Less defence spending should mean fewer wars

6 April 2011

Less defence spending should mean fewer wars

Enormous cuts in defence spending must lead to a new perspective on the armed forces. Defence must be downsized and its ambitions more modest, as well as directed more towards peacekeeping than warfare, says SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk in reaction to the plan to cut a billion euros from the defence budget.

Jasper van DijkIn Van Dijk’s view it’s irresponsible simply to cut a billion from defence without due consideration of the consequences. Cuts must be directed by policy, while the personnel affected have a right to sympathetic treatment. Where possible, military employees who are made redundant should have priority for jobs in the public sector, such as in the police force. Economies should in the first place be found by cutting purchases of weaponry, and by having fewer generals and less bureaucracy. Van Dijk also draws attention to the need to halt the wasteful and extravagant Joint Strike fighter project, which would save an eventual €6 billion. “The mission in Kunduz is also irresponsible when looked at against the background of these cuts. The government will really have to take a step back and it’s surely not self-evident that they will want to participate in all sorts of wars, such as Iraq and Afghanistan.”

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