Much of the cuts were due to the arbitrary decision to reduce defence spending from 2.5% of GDP to 2%, this was both unnecessary and foolish
Ian Skinner - Enfield
How can 80% of voters say no?! The main reason that the budget in in balance is because of the cuts-if they were not taken the MoD would have been in a completely unfunded mess...Get real, tough decisions needed to be made & the government made them, Labour created the problem and happily let it spiral out of control & now they sit there criticising the report without saying how they might have done it themselves...
Laskovar - UK
fighting force should have been kept until support teams had been cut first. No point having office staff if there isn't anyone one to actually do the fighting.
Navy is point in view... no vessels to do the job anymore, army been cut back while engaged in war zones.
The cuts were made in the wrong order.
JC - uk
I beleive the cuts have been to heavy, we have lost to many capabilities. Im happy to see the budget in balance, but some of the decisions had the opposite effect to saving money eg: harriers, Nimrod etc
David Forster - Durham
I voted NO as the cuts have been made based on a purely financial basis and not on a Strategic basis.
Examples: Harrier / Tornado. Personally allowing for the issues of FA2 being scrapped prior to SDSR, I feel Tornado should have gone.
Typhoon Modifications should have been enhanced, Harrier should have been retained.
Carriers: Should have been converted to Catapults. A decision to go with F18 could have been put in place until F35 was acceptable. So delay on F35C was not a good reaason (Look at latest comments by US today regards UK need for carriers).
Run down of Heavy Armour to TA Regiments should have been announced almost immediately. This would have allowed us to cut cost on the Armour and maintenance.
Britain should be looking at using the carriers as the core of our defence strategy. All aircraft we procure should be carrier capable. UAV should be able to be launched from our carriers.
That way you get best value for money from this resources. We have now been left in a situation were the carriers are quite frankly far to large for the role they are now going to perform.
A very short sighted strategy by a very short sighted bunch of politicians in my opinion.
Degradable - UK
All our Armed Forces have suffered massively in their front line capability purely to 'balance the books'. It is like buying a new car but not being able to afford to put fuel in to use it - utterly pointless!
All 3 services have vital NATO, UN and domestic committments but insufficient resources to meet them. Consequently, the ones they do have are over-used and worn out. A gun barrel or knife blade can only be used for a finite number of times before it has to be refurbished or replaced. Personnel are exactly the same, they cannot be expected to continually get deployed on ops without a serious decrease in efficiency and effectiveness.
The 2010 SDSR did not consider the impact to UK defensive strategy or its ongoing global committments, it was a money saving exercise only.
AW Employee - Yeovil
Q.1 Until the Audit Commission presents its findings in Sept/Oct we don't actually know if the MoD budget IS back in balance or do we?
Q.2 If the SDSR was implemented purely to balance the MoD budget, why was it called the 'Strategic Defence and Security Review'?? As it clearly has done little to address either issue for the present or immediate future, it's a big gamble, is it worth the risk?
Q.3 How and where will an £8Bn 'contingency' come from? Certainly not from the lost tax income and increased benefit claims derived from the thousands made redundant!
It seems a rather optimistic viewpoint the government hold that a major share of our future defence will be borne by 'reserves'and somewhat naive to believe those made redundant will be in the rush to join, notwithstanding the fact there seems little evidence to suggest there will be a matching 'reserve' of equipment for their use!
Hereman - Wirral, England
I voted 'No' because there was nothing 'Strategic' about the SDSR. As others before have said it was simply a cost cutting parade by a bunch of narrow minded accountants.
Very sad and rather dangerous.
Tom - London/UK
This is a yes and no answer.Yes because the mod budget is now on track without anymore cut backs,and a 8 billion fall back so that in all is good for the country and armed forces then comes the no part,losing 4 frigates and carriers was a foolish think to do very foolish for a island nation and also the decision to use the TA more.personely i would have cut the TA for more regulars.
Trevor - Newcastle
I joined the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders in 1954 and left in 1957, by 1962 the regiment was not more, it amalgomated with the Seaforths, over the years it has been this Westminster Governments aim to take away the Scottish peoples identity and have succeseded in their aim, you now have a the rise of the SNP and you all wonder why, the answer lies in the break up of the Scottish Identity.
Joe Gibson - Cumncok, Scotland
Laskovar sums it up in his first sentence. The point I try to make to anyone who will listen, is that no real thought was given to the allocation of the budget. We spend £9 billion on the EU, £13 billion on International Aid, a further £10 billion to the IMF (on top of the grants and loans to the Irish banks and the ECB. The Galileo satellite project started off as a £20 million charge to the UK, and has now soared to £20 billion. The total gross misallocation of funding is greater than the £34 billion annual defence budget.
In principle it was necessary to reign in expenditure whenever possible, but not at the ex-pense of the capability gaps which have been opened up. The gap in Maritime surveillance capability for example, is currently under review by the Defence Select Committee, and their first publication on this issue makes interesting reading. What does not appear in these reports is the destruction of the teams that had to operate the surveillance equipment. Anyone with any understanding of the surveillance role will realize the amount of expertise required to operate the sensors in the Joint Rivet aircraft is not something that can be rec-reated at short notice.
I despair at the lack of emphasis on budget allocations. Britain can still maintain a first class military force if only we stopped throwing good money after bad in the ever developing euro zone crisis: giving aid to countries like Pakistan which has its own advanced nuclear capa-bility and generally following the age old adage "that charity starts at home, and we should give our own defence requirements a far higher priority than is current practice.
Robert Snare - Guildford/UK/UKIP activist
Joe Gibson - Cumnock, Scotland
In 1954 the Korean war had just ended and only nine years before so had WW2. So don't you think perhaps we needed to reduce the number of regiments to something more appropriate for peacetime. That's probably why they were amalgamated and I bet plenty of English based regiments went the same way as we rationalised what we needed.
Why then is it you see it as an attempt to reduce Scottish identity? Did what was undoubtedly happening to non-Scottish regiments an attempt to destroy their English or Welsh identity, NO of course it was not!
The problem is that you automatically see as anti-Scottish anything you don't like that originates from Westminster. You say Westminster as a euphemism for the English and so it becomes automatically a grievance to add to your sense of victim hood and it is that illogical attitude so prevalent in Scotland that is responsible for the rise of the SNP. They just have to carefully nurture those grievances and you fall into their hands.
Get rid of the Saltire tinted glasses and you might be able to see more clearly.
Graham - High Wycombe
Cuts are inevitable during the current unbalanced economy which to honest has been in this state for some considerable years however, continued manpower cuts to the fighting force are detrimental to the effectiveness, efficiency and well being of our defense force. Throw a pebble in the still pond and watch where the ripples impact.
Keith Bell - UK, Hants
People are getting for too hung up on the Harrier issue. The Harrier's fate was determined long before the coalition even came into power due to cuts/budgets under Labour. It was there decision not to upgrade all Harriers to a common specification combined with the small fleet that lead to the scrapping.
To some up the issue there simply were not enough Harriers to support Ops while maintaining enough in the UK for training currency. The spilt between GR7 and GR9 variants and other subtle differences between aircraft made it impossible to manage. There were crews trained to fly the GR7 but not able to fly the GR9 on Ops but there were not enough GR9s in the UK for them to train on and so on. If all Harriers were GR9 spec (or equivalent tandem variant) then the Harrier would have remained viable although overall lack of airframes would still limit its ability to deploy in numbers. Tornados are all Gr4 spec and more plentiful so you can understand why they were kept.
This overall issue is known as 'Fleets within Fleets" and SSDR is trying to address this by reducing the different number of different aircraft types in service hence the importance of multirole variants such as Typhoon; 1 airframe, 2 jobs. There is also "Fleets within Fleets" on the Merlin (Mk3 and Mk 3A, another Labour cock-up) and the Chinook Mk2/Mk3 which is being solved by an upgrade to Mk 4 spec (although subtle, but manageable difference will remain).
The people defending the harrier/carrier combination also fail to understand is this is only a good option if it is close to where the action is. If the carrier was visiting Australia when Libya kicked off it would take months to respond where as the RAF, despite having nothing on standby/readiness reacted swiftly. They also ignore the costs of the carrier, crew, equipment and support costs (resupply ships etc).
Nimrod would cost a fortune to make airworthy even if all the other systems came in on budget. Read the Hadden-Cave review.
The SSDR was unfortunate but this was caused by Blair/Brown underfunding (plus forcing the MOD to sell off/scrap war reserves) and over stretching (2 wars plus redundancies in 2005) the Armed forces for a decade.
Wibble - UK