America, UK Joined at the Hip
Despite the gigantic ocean between Great Britain and the USA, we are actually more alike than you can imagine. For instance concerning defense (defence) issues, each have a primary motive for keeping high tech arms in production long past their prime. Here is PM Gordon Brown on the reason for his country’s 5 billion pound supercarriers:
‘We are committed to building aircraft carriers. They give work to all parts of the country.’
And here is military strategist Max Boot on why the USAF should continue purchases of the Cold War era F-22 Raptor stealth jet, at up to $300 million each:
The case for shutting down a production line and throwing 25,000 workers out of a job is a hard one to make while we are still mired in a recession and spending hundreds of billions of dollars to create jobs elsewhere. Buying more F-22s is a more useful way to stimulate the economy than a lot of domestic boondoggles.
Our mutual enemies the terrorists and probably China might be relieved Anglo-American military planners are giving them a relief from our future plans! An angry out of work voter apparently is much more dangerous.
Also–Strategypage has a simple answer why the British Army in Afghanistan is stretched thin and can’t even get the helicopters it needs:
The main problem here is that, while Britain has a large defense budget (by European standards) of $50 billion, much of it is committed to pay for Cold War era weapons that are of no use in Afghanistan. There, Britain is at war, but most of Britain’s defense budget is still paying for jet interceptors, nuclear submarines (some armed with nuclear missiles) and many other items that were designed for a World War III type conflict against the Soviet Union.
In America-the same problem. While it has a huge defense budget of half a trillion annually, most of this is still paying for Cold War era weapons like giant Burke missile destroyers, aircraft carriers, and that poster child of last century warfare, the F-22 Raptor fighter. They war costs have been coming from annual subsidies, so there is no excuse if we can’t replace worn out weapons. Go Gates, Go!