Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cutout soldiers


The British government has announced the most significant cuts in the British army for decades: in the following 8 years, 17 great units will be axed, including four complete battalions. In other words: the British army will get rid of 20,000 soldiers, resulting in 82,000 soldiers instead of the current 102,000.
Meanwhile, what’s going on in Spain? The Spanish army employs 157,933 soldiers. In other words, although the UK has 16 million more inhabitants than Spain, the Spanish army will have 75,933 more soldiers, almost twice the strength than the British army. And it is still growing: in the last decade, the Spanish overall strength has been increased by 10%.
Among those who advocate for this disparity, there is a recurring argument: Spain has a very high unemployment rate, so leaving soldiers unemployed would worsen this situation. So far so good… but what if, with this same money, we hire 75,933 doctors, teachers, fireman or forest rangers?

Sources:
  1. Announcement of cuts in the British army: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jul/05/army-lose-17-units-cuts
  2. A comparison of the population in both countries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population
  3. The total amount of military men and women in Spain is taken from the statistics published by the Spanish Ministry of Defense:
      
      
      
     

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