PRESIDENT Dwight D. Eisenhower was Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during the Second World War, and so was hardly unsympathetic to the military.

When he left office he gave a famous speech in which he said: “We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence...by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist”.

He also warned about excessive military procurement power which was directing too much scientific research for military purposes.

Boris Johnston’s deplorable announcement of an extra £16 billion for military expenditure comes at a time of growing poverty and inequality both within the UK and internationally, greatly intensified by the Covid pandemic, the full economic influence of which has still to work through the economy (“PM: big spending hike will restore Britain’s position as Europe’s top naval power”, The Herald, November 20).

It comes days after his statements about the compelling need to invest in climate change measures, but with a totally inadequate budget.

This increased expenditure is to focus principally on developing robots, drones and aircraft without pilots so that the UK can better fight overseas wars. Who are we planning to attack?

This is not defensive: it is offensive. Anyone thinking that the money is to improve the earnings and conditions of forces personnel, forget it.

This is to line the pockets of the big military corporations.

The bad news for the rest of us is that obsolescence comes very fast and you don’t know whether the hackers are a little ahead of you until it is too late.

I think most insiders know that the supposed invulnerability from detection of the submarines carrying Trident no longer applies and that new technology can now detect.

Getting trapped in this extravagant and high-risk spiral is about Great Britain trying to hold on to some remnant of greatness. Or perhaps I’m wrong and all these robots and drones are intended to pacify Scotland.

Isobel Lindsay, Biggar.

SO Prime Minister Johnson has found more billions of pounds on the non-existent magic money tree to spend on the military.

Once again, the delusions of grandeur that fuelled the campaign to leave Europe raise their ugly head.

Why is it necessary for Britain to be Europe’s top naval power?

The only reasons given seem to be specious comments about the importance of defence and the support this money will give to the ailing shipbuilding industry.

Surely the lessons of the history should have been learned by now?

Peace comes from working with our European and other allies, not through alienating them and splurging money on dubious “big boys’ toys”.

The command economies of China and Russia, who along with unspecified countries round the Mediterranean, are now apparently our enemies again, can easily outstrip and outdo any arms that the UK can produce.

Dr R.M. Morris, Ellon, Aberdeenshire.

NOW and again, writers to your estimable Letters Page are advised by the letters editor that chances of publication are greatly increased if such correspondence is short and to the point.

Following the news from Downing Street that Boris Johnson is set to make the UK the “foremost naval power in Europe” with a huge boost to the defence budget, is it short enough and to the point enough to ask, simply, “Why?”

Gerard McCulloch, Saltcoats.