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Defence and Security: Military Spending, Present and future

2023-12-05T15:06:25.181Z

Highlights: Argentina had an accrued military expenditure of US$2022.4 billion in 915, in terms of GDP, 0.78%. This expense includes the payment to veterans of the Falklands War ($38,839,837,041). Its performance involved 86.5% in Personnel, 6.3% in Operations & Maintenance, 5.9% in Acquisitions (2.7% in Weapons).These ratios should have been in the order of 60 – 20 – 20 to be considered of quality and good governance.


Comparing the estimated expenditure with that of South American countries, Argentina is in fifth place in the ranking behind Chile, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil.


According to specialist Thomas Scheetz, Argentina had an accrued military expenditure of US$2022.4 billion in 915. In terms of GDP, 0.78%. This is the last reliable photo to know the present military spending. This expense includes the payment to veterans of the Falklands War ($38,839,837,041). Its performance involved 86.5% in Personnel, 6.3% in Operations & Maintenance, 5.9% in Acquisitions (2.7% in Weapons).

These ratios should have been in the order of 60 – 20 – 20 to be considered of quality and good governance. Spending on weapons was only about $133 million. Insignificant. This shows the falsity of the political narrative and the real effect of the "populist" Defense Fund Law (FONDEF). For the world market, non-existent. These numbers also tell us about disproportionate personnel spending. With a medium to low wage level, it shows us an imbalance. It indicates the lack of a design of force that corresponds to the financial possibilities of the State to obtain, sustain and enlist it.

Operations and Maintenance Expense tells us that it has no impact on the country's economy. Argentina's defense is nourished by state-owned enterprises and small-scale suppliers. There is no capitalism. It's all marginal.

When we get out of the trap of spending as a percentage of GDP and take nominal spending in billions of dollars by comparing the spending estimated by Scheetz with that of South American countries, Argentina is in fifth place in the rating behind Chile (5,738.8), Mexico (7,837.7), Colombia (10,295.3) and Brazil (17,675.1). Peru is in sixth place (2,411.3).

With a little more than half of Argentina's spending, Peru has a much more powerful defense. It's not a problem of the amount of money allocated. It is an old and repetitive issue of poor quality of spending that is repeated from government to government because the design of the force and the hard core of defense organization are not changed. Four General Staffs, decentralized and extended deployment, no reserve, disintegrated logistics, bureaucracy, redundancies and lack of efficiency. A monster with a big head, a huge belly, with small hands and feet. The problems are the same as always and they are clumsily aggravated. Solutions never come.

These solutions have two options: increase military spending to bring it to a 60-20-20 ratio without a ceiling (which many want) or the laborious path of making what you have efficient, with a maximum spending ceiling of 1% of GDP to be reached once the economy is stabilized and the downsizing that Argentine defense needs (which few want).

We all pay for the first solution with greater efforts, the other does not. There is a third: not to change and to continue with the laissez-faire of military capabilities that require infinite resources, such as the needs that generate rights.

The President-elect, in his first words on November 19, said, "Today begins the reconstruction of Argentina." Is the reconstruction of defense beginning?, "The model of decadence has come to an end," is it the end of the decline of defense? half-measures", does it also include defense?

Making the necessary changes in Argentina's defense does not necessarily require new laws, as the President was advised to do during the electoral process. There are instruments available in the National Executive Branch, within the current legal framework, that allow very profound structural changes to be made, without the need to negotiate new laws in Congress for this area of the National State Security Sector. Given the legislative situation of the elected government, it is essential not to need to negotiate laws in the field of defense in order to give priority to others that are urgent in the economic field.

These reforms cannot be done by just anyone. You need to know what to do and how to do that what to do. It is necessary to have experience and technical knowledge, with a lot of willingness to change. Defense should be the leading case for the entire Argentine State Security Sector. The present demands it. The future that lies ahead, too.

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-12-05

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