The Daily Telegraph leads with a Conservative analysis that defence expenditure is at its lowest level since the 1930s as a proportion of national wealth. Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey all spend more of their national wealth on their armed forces than Britain – and at a time when Britain faces complex new threats. Just 2.5% of GDP is spent on defence; compared to 4.4% nearly twenty years ago. Shadow Defence Liam Fox told The Telegraph:
"To drop to this level of our national wealth seems absolutely crazy. We have a smaller navy than the French and our ships are being mothballed. What a triumph for new Labour."
In the December survey of ConservativeHome readers, 89% agreed with the statement, "The British military is overstretched and needs more money to maintain its current level of activities." Conservative members also thought that the problem of overstretch was related to inadequate burden-sharing. 85% agreed that "other NATO countries are not doing enough to support operations in Afghanistan," for example. 45% thought that, on the whole, the overstretched armed forces should do less.