Our current defence aspirations are unaffordable, so very hard choices will have to be made
Those familiar hard choices we have been discussing for so long.
He also suggested that major projects could be scrapped and came out with the classic quote;
Sacred cows make the best beefburgers
The black hole in the defence budget is widely accepted to be beyond a bit of ‘cutting back on expenses and travel’ and the Major General is the first currently serving officer to voice these concerns so openly, says the Telegraph. I am always wary of quoting third hand so as pithy as they sound, they come with a health warning.
All bad news of course, ahead of the second leaders debate in which Foreign Policy i.e. Afghanistan, body armour, compensation and helicopters will form battering rams that Gordon Brown is going to have to fend off in his usual statistic laden manner.
No doubt he will trot out the double helicopters claim, despite troop levels tripling or a 10% real term increase in defence budget, despite it falling as a percentage of GDP and that figure includes UOR spend because we were woefully ill prepared.
David Cameron will try and press home the underfunding of ‘our brave boys’ despite the previous Conservative government being responsible for some of the most drastic cuts to the MoD since the end of the war and Nick Clegg will waffle on about Trident and the fantasy la la land of the EU taking a more coordinated and concerted role.
The three main party leaders have also written a short essay on Foreign Policy for the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) that have been published prior to the debate.
Gordon Brown: Labour’s commitment is non-negotiable
We are looking again at whether we could reduce the fleet of missile-carrying submarines from four to three, but our decisions on our deterrent will be based on national security and multilateral discussions not on cost.
HA HA HA
David Cameron: Britain lacks an effective national security policy
By making these changes, we will be able to fix a lot of the problems we have seen in last few years: a failure to plan for the aftermath and a failure to equip our forces properly when we send them into harm’s way
Despite not ring fencing defence spending, unlike Health and International Development. I am sure the defence ministry in India and Pakistan will be pleased.
Nick Clegg: The EU has failed to lead on training Afghan police
The next defence review must look at how European member states can work together more effectively, to improve capabilities and reduce costs. Liberal Democrats have already ruled out Tranche 3B of Eurofighter. The future of all other major projects must be re-examined as part of a strategic security and defence review, and in light of a more rigorous assessment of the possibilities for increased equipment co-operation with our European allies.
So we will have a Defence review that is predicated on not funding Typhoon which is exactly the kind of European project he thinks will drive costs down, like the A400, Horizon, TRIGAT etc etc
Earth calling Nick Clegg, earth calling Nick Clegg