This ties in with the general thrust of previous postings. From a holistic, systems perspective, we, as a society are interested in the resource intensity of security, of which defence is but a part. At a society level, there is no need, and would be no point in defending a failing state that has few indigenous resources left of enterprise, skills and energy. (perhaps being part of China would improve things?)
To a large extent the defence industry is isolating remaining resources and skills from employment in the sectors that would ensure our ‘security’ rather than just our ‘defence’
Readers should look at Amory Lovin’s et. al. 2004 publication ‘Winning the Oil End Game’ http://www.oilendgame.com/ReadTheBook.html
How, then, can a consensus be reached?
The UK has not had a fundamental analysis of defence capabilities since the Strategic Defence Review of 1988. This effectively means that the MoD is dependant on planning assumptions drawn up before 9/11 and the so called war on terror. As a result, say critics, the military are having to be essentially reactive – such as sending better armoured vehicles to Iraq and Afghanistan only after roadside bombs took their toll of British lives. It also means there is no consensus on how our armed forces should be balanced to face the coming challenges or indeed what those challenges will be.
General Sir Mike Jackson, the former head of the Army, recently called for a “real public debate” on defence spending. He said, “We need to decide what proportion of the national wealth we should be spending on defence. We should urgently be asking: what capabilities do we really need to be sure that we’re well insured in the future?”