You've probably already seen the headlines today covering the publication of the government's defence review. Thanks to everyone who took action in the autumn, telling the government to use this opportunity to radically rethink its defence priorities.
Together we told the government that its understanding of security is fixated on military threats, prioritising expensive military solutions such as aircraft carriers and nuclear weapons over preparing for a global pandemic, or a vitally needed transition to a green economy. So from a first look, what does the defence review say?
* Army troops have been cut by 10,000, and there will be possible cuts to infantry fighting vehicles and tanks. However, military spending will increase by £24 billion over 4 years.
* There will be new funding for high tech warfare including armed drones.
* Trident nuclear warheads will be increased from 180 to 260.
* There will be £6.6 billion for military research and development over the next 4 years, including a new artificial intelligence centre and a new RAF space command.
* £76m for a National Cyber Force, the first unit dedicated to offensive acts against enemies.
* Foreign aid will be cut by some £4 billion, including cuts to vital health research and tackling corruption in developing countries, and cuts as high as 90% in some conflict zones. ([link removed]
Only months ago, Boris Johnson was telling us that there wasn’t enough money to feed hungry children during the school holidays. The government has also failed to find the cash for a meaningful pay rise for NHS nurses who have sacrificed so much to provide comfort and care to thousands of us through these heart-breaking times.
Yet here we see the biggest increase in military spending since the end of the Cold War - including billions of pounds being poured into expanding new areas of warfare. At a time when we need huge infrastructure investment to tackle the climate crisis, it only pledges £11.6bn to make that a reality. Added to previous commitments, that makes £24 billion for the climate vs £188 billion for the military over 4 years - almost 8 times as much.
The time has come to radically rethink our security policies and reshape our industries around them, building a safer future with real human security for everyone.
Join us this Saturday afternoon at 2:15pm for our panel event, Real Human Security ([link removed] at CAAT’s digital conference this weekend, It Starts Here ([link removed] .
Speakers from Greenpeace, PCS, Sisters of Frida and the London Mining Network will join us for a discussion on what a new approach to security could look like.
Join us at It Starts Here. ([link removed]
Campaign Against Arms Trade
PS. Together we can fight back against the relentless rhetoric that our prosperity lies with massive military spending. Are you in a position to help us by making a donation to fund CAAT’s work? ([link removed] Of course times are tough for many of us at the moment, and we completely understand that many people are not in a position to donate right now. Thank you so much for your continued support, in whatever form it comes.
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