Surface Forces: January 31, 2000


ROYAL NAVY CANNOT AFFORD FUEL FOR SEA: The British Royal Navy has faced a major budget problem. Its fuel budget has been cut 5% (from 40 million pounds last year to 38 million pounds this year), but of that, ten million pounds goes for operations in the Adriatic during the Kosovo Crisis. This amounts to a cut of 30%. Ships are staying in port when they should be at sea, and 14 ships have been withdrawn from international exercises this year because there was no money for fuel. Warship captains have been ordered to cruise only at the most efficient speeds. The Conservative Party in Parliament is citing the case as part of its campaign to declare that the Labour Party cannot be trusted to defend the country. --Stephen V Cole


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