Affording War: The British Case

Chris Donnelly, Simon Reay Atkinson and Julian Lindley-French

in The Oxford Handbook of War

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199562930
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

Affording War: The British Case

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War is as much a function of affordability as it is strategy, structure, and planning. And, for a balance to be struck between what is needed and what can be afforded, a key and enduring relationship must be established between the tasks armed forces must undertake and the capability and capacities such forces possess. It is a mark of the defence economic challenges faced by all NATO and EU states that in spite of Britain's current difficulties it remains only one of three other NATO European members to spend above the minimum 2 per cent of GDP on defence. This article explores the key relationship between forces and resources and uses Britain as a case study to consider the affordability of modern armed forces in an age of austerity. The core message is essentially simple: whatever the financial situation a state faces, security and defence of the realm must be afforded.

Keywords: affordability; armed forces; military task; defence economics; Britain; case study; financial resources

Article.  7138 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; International Relations

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