No need for bigger defence budget: iLIVE
It was rather depressing to read Graeme Hosken's article "SANDF in big trouble" (yesterday), giving such a blatant push for greater defence spending.
It is not surprising that Helmoed Heitman pushes this agenda; he is part of the Defence Review Committee that is trying to thrust a bigger budget and greater arms spending on the public.
Arguments that the SANDF's involvement on the continent in military training and our need to contribute more to peace missions require a greater budget really don't wash. We can set our own limits on what our contribution should be and still remain a responsible country and respected member of the African Union.
We also seriously question why the Hawks quoted in your article constantly push for 2% of GDP to be spent on defence. The UN Development Programme may have at one point urged states not to spend more than 2% of GDP on military defence, but there is no reference to this on its website.
If we are to have a defence force then, yes, our resources should be maximised. But to use language such as our defence force is "collapsing", is "beyond recovery" and is "being bled dry" is totally unnecessary.
Recent events have shown how human security should be our main concern. Funding must be used to address the poverty and inequality in our society before we spend more money beefing up a defence force when there is no external enemy.