Accession Number : ADA579703


Title :   Setting Priorities in the Age of Austerity: British, French, and German Experiences


Descriptive Note : Research rept.


Corporate Author : RAND ARROYO CENTER SANTA MONICA CA


Personal Author(s) : Shurkin, Michael


Full Text : http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA579703


Report Date : Jan 2013


Pagination or Media Count : 67


Abstract : The purpose of this paper is to provide insights regarding British, French, and German approaches to managing significant military budget cuts while sustaining their commitment to retaining a full spectrum of army capabilities and maintaining a high state of readiness for at least a significant portion of their forces. Specifically, this project looks at the choices they are making with respect to how they spend dwindling resources: What force structure do they identify as optimal? How much readiness do they regard as necessary? Which capabilities do they abandon? It turns out that all three armies remain nominally committed to full-spectrum capabilities. However, looking closely at their emerging force structure and their efforts to elaborate doctrines that match their understanding of the role of the military in future conflicts (i.e., what they need to be ready for) it is clear that they are, to varying degrees and in different ways, backing away from full spectrum operations (FSO), adopting more tailored force structures, and embracing more nuanced approaches to readiness. Behind the three armies choices are assessments of the probability of future conflict based on their reading of recent conflicts, particularly the conflict in Afghanistan and the 2006 Lebanon War. Afghanistan has also played an important role, for example, in why the French army has been able to move forward with its Future Combat Systems like modernization program, while the UK s comparable program has stalled. Another difference emerges with regard to culture: Some armies simply take the prospect of fighting wars more seriously. This report should be of particular interest to those concerned with the evolution of U.S. allies capabilities, as well as to planners thinking about how to prioritize investments in military capabilities in light of dwindling resources. In a sense, others have done this before us.


Descriptors :   *GOVERNMENT(FOREIGN) , *MILITARY BUDGETS , *MILITARY FORCES(FOREIGN) , ARMORED VEHICLES , COST REDUCTION , FRANCE , GERMANY , INTERVENTION , MILITARY DOCTRINE , OPERATIONAL READINESS , STABILIZATION , UNITED KINGDOM


Subject Categories : Economics and Cost Analysis
      Government and Political Science
      Military Forces and Organizations


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE