Defence cuts ‘wrong’ say poll of military experts

Commodore Peter Coulson talking to workers at Govan shipyard, where the first sheet of steel was cut for HMS Spey

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A POLL has suggested 68 per cent of military experts believe the decision to axe Britain’s aircraft carriers, including HMS Ark Royal, looks increasingly wrong.

And just 12 per cent agreed the operations in Libya ‘validated’ the cuts in last year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review.

The survey of 1,543 people by the influential think-tank Royal United Services Institute found 59 per cent said the government’s current defence policy as failing to match the threats posed.

Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy called the findings a ‘devastating assessment of the government’s record on defence’.

He added: ‘Events have exposed the flaws of a rushed review.’

But a Ministry of Defence spokesman said Libya had shown the UK remained able to ‘project air power around the world with great effect and at very short notice’.

The spokesman added: ‘Difficult decisions had to be taken to deal with the MoD’s financial black hole but we are moving towards an enhanced future carrier strike capability with the new Joint Strike Fighter arriving at the same time as the next generation of aircraft carriers.

‘This is part of £150bn that will be invested in new equipment over the next decade.’

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