Irrespective of the outcome of the seizure of the Stena Impero, it highlights the failure of successive governments to ensure we have sufficient resources to defend our Merchant Fleet. Our armed forces have been run down to dangerous levels. This must be reversed, and quickly. (See below)
official statement by uknda
The unfolding situation in the Gulf is a cause for grave concern. The British response to the Iranian regime's illegal actions requires a combination of diplomatic skills and military power. Let us hope the Government is up to the task. The very fact that the Iranians have felt able to challenge Britain in this way highlights our country's current lack of military and especially naval strength after years of ill-conceived defence cuts.
I'm afraid this really is a case of the chickens coming home to roost for the British government. UKNDA has consistently warned that something like this could happen and that our ability to deter such acts of aggression was being reduced by cuts to the Royal Navy, the Army and the RAF. What we need now, and urgently, is a concerted effort to rebuild Britain's military capabilities and global reach, so that rogue states like Iran will know in future that they cannot mess with us any more.
Chief Executive Officer, UK National Defence Association (www.uknda.org)
22nd July 2019
new conservative leader
"Both the contenders for the Leadership of the Conservative Party pledged that as Prime Minister they would boost Defence funding, indicating that the MOD budget could be increased by £15bn within the next 5 years. These commitments were very welcome but UKNDA remains concerned that any additional funds for Defence could be squandered on 'big ticket' items when in fact what we need are commitments to restore specific military capabilities that have been lost due to cuts by Conservative governments since 2010 and a much needed rebuilding of Armed Forces manpower as all three Services have been allowed to shrink in the last decade. The nation therefore urgently needs to recruit and train tens of thousands of new personnel for the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force, and to ensure that they have the equipment, weaponry, vessels, aircraft and vehicles that they require. Expanding Britain's military must be an absolute priority for Boris Johnson"
Andy Smith, Chief Executive Officer, UK National Defence Association (uknda.org)
23rd July 2019
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UKNDA's objects are:
Promoting effective and efficient Defence of the United Kingdom and the UK’s worldwide interests;
Advancing public awareness and understanding of the history and role of the Armed Forces in the life of the Nation;
Commissioning research into the threats faced by the United Kingdom and the military capabilities required to meet these threats;
Seeking to inform debate on all aspects of National Defence and Security.