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4th watch

Everywhere there is underfunding and retrenchment; and yet the UK has the fastest growing economy in the EU.
I find it surprising that the Defence of the realm comes so low down the list of priorities of our beloved politicians.
We have seen many lives squandered in Afghanistan and other far off countries through underfunding of equipment. Much of this was due to the last Labour Government with their part time Defence ministers and now invisible PM who is still, believe it or not an MP and also the invisible man; rarely if ever seen at Westminster.
And yet, the present coalition is almost as guilty of neglect as the last administration as they have in fact cut Defence spending further and it is only through the efforts of the present Defence Minister by holding his department financially accountable, that the situation is not far worse.
The present level of Defence spending is a shabby reflection of our national priorities where we are content to send people into danger of death without the best equipment.
The benefit to the economy can be very considerable through the proper investment in military equipment manufacture and sales which the country desperately requires. Bankrupt Spain is the best European example of what can be done in this regard with limited resources, where their export sales of naval equipment far outstrip our own.
Whether so large a part, especially Naval equipment should be entrusted to one mega company in the UK is moot.
In summary a major review of the inadequacy of Defence spending and manufacture in this country is required. Until this is done it seems our Marines and whole Naval effort will be left standing on the sidelines or most likely suffer unnecessary casualties when ordered to accomplish the next major intervention on the whim of an armchair politician.

Mike

I would just like to wish the Royal Marines a very happy 350th.