and if we was so pushed for money, and push came to shove for the armed forces wouldn't we just use the 11.3 Billion that we spend on foreign Aid. or why not match current government spending by leaving the EU and spend that 30 Billion a year contribution on the armed forces we could double what we have.

Edited by stevewinn
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Lets see what we have

Euro Fighter Typhoons

Type 45 destroyers

Challenger 2 tanks

2x Aircraft carriers in the building

Nuclear subs that astonished the yanks during war games

Scorpion light tanks

F35 lightnings on order

Ah Apache Gunships

and that's just a taster.

And widely regarded as the best trained troops in the world.

In a ideal world you would always want more. But for the size of the country and budget it seems quite impressive to me.

Edited by skookum
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I shall be going back out to Nepal in April, all being well, and I'll be looking at the possibilities of staying there on a more permanent basis. We shall see....

Hey you can't stay there we need you to train the Home Guard now that Capt Mannering has retired.
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just a few photos to show Britain's waining military power. picture shows US F35 variants A,B & C - UK shows F35B, The best and latest Fifth generation joint strike fighter - The United Kingdom has taken delivery of Three planes. which are used to train our pilots and maintenance crews. based in the USA - in the coming weeks the UK government is expected commit to a further 14 planes. with future numbers rising to 52 planes in service by 2016 with an expected total of 135.

copyright waiver, all images are available Free to use via Lockheed martins flickr page. all images are hosted and directly linked to lockheed martins flickr page.

11820127534_cc62085e04_b.jpg

F-35C at Dusk by Lockheed Martin, on Flickr

11819987193_41f79df51c_b.jpg

F-35B from the Tanker by Lockheed Martin, on Flickr

11820135504_4d1d2faed9_b.jpg

F-35B in Flight by Lockheed Martin, on Flickr This shows a USA F35B, the same variant the United Kingdom will fly from the New Aircraft carriers.

11820067034_91e4ef28b9_b.jpg

Three F-35 Aircraft by Lockheed Martin, on Flickr Picture shows three F35's the front plane is a F35B, one of the first of Britain's planes to be delivered.

11819898623_3c5fc2a0fe_b.jpg

Four Lightning IIs by Lockheed Martin, on Flickr pictures shows two USAAF and two RAF F35's

The UK is about to commit to the F-35 fighter project, a US-led effort to produce 3,000 aircraft which is set to cost more than £600bn globally. The initial UK order for 14 F-35Bs will, with support costs added, cost about £2.5bn. The aircraft - capable of vertical landing - will eventually be able to fly from new carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.

UK manufacturing will see a boost with more than 500 British companies, led by the likes of BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce, working on the project. As the only top-tier international partner, Britain is building 15pc of every jet in a project supporting 25,000 jobs. At peak production, the programme is expected to be worth £1.3bn a year rising to £3bn at full production to British industry.

Edited by stevewinn
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budget cuts hardly are a sign of waning force. Actually it can be very healthy like having a chance to rationalize and remove whats old. Like a overweight person has the chance to do some workout.

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budget cuts hardly are a sign of waning force. Actually it can be very healthy like having a chance to rationalize and remove whats old. Like a overweight person has the chance to do some workout.

Oh goody...that'll make these lads (and lassies) feel much better!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2557274/Youll-no-one-shoot-civvy-street-Cruel-jibes-aimed-war-veterans-looking-work.html

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It's not really waning, the front line soldiers are being cut, but the focus is being shifted to other things. Such as cyber defence and special forces.

The days of nations being able to invade their neighbours by rolling in tanks and sending in troops is passed, especially against an island. Technology has advanced to the point where those old tactics don't work any more.

But it is really bad that some soldiers are getting canned right before being able to get their full pensions. That is the kind of thing that happens in the backstabbing and money grabbing world of the private sector :/

Edited by Finity
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Oh goody...that'll make these lads (and lassies) feel much better!

http://www.dailymail...oking-work.html

Its strange how we see cuts to the numbers in the army yet on your radio/ TV etc and you will still see recruitment adverts for both regular and reserve - obviously the Armed forces and more so the Army need a constant stream of new people joining. but wouldn't it have been better - instead of making redundancies they just cut back on the numbers recruited to offset the difference they are trying to achieve.

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'Short-term' recruitment means less pensions to pay, I suppose.

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Remember the battlefield and likely conflicts change so you need to adjust to likely threats. After the Cold war we were left with equipment designed for action in Europe, not so much the desert warfare we have been facing.

Air power seems to be key now but it takes years or decades to up date. With the retirement of the Harrier it gave the UK the opportunity to shift investment into the F35 that although is delayed and problematic at the moment will be the worlds most advanced and capable aircraft.

I have also been highly impressed with the speed of acquiring and even designing new armoured vehicles that are deployed in Afghanistan. It is truly impressive to see how quickly they have been able to get them in vast numbers when the weakness of the Land Rovers could no longer be ignored.

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Its strange how we see cuts to the numbers in the army yet on your radio/ TV etc and you will still see recruitment adverts for both regular and reserve - obviously the Armed forces and more so the Army need a constant stream of new people joining. but wouldn't it have been better - instead of making redundancies they just cut back on the numbers recruited to offset the difference they are trying to achieve.

They are cutting empty posts and recruiting less already (there are actually recruitment problems in some government departments now, they can't replace essential staff). Almost all the advertised possitions are for the reservists, but people don't want to fill them because you get a crap deal. They expected many the regular soldiers who got made redundant to come back as reservists, but they just laughed in their faces and took high paying government contracts instead.

Edited by Finity
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They are cutting empty posts and recruiting less already (there are actually recruitment problems in some government departments now, they can't replace essential staff). Almost all the advertised possitions are for the reservists, but people don't want to fill them because you get a crap deal. They expected many the regular soldiers who got made redundant to come back as reservists, but they just laughed in their faces and took high paying government contracts instead.

three mates in work are in the reserves two are STABs and the other a Rubber Dagger. the lads in the 'TA' have said the recruitment as been rubbish think they have 3 join in the last 12 months. and in their opinion the government is going to fall well short of the 30,000 figure.

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just a few photos to show Britain's waining military power. picture shows US F35 variants A,B & C - UK shows F35B, The best and latest Fifth generation joint strike fighter - The United Kingdom has taken delivery of Three planes. which are used to train our pilots and maintenance crews. based in the USA - in the coming weeks the UK government is expected commit to a further 14 planes. with future numbers rising to 52 planes in service by 2016 with an expected total of 135.

The figures quoted regarding the availability of the aircraft for combat use are, to the best of my knowledge, very optimistic.

The F-35's computer code is only about 20% combat-ready - and without this being tested the aircraft is not combat-worthy. Estimates put the readiness of the aircraft for full combat operations at 2018 - 2020, with some even suggesting as late as 2025.

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The figures quoted regarding the availability of the aircraft for combat use are, to the best of my knowledge, very optimistic.

The F-35's computer code is only about 20% combat-ready - and without this being tested the aircraft is not combat-worthy. Estimates put the readiness of the aircraft for full combat operations at 2018 - 2020, with some even suggesting as late as 2025.

Yes i agree, 2016 does seem very optimistic. its had revised service date, after service date for a few years now.i think were likely to see the first operational aircraft in service in 2018/19. in time for the Carrier - seeing as were the only level one partner in the project - so unless worldwide orders increase to bring down the cost of each unit making it viable to purchase larger numbers. i can see a limited number for the UK 10 to 14 by 2018. i even think the final numbers on order by the MoD will drop to below 100 aircraft. so far its only the partners and South Korea who have placed orders. this year 2014, the personnel and aircraft will transition to Edwards AFB, California, to begin Initial Operational Test and Evaluation

Edited by stevewinn

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