Brigadier Martin Xuereb - Armed Forces of Malta

The AFM has made every effort to offset the capital cost of acquisitions by drawing on non-national capital where these are available, with two significant sources being Foreign Military Sales funding and European Union funds. Access to the latter has been aided by the AFM undertaking numerous soft-security and maritime safety roles such as border control, fisheries protection, and search and rescue. This understanding that a military force can conduct a significant range of critical roles outside classic military missions ensures that financial support is not so sharply curtailed when governments tighten their belts.

Technological leverage has also provided further gains by permitting a hitherto undreamed-of level of maritime domain awareness. The result is the ability to target costly operational interventions rather than conducting speculative deployments. Networking between regional partners generates further enhancements to such an approach. The global picture generated by such cooperation far exceeds the sum of its parts.

Military forces in a democracy cannot expect to be immune to the pain when government finances are under scrutiny. They can, however, take innovative approaches to ensuring that the vital security that it is their business to deliver is not reduced in either quantity or quality. By doing so they make their own, albeit indirect and less-than-obvious, contribution to eventual recovery.


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