Some Economic Constraints on Force Structure

  • David E. Greenwood


In a celebrated metaphor Churchill suggested that the UK’s foreign policy preoccupations could be represented by ‘three circles’ denoting respectively the Commonwealth connection, the Atlantic relationship and European involvement. A similar construct can be used to characterise the problems of defence planning. The elements in it are not geographical, however; rather they represent the three principal influences on shaping the defence effort, (1) strategic circumstances, including the doctrine and concepts of operations judged appropriate in those circumstances, (2) technological opportunities, which determine the doctrinal and operational options, and (3) the availability of resources, which in practice means the funds governments may be disposed to allot to security purposes as opposed to other things.


Economic Constraint Force Structure Defence Effort Defence Expenditure Cruise Missile 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    See Greenwood, D., ‘Constraints and Choices in the Transformation of Britain’s Defence Effort since 1945’, British journal of International Studies, 2, No. 1 (April 1976), pp. 5–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Halle, L. J., The Society of Man ( London: Chatto and Windus, 1965 ), pp. 171–2.Google Scholar
  3. 19.
    See Holst, J. J. and Nerlich, U. (eds.), Beyond Nuclear Deterrence: New Aims New Arms ( New York: Crane Russak, 1976 ).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • David E. Greenwood

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