Military spending

The foreign aid cut marks a change of priorities

The proposed reduction in international aid from 0.7 to 0.5 per cent of GDP has elicited a furious reaction from some quarters. It has been condemned by five former prime ministers, three of whom never met the target when they were in office. What is missing from this debate is the historical context. The rise in development spending was part of the peace dividend that followed the end of the cold war. But the just-concluded defence spending settlement marks a UK recognition that this peace dividend is over — great power competition is back and this country’s military spending now needs to increase. Over the next decade or so, military