FOUR MORE ARMY BASES GET AXED IN GOVERNMENT CUT BACKS – Philip Hammond, Defence Secretary, has announced the closure of four more army bases in order to cut back on the military spending despite his concerns over reducing the armed forces and what they could achieve.
The army bases, or barracks, to be closed are located in North Yorkshire, Edinburgh, Pembrokeshire and Canterbury. It has also been announced that a further three will also be heavily scaled down in order to meet the budget cuts.
While the Defence Secretary has said that this would save some £240 million in public spending a year, it would put an enormous strain on the already over-stretched armed force and sever close historical ties between the affected communities and the armed forces.
There has been a lot of open criticism on both sides, with the Philip Hammond openly criticizing other ministers for using the Defence budget as a scapegoat for supporting or increasing other budget areas such as welfare.
Last night the Treasury Secretary, Danny Alexander, told minister that open criticism is not in the best interest of the country and that their views should made and kept behind closed doors.
The statement from the Treasury Secretary has been met with anger from the public who feel that ministers should openly engage in criticism so that open and honest debate could take place. Many feel that the remarks of the Treasury Secretary are typical of the government stance of keeping the public in the dark as to where the public money is being spent and why.
The new plans will see all British Troops being returned to the UK a year earlier than planned, leaving many to believe that the UK can no long play a vital role in NATO.
Certainly the closure of these barracks will have an impact on the local communities that it supports and this will affect many businesses, large and small, and effect the overall economy of the local areas affected.
Questions are being raised as to where will the British Armed Forces be within the next 5 or 10 years, considering the continuous cut-backs. While nobody wants war people do feel safer knowing that they are protected by world class armed forces personnel and these continuous cuts in spending will simply not be able to support the on-going needs of the Armed Forces in order to protect the United Kingdom.
It is widely known that our troops are already severely under-equipped, compared to other armed forces, and this puts their lives in serious peril. I would propose that all ministers be given the same equipment and place them in the middle of Afghanistan for a 6 month stretch and see how their attitudes change, if they survive the experience.