The government continues to give the impression that, by spending 2% of GDP on defence, everything is fine and we have the defences we need. One look at the shortcomings in our capability and equipment should be enough for anybody with the slightest knowledge of the subject to see that is nonsense.
The Defence Secretary was not only defending the 2% in a radio interview the other day but also admitting that cuts were needed. When pressed on whether the rumours about cuts in the Royal Marines were true, all he could say was that the First Sea Lord had to decide on the Royal Navy’s priorities on spending. That was an extreme case of “passing the buck”.
The Armed Forces are under funded and under equipped. For the government to be even considering cutting the strength of one of the world’s finest fighting elites is nothing less than disgraceful and puts a lie to the notion that defence and security come first in the government’s priorities. If they allowed the Service Chiefs to say what they really think, as they do in America, they might begin to understand the real situation.
We, in UKNDA, need to highlight the weaknesses in our defence, so I would encourage everyone to write to their local press and MP to express their concern. It might also serve to bring this matter better into the public domain.
Finally, let me remind you about the Richard Holmes Memorial Lecture on 24th May. Members should have received notification recently about it, so please let us know as soon as possible if you are coming. It promises to be a good evening with the added advantage of the venue in the House of Commons. More details are on the Home Page.