Defence report sees growing imbalance in military spending

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by LETHALFORCE, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/...-imbalance-in-military-spending--summary.html

    Defence report sees growing imbalance in military spending


    London- Emerging powers China and India sharply increased defence spending in 2009 as the US and European NATO members struggle with budget constraints and commitments in international conflicts, defence analysts in London said Wednesday. In its report Military Balance 2010, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) warned that Western plans to woo moderate elements in the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan could prove to be "more complex" than anticipated.

    Additionally, there were still "profound challenges" ahead in Iraq.

    The report said ongoing concern in the Middle East over Iran's nuclear programme and missile development had prompted member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to "shore up regional missile- defence capabilities" in 2009.

    Most GCC states had "quietly sought forms of strategic reassurance" from the US and were acquiring the most modern military equipment available, the IISS said.

    But China and India were international leaders when it came to modernizing their armed forces in an effort to safeguard their increasingly global economic interests.

    According to the report, China in 2009 increased defence spending by 15 per cent, while India boosted spending by 21 per cent following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November, 2008.

    "In contrast to developments in advanced economies, both India and China have maintained their recent trend of double-digit increases in defence spending," said the IISS report.

    By contrast, US military spending remained under strain from the recent global financial crisis, while Russia's ambitions had also been hit by a sharp economic downturn.

    Among European members of NATO, only Denmark and Norway were likely to increase their defence budgets this year, while most other nations would strive to match existing budget levels.

    "When the time comes to redress these fiscal imbalances, discretionary spending will come under considerable pressure and defence is likely to suffer," said the report.

    Commenting on the plan by international forces in Afghanistan to seek a "negotiated peace" while the military surge continues, the institute warned of potential difficulties in reintegrating former Taliban fighters.

    "The Afghan insurgency is complex," warned the report, adding that any moves to woo disaffected fighters needed to be embedded in "renewed regional cooperation."

    "There are far more insurgents than ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) can ever kill," said the report. It also stressed that Taliban links with the terrorism network of al-Qaeda or its affiliates were "highly differentiated" and made their assessment from a "narrow counter-terrorist perspective" difficult.

    "Moreover, effectively sealing the border with Pakistan ... requires a form of collaboration with Pakistan not yet achieved," the report noted.

    The picture was "additionally complicated by India's concern over the wisdom of seeking to distinguish between "bad" and "potentially reconcilable" Taliban fighters, it added.

    Copyright DPA
     
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  3. Indianrabbit

    Indianrabbit Regular Member

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    This next 5 years are important for us, lot of things planned and ordered but nothing completed.
     
  4. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    This is really the beginning of the spending many projects and big ticket items are still on hold like the MRCA etc...The article seems to be uncomfortable with increasing military spending by the 2 giants of Asia while the west and NATO are entering a period of cuts which can become prolonged if the economy of many nations don't turn a round soon.
     
  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE6112LO20100203?type=marketsNews

    China, India boost defence as crisis takes toll on West


    LONDON, Feb 3 (Reuters) - China and India sharply raised defence spending in 2009 despite the economic crisis but most European NATO members face a squeeze on defence budgets as they rein in gaping deficits, a report said on Wednesday.

    The impact of the global financial crisis on defence and security spending varied across regions and countries, the International Institute for Strategic Studies thinktank said in its annual report "The Military Balance".

    U.S. defence spending almost doubled under former President George W. Bush but President Barack Obama had signalled that the need to tackle a big budget deficit would require "a dramatic reprioritisation within defence spending", it said.

    Obama asked Congress this week to approve a record $708 billion in defense spending for fiscal 2011 -- including a 3.4 percent increase in the Pentagon's base budget -- but said he would continue his drive to eliminate wasteful programmes.

    A sharp recession had led the Russian government effectively to abandon a comprehensive military re-equipment plan due to run from 2007-15 and to replace it with a new 10-year plan starting in 2011, the report said.

    "In contrast to developments in advanced economies, both India and China have maintained their recent trend of double-digit increases in defence spending," it said.

    India boosted defence spending by 21 percent in 2009 after the 2008 Mumbai attacks killed 166 people, it said.

    China's official 2009 budget included a 15 percent rise in defence spending to 480 billion yuan, equal to $70.3 billion at market exchange rates, the report said.

    However, it said the official Chinese defence budget did not reflect the true level of resources devoted to the People's Liberation Army. It was widely believed that the official budget took no account of weapons bought overseas or research and development funding, it said.

    EUROPEAN DEFENCE LIKELY TO SUFFER

    Other Asian countries, such as Australia, Indonesia and Singapore, had also posted increases in defence spending, it said.

    In Europe, though, many countries had seen their budget deficits rise sharply as they pumped money into the economy to try to end the recession.

    "When the time comes to redress these fiscal imbalances, discretionary spending will come under considerable pressure and defence is likely to suffer, particularly in those countries facing a looming demographic shift requiring greater expenditure on pensions and healthcare," the editor of the Military Balance, James Hackett, wrote in the report.

    Britain faced a challenge in reconciling its budget deficit with its large and growing future equipment plan, it said.

    Among European members of NATO, only Norway and Denmark were likely to increase their defence budgets in 2010, and over the medium term most other countries would do well to increase defence spending in line with inflation or match existing budget levels, it said.

    This would lead to pressure to step up pooling and multinational management of defence assets, to countries specialising in niche capabilities and to the collective procurement of critical defence equipment, it said. (Editing by Angus MacSwan
     

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