"Global defence contractor spending is set to grow from $180bn to over $400bn in the next four years." These are the words of Adam Thomas from UK Trade Investment (UKTI) in a recent documentary from the Vice News team at the Special Operations Forces Exhibition 2012 (SOFEX) held in Jordan.
Defence contractor spending relates to the monies spent on borderland defence, homeland security, surveillance, oil rig protection and other such domestic targets. SOFEX it should be noted does not discriminate against its customers for colour or religion. If you have the money, you can buy the arms. Nations that would not vote for each other during a Eurovision contest would quite happily sell weapons of real mass destruction to each other.
Against the back drop of a depression this gratuitous spending on services that are specifically sourced with the people in mind seem excessive but then these are not ordinary times. NNI wanted to know what the expenditure was for the UK alone and how this figure compared against the austerity measures in place, as the governments seek to tighten its grip on the public purse.
Following a communicae with UKTI prior to Christmas NNI tried to establish this figure solely from the UK perspective. The UKTI spokesperson confirmed: "The quote was reference to security export spending, we do not have the individual figures for 'homeland' security, you may wish to contact someone within the Home Office." They added: "We collate these figures (defence export contracts) by assembling them annually via engagements with the companies in the sector."
NNI contacted the Home Office seeking an estimate regarding this figure but as yet have had no response.
The figures involved are astonishing at a time when vital services are being decimated. Add to this the latest battle cry sent out by the government with the news the UK will be sending a support team to Algeria and the problem begins to compound itself. The chance of more military aggression by the armed forces in Africa will not serve to make the UK safer, but will ultimately resort in a further clamping down of our liberties in the name of our freedom.
We can bomb this world to pieces but we cannot bomb it into peace.