Lee Rigby's battalion is scrapped in Army Cuts
SOLDIERS who served with slain Fusilier Lee Rigby face being told they will lose their jobs on Tuesday. Read the full article in the Express on line.
Head of Army exclusive on Sky News
Army Chief: More Cuts May Put UK In Danger
The Head of the Army exclusively tells Sky News that further demands to make savings could prove "quite dangerous, quite quickly"
By David Bowden, Defence Correspondent
Britain's chances of success in future wars could be "seriously damaged" by any more spending cuts, the Head of the Army has exclusively told Sky News.
General Sir Peter Wall said further savings likely to be ordered by the Government as part of its latest spending review could prove "quite dangerous, quite quickly".
Army Chief We won't win wars if we are cut again
Forcing more spending cuts on the military would be dangerous and disruptive and would damage the country’s ability to win wars, the head of the Army warns.
David Cameron military will not be exempt from further spending cuts
David Cameron has hit back over defence cuts fears raised by military top brass, insisting that Britain's forces are among the best-funded in the world. See full article from the Telegraph on line
Dodging a bullet Frontline troops won't be cut again
As reported on politics.co.uk by politics staff. Philip Hammond appears to have won his battle with the Treasury over more defence cuts, according to media reoprts.
Spending Review Talks over defence cuts nearly completed
Negotiations over cuts to the defence budget ahead of the spending review later this month are close to being completed, the BBC understands.
US fears over cuts in British Defence
Defence cuts will leave the British Army “dependent” on its US counterparts, a senior American commander has warned.
Full article in the Telegraph on line:
Philip Hammond defence cuts undermine UK military capability
Defence secretary denies he is defying Treasury over cuts but says anything beyond 'efficiency savings' would be damaging
The defence secretary has warned that any attempt by the Treasury to push military savings too far could undermine Britain’s military capability.
MI5 inquiry did spending cuts impact on Woolwich outrage
An inquiry in to MI5 in the wake of the Woolwich atrocity will investigate whether spending cuts last year contributed to any intelligence failings
Iain Duncan Smith cut welfare to fund police and forces
Iain Duncan Smith has offered to cut Britain’s welfare Bill by up to another £3 billion annually to protect spending on the Armed Forces and police, The Telegraph can disclose.
Lord West 's Speech in the House of Lords
Copied below is a major speech by Lord West of Spithead, Patron of the UK National Defence Association, in the House of Lords this afternoon during the debate on The Queen's Speech.
Extracted directly from the House of Lords – Read UK Parliament today
Following an introduction by Baroness Northover.
Lord West of Spithead:
“It is upon the navy under the good Providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly depend”.
Thus ran the preamble to the Articles of War, written more than 300 years ago. There is no doubt that naval dominance of European waters was the longest, most complex and expensive project ever undertaken by British state society. As a result a small, weak, insignificant offshore island was able to develop into the world’s greatest power. More recently, the prime reason we survived the German wars of the first half of the 20th century was the strength of the Royal Navy.
We remain the sixth wealthiest country in the world; world shipping, which is the sinews of our global village, is run from London; we are responsible for 14 dependencies worldwide; we are the biggest European investor in South Asia, South-East Asia and the Pacific Rim, where stability is crucial if we are to get the return we need from our investments; and we are a permanent member of the Security Council. We are, like it or not—and I know that many do not like it—a world power. We are of course an island, but the Government seem sometimes to forget that. The maritime sector was worth more than £10 billion in 2010, and 90% by value and 95% by volume of our imports and exports travel by sea.
How are we safeguarding this today? The noble and gallant Lord, Lord Craig of Radley, rightly said that there was hardly any mention of defence in the gracious Speech. The Prime Minister has stated on a number of occasions that defence and security are the first responsibility of government. These are fine words but I fear that they have not been backed up by actions. In the 2010 strategic defence and security review we took measures that severely weakened our ability to project power, yet within months our forces were being committed to action in Libya. There have been further cuts since, and further indications that the Government would be willing to commit British forces if we are not careful.
Similar cuts are being made by our European allies, and the USA is finding itself carrying more and more of the defence burden of looking after the military interests of the western democracies and other nations worldwide. The US, too, is having to find savings and is now looking across the Pacific rather than towards the Euro-Atlantic region. Europe will have to take on more responsibility for its own security. The US has consistently supported us in the European, African and near-eastern area. Are we really not going to support them in the Far East and Pacific if the call comes? Those areas are increasingly important to the UK as well as to the US.
None of us can predict the next crisis. It may happen tomorrow, and from my experience of the intelligence world I know that we have a very bad track record of predicting crises. In an increasingly chaotic and dangerous world we must carry our share of the burden. Simply and starkly, we are not carrying our share. I do not have time to list all our shortfalls that impact on the critical mass of the Navy. Manpower has to be one area of concern. We had 75,000 sailors in 1982, some 30 years ago, and have 26,500 today—a cut of two-thirds in naval manpower, with all the effects that that has on flexibility.
I will be fair to the Government and congratulate them on their realisation of the crucial significance of maritime strike, and their aspiration to run both new carriers. Not to run both would be a national disgrace. Let us hope that their gamble of getting rid of “Ark Royal” and the Harriers pays off. So far we have got away with it for three years; we have to get away with it for another four or five. It was a gamble.
I will focus on just one example of our many shortfalls in the maritime sphere. Noble Lords may remember the preamble about the importance of the Navy to our nation that I gave at the beginning of my speech. Do the Government really believe that 19 destroyers and frigates—that means only six deployed—are sufficient for our nation? At the time of the Falklands war, when the Royal Navy saved the Government’s bacon, we had about 60 destroyers and frigates. The difference in capability of our new ships does not make up for the huge lack of numbers; one ship cannot be in two places at once. We have cut to the bone and, in naval parlance, our nation is standing into danger. I have written to the Prime Minister stating that very point.
We can no longer be sure that our Armed Forces are capable of meeting the tasks that our nation and people expect of them. We are at a crisis point, and something has to be done. History has shown how our nation suffers if we forget the crucial importance of our military and, in particular, of the sea and our Navy.
Click here for separate copy.
For further information and/or to interview a UKNDA spokesman about the important issues raised by Lord West regarding the maritime security of the United Kingdom, please contact Cdr John Muxworthy, Chief Executive of the UKNDA, on 01364 652369 or 07721 624980, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tory MP attacks defence cuts
Read full article in the Guardian
Bob Stewart warns against reliance on reservists and says government is 'trying to get as inexpensive an army as possible'
Lady Thatcher and the Armed Forces
'We in the Armed Forces put our faith in Maggie'
11 April 2013 Defence Management.com
After providing decisive leadership during the Falklands conflict, Margaret Thatcher kept Britain militarily strong in the face of all possible threats and dangers, writes Commander John Muxworthy
Why all the fuss about Baroness Thatcher's funeral? Well, Margaret Thatcher clearly was all things to just some people, albeit a majority, who regard her as a saviour of the nation, while others are being less than polite. The furore will fade away with time – but how will she be remembered, and, in particular what of the 'Iron Lady's' relationship with our armed forces?
We, who have served in the armed forces, will surely wish to honour 'Maggie' for her stalwart leadership of this country in general, but especially with regard to the Falklands conflict in 1982. This is nothing to do with politics but is all about recognising and honouring a lady who cared for and led the armed forces and our country at a time of crisis – and brought us through that crisis, battered but triumphant.
No one is ever completely perfect – not least our politicians – and we could criticise Lady Thatcher for many things. We could even choose to remember that prior to the Argentine invasion of the Falklands her government had intended to cut the armed forces to 'save money' – and even contemplated a 'lease-back' arrangement with Argentina for the Falklands. Remember the Tory MP Keith Speed who in 1981 was sacked as navy minister after refusing to resign over his criticism of planned cuts? The Royal Navy was just about to have to sell off two or three of our best warships when the Argentinian invasion sprang upon us. Maggie immediately put her faith in Britain's military – and we in the military put our faith in Maggie.
Margaret Thatcher dies, Falkland commanders hail PMs iron courage
Margaret Thatcher’s “guts” and single minded determination to retake the Falkland Islands made the nation stronger, veterans of the conflict said.
Article by Tom Whitehead, Security Editor Daily Telegraph.
Read full article in the Daily Telegraph or on line:
Defence will be cut after 2015
After all the cuts in Defence we now see this new headline that Defence will be cut after 2015, as David Cameron admits.
The armed forces budget is not safe ..
See report by Christopher Hope and Peter Dominiczak for the Daily Telegraph.
Former First Sea Lord Has Navy Cuts Doubts
See report in the Portsmouth -
THE Royal Navy is losing its critical mass in ships and staff after a decade of cuts, according to a defence association. So reports Priya Mistry in The News - Portsmouth.
Also see the story in The Herald – "This is Plymouth".
Reported on 2 April on the Defence Management Website, in association with Defence Management Journal is the following article:
The Royal Navy has been cut too far and does not have enough ships, submarines or people, David Cameron has been warned.
We give US military advice on cutbacks
See the Express article by Marco Giannangeli:
IT was one of the most important meetings between British and US generals in 65 years...an affirmation that, whatever the political rhetoric, the “special relationship” is alive and well.
Top British General Warns of Dangerous Troop Cuts In Afghanistan
News item from the Independant - Kim Sengupta reports:
Commander says slashing British forces numbers too soon could jeopardise progress ahead of critical summer of fighting
Has RN Critical Mass Gone?
A very important article from April's edition of WARSHIPS (International Fleet Review) sponsored by Admiral The Lord West of Spithead.
To read the letter click here
and for the all important WARSHIPS article click here
Treasury demands further cuts
Armed Forces and police to face further spending cuts, Danny Alexander warns
The Armed Forces and the police will face further spending cuts because the Coalition will not sanction any more reductions to welfare payments, senior Treasury minister Danny Alexander has warned.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said that the Ministry of Defence and the Home Office would share the pain of the £11.5 billion of cuts due in 2015-16
Royal Navy is now too small to protect Britain
Cuts to the Royal Navy have left it too small to meet its commitments, a naval historian warned yesterday.
Read full story in the Express on line:
New Report calls for Fresh Approach to Armed Forces Funding
UKNDA says Defence funding is “an excellent economic stimulus” and “a sound investment” for the British taxpayer
The United Kingdom is facing “a multiplicity of threats” to our security, and we need to take “a clear and honest view of our ambitions and obligations for today and the future.” This is the message from the UK National Defence Association (UKNDA) which today (11 March) publishes a major new report on “Funding Defence” co-authored by a group of retired senior military officers including Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon, General Sir Michael Rose and Vice-Admiral Sir Jeremy Blackham.
The UKNDA report endorses the recent call by the Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond MP, for a halt to further cuts in the Defence budget. “Defence needs steady and predictable funding”, say the report’s authors. Furthermore it is “a sound investment” for the taxpayer, “an excellent economic stimulus” that can create and sustain employment in industries and communities throughout Britain.
Defence spending is both a strategic and political imperative. “Europe, already weak, is disarming further”, says UKNDA. European nations have “sheltered under the US blanket” for many years, the report states, but the American commitment is “rapidly reducing” due to the Obama Administration’s budget cuts, and with very little appetite in the US for continuing to “pick up the European defence bill”.
Present economic circumstances and the Government’s aim of reducing the national deficit should not mean imposing further restrictions on Defence funding. Defence is “the essential guarantor of the nation’s freedom”. Unlike other areas of public expenditure, it has to be shaped by external factors and cannot be dictated by purely domestic political concerns.
With threats to the UK and international security growing, this is not the time to shrink Britain’s military. The loyalty and service of Britain’s military “cannot be assumed for ever”, the report adds. “It has to be earned by the Government through a long term commitment to the careers and well-being of the personnel of the Armed Forces.”
Copies of “Funding Defence” and previous UKNDA reports including “The State of the Nation’s Armed Forces” (January 2013) may be ordered free of charge by e-mailing email@example.com or downloaded from the UKNDA website, www.uknda.org.
To read the full report click here
Firms must do their bit for the Territorial Army
Companies must be offered more incentives if the Territorial Army is to shoulder an increased share of the burden of Britain's defence needs, so reports David Millward in the Daily Telegraph.
Retired military commanders warn of dangers of more defence cuts
Former senior military commanders have warned ministers they risk losing the support
Famed Desert Rats to lose their tanks in Army cuts
The Army’s 7th Armoured Brigade Headquarters will return from Germany and become part of a new infantry unit that will only be equippped with wheeled reconnaissance vehicles, the MoD admitted.
More news about defence cuts
The Express reports on the defence cuts. Cameron bids for comon ground as Hammond scores victory for armed forces - See the Sunday Express report on line.
Nearly half of Special Forces could go in deepest cuts in 50 years
Defence correspondent Sean Rayment reports in the Telegraph with full details of the biggest cuts programme to Britain’s Special Forces in almost half a century can be disclosed.
Shaken David Cameron bids for common ground
DAVID Cameron has sent a clear message to disaffected Tories that he will not appease party hardliners by pledging that he will instead focus on “the common ground” of British politics.
This comes in connection with talks of Defence cuts - as reported by the Express:
Breaking news regarding Defence budget on the BBC by Mr Hammond, Defence Secretary.
Follow this link:
The Telegraph and Metro papers also report on more cuts to defence. See links below:
And as reported on Channel 4:
USA Budget Cuts could force Army and Marines to cut 200000 troops
Sequestration will make only a tiny impact on overall US federal spending but means major reductions in US military funding.
See full article:
Sheer lunacy to cut back our Special Forces
Express report: Major General Julian Thompson, who commanded the land forces in the Falklands War, claims the Government is “failing to put its money where its mouth is” by cutting the numbers.
NATO urges allies to reverse defence spending cuts
Membership of "EU defence Club" costs millions
Marco Giannangeli' report in the Express -
Membership of "EU defence Club" costs millions
Marco Giannangeli' report in the Express -
Radiation leak from nuclear submarine off the Scottish coast
Express report by Marco Giannangeli
Aid money could go on defence says David Cameron-BBC report
Funds might be diverted from DFid to MOD.
Statement from the UK National Defence Association:
"The UKNDA welcomes the Prime Minister's announcement that Britain's Armed Forces should receive a share of the UK's overseas aid budget. The military has a vital role to play in international peacekeeping, humanitarian projects and emergency aid, and is truly 'a force for good in the world', so it is right and proper that the international development budget should be shared between DFID and the MOD. This is something that the UKNDA has been recommending for a long time and it is most welcome to see that David Cameron has now taken this on board. It is an important recognition of the value of the British Armed Forces."
Army risks becoming a Dad's -army style home guard, former minister warns
....and the RN has too few ships - Sir Nick Harvey's Daily Mirror interview.
US risks becoming second rate power
Warning by outgoing US Defence Secretary, Leon Panetta.
NATO capabilities spending gaps continue to grow
Richard Weitz column in World Politics Review.
Sir Nick Harvey says the the Armed Forcescannot afford more spending cuts if Britain is to maintain its ability to project military power around the Globe.
Govt to pick over the bones of SDSR 2010?
Jon Thompson permanent secretary at MOD: dept might have to "revisit" SDSR & "curtail our plans"...
David Cameron told to honour defence promise
Former govt defence advisor warns of danger to both British Armed Forces and Special Relationship with USA.
No more defence cuts?....red faces in Downing Street.
Daily Mail lreporters Jason Groves, Ian Drury and and Matt Chorley report on Downing St forced to admit that defence spending will not rise unti after 2016.
No more defence cuts?...attempt at clarification.
Daily Telegraph Political correspondent Pweter Dominiczak reports that Defence Secretary appears to row back on PM's pledge
No more defence cuts....?
Telegraph's Christopher Hope & James Kirkup report on PM pledge that defence spending to rise from 2015.
NATO Chief's warning
NATO chief to warn that defence cuts could endanger alliance's power
SAS units under threat
James Kirkup, deputy political editor of the Telegraph reports that SAS units threatened by new defence cuts.
MP Richard Drax condemns defence cuts
South Dorset MP and former Coldstream Guards officer Richard Drax, has criticised the government's latest tround of defence cuts. Read the full article in the Bournemouth Echo
See also Sky News.
Military should have over one third of Britain's foreign aid budget
Jonathan Foreman, a senior research fellow at Westminster think tank, Civitas, urges the Government to revolutionaise its approach to overseas aid and engage the UK military in foreign disaster relief.
Soldiers accuse army of betrayal after payoffs cut by 75pc
Dozens of former soldiers made redundant last year have accused the armed forces of betrayal after their payoffs were reduced by tens of thousands of pounds.
Full report in the Telegraph:
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