misplaced priorities                                     < back

£34 billion: the British Government military budget.

£600 million: the amount allocated by the British Government to conflict prevention and resolution, including peace-keeping also includes providing military hardware (guns, helicopters etc) to supporting countries.

The UK has 232 Eurofighters on order. One Eurofighter will cost at least £80 million.
For that amount Britain could:
1. Put another 1000 peace-keepers into Afghanistan, organise negotiations with warlords to bring militias and opium production under control, and support local initiatives to restore law and order outside Kabul;
2. Set up liaison centres all over Iraq to enable people to get help with the daily trauma which engenders hatred for the occupying forces - murdered civilians, destroyed homes, arrested relatives, lack of food and employment.

The British government currently provides subsidies to arms exporters of £426 million per annum.
For that amount we could:
1. Support the setting up of gun collection schemes in every single country where there is local killing, including Sudan, DRC, Colombia, Indonesia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Angola, and Nigeria;
2. Introduce effective boundary controls on gun-running, with severe and enforceable penalties;
3. Fully support the EU commitment to develop a ‘Civilian Crisis Management Capacity’ by providing training for civilians ready to join.