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Mounting domestic pressures and tight budgets mean defence is likely doomed to always look like an easy cut when election time draws near.
The conventional war on the Central European landmass unfolding before us is a massive international event – comparable in security terms to a 9/11.
My great fear is that isolationism on the left and right could take root. And not all interventions have been disastrous – let alone about imposing our values.
Our introduction to: what each Bill is, the politics of it, who’s responsible, arguments for and against – and a controversy rating out of ten.
Even if a large conventional military suited Britain’s needs, the public is not prepared to pay for one.
Wallace has done well to win an exceptional defence settlement, but it may not be enough to fund all the Integrated Review’s ambitions.
The impulse of Brexit is to prove Britain’s openness by striking out, but this tilt increases our security dependence on Europe.
And if that projection is to be effective, we will need to invest in our operating bases – and not just at traditional sites.
The delay to the review, historic increases to defence spending and rumoured cuts to troop numbers paint a picture of an organisation in flux.
Let’s have a no-holds-barred strategic review which asks how we can best defend our interests given the vertiginous acceleration of military technology.
One MP said this is more than enough for Islamists here, not nearly sufficient for Estonia and “for the Middle East, you’d want something in between”.
Is the Treasury up for funding and voters up for supporting the ideas he sketched out ealier this week?
At a ConHome conference interview yesterday, Williamson suggested we should do so if it will save or improve lives without disproportionate cost.
The APPG’s survey of ex-servicemen and women will reveal where current support systems are falling short of the first-class standards we expect.