Monday, March 28, 2011

30 billion reasons to end the war in Afghanistan and scrap Trident

Stop the War Coalition
25 March 2011

Stop the War opposes the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Libya because they are unjustified and will bring only death and destruction to the countries attacked by the US and its allies, not least the ever subservient British government.
We would oppose these wars even if there was no financial cost.
Winner of competition for best one-minute anti-cuts video
But the government is spending huge sums on wars that the majority of the British public oppose at the same time it is cutting £95 billion from public expenditure, insisting it's the only way to reduce the national debt.
The government's cuts will mean a million workers losing their jobs, the majority of them women, who predominate in public sector employment.
It will mean the closure of local ameneties, from public libraries to youth services, from day centres for the disabled to support services for the elderly.
It will mean huge cuts in housing benefit, which will drive thousands of families from their homes, many of them into homelessness.
It will deny young people access to college education by ending the education maintenance allowance (EMA), which enables students from poorer backgrounds to attend.
It will cut the allowance for thousands of people with disabilities.
There is no area of public life that will not be affected, and the poorest and most vulnerable in society are going to be hit the hardest.
But there will be no cuts in the cost of waging war in foreign lands. Since 2001,Britain has spent over £20 billion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Between now and the likely date of the next general election, the government will spend close to £5 billion a year continuing to fight the futile war in Afghanistan -- in total at least £20 billion.
Add to this the mainenance of the Trident nuclear missile system, which serves no military purpose, but costs £2.2 billion a year to keep operational. This amounts to a total of around £10 billion by the time of the next election.
The combined cost of the Afghan war and maintaining Trident over the next four years will be at least £30 billion -- in other words, one third of the cuts the government will make in public services over the same period.
And now we have the new war in Libya. David Cameron's warmongering mania will mean that Britain is taking a leading role in the foreign intervention. And the costs in the context of the slash and burn destruction of public services are an outrage.
The government says Libya will cost tens of millions, rather than hundreds of millions. But this is hard to believe, looking at the staggering cost to Britain in just the first three days of the attack on Libya:
  • Salvoes of Tomahawk missiles (cost £500,000 each) and Storm Shadow missiles(cost £800,000 each) were fired;
  • Four Tornado jets flew eight-hour round trip flights from Britain at a cost of £35,000 an hour each;
  • Ten Typhoon jets made four-hour trips from Italy at a cost of £70,000 an hour each;
  • Two navy frigates were deployed at running costs of around £90,000 a day each;
  • The submarine HMS Triumph, which fired cruise missiles into Libya, costs around £200,000 a day to maintain;
  • Also deployed were re-fuelling planes (cost £35,000 an hour), ground surveillance planes (cost £25,000 an hour), radar planes (£33,000 an hour), and probably C-17 transporters (£40,000 an hour) and Hercules aircraft (£12,000 an hour);
  • A hefty bill from the Italians is expected for the use of their airfields.
We have now had nearly ten years of Britain fighting unjustified wars in other people's countries. As well as stopping the mass slaughter and devastation, ending these wars and scrapping Trident would go a long way to making the cuts in public expenditure unnecessary.

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Public meeting - Worthing Against War thursday 13th April 7.30 p.m.
Speaker-Lindsey German-Stop The War Coalition
Downview Pub, West Worthing,(opposite West Worthing Station)
Open discussion-all welcomed.

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