Winning: Everyone Loves A Winner


November 10,2008: The victory over al Qaeda in Iraq has been noticed in Britain, sort of. Or so it appears. This year, the number of recruits for the British armed forces has gone up 12 percent. Not surprisingly, public opinion polls show that 81 percent of Britons have a favorable view of the armed forces, versus 74 percent five years ago. Unemployment is up a bit as well (to 5.7 percent), which always helps military recruiters.

For half a century, the British military has been relying on volunteers. Until the 1990s, there were few problems attracting sufficient new recruits. But after the Cold War ended in 1991, the budget cuts just kept on coming. Personnel strength was cut 40 percent (from 300,000, to the current 180,000). While Britain is able to barely recruit and maintain three professional military personnel per thousand Britons, the United States manages to recruit five per thousand. After the Cold War ended, the U.S. military was only cut 30 percent (from two million to 1.4 million). The U.S. and Britain both spend about the same per military personnel ($387,000 a year for the U.S., and $367,000 a year for Britain), but the British media manages to make it seem like British troops are being constantly starved and deprived of essential equipment. That, and the general unpopularity of the war on terror in Britain (as in the rest of Europe), especially operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, made it hard to recruit. As in the U.S., multiple trips to Iraq and Afghanistan have not been popular, even though British troops have suffered far fewer casualties than the Americans.

Britain plans to help reverse the recruiting problems by increasing pay (in only in the form of bonuses directed at those spending the most time in combat zones), but this is a contentious issue as well, with Britain currently suffering an economic recession. Nevertheless, the increased popularity of the victorious troops helps as well. Everyone loves a winner.



Article Archive

Winning: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close