‘Boost military spending or face catastrophe’

FEAR General Sir Michael Rose
FEAR General Sir Michael Rose

Top American admiral visits Portsmouth Naval Base

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DEFENCE spending needs to be increased by 50 per cent to avoid ‘catastrophic mistakes’ being made, ex-military leaders have warned.

A report published by the Portsmouth-based United Kingdom National Defence Association warns that unless the UK starts pouring billions of pounds into the forces it will be unable to deal with future threats.

The report’s authors, including General Sir Michael Rose, who was the commander of United Nations forces in Bosnia in the 1990s, argue military spending needs to account for three per cent of the country’s GDP rather than the current two per cent.

The study, Inconvenient Truths, says ‘vulnerable’ British overseas territories are at risk and warns the Falkland Islands could fall if Argentina invaded again.

The report concludes: ‘The vital twin pillars of Britain’s security for the past 50 years, the ‘‘special relationship’’ with America and the continuation of an effective Nato, can no longer be guaranteed unless Britain increases its defence capabilities substantially and soon.’

Defence secretary Liam Fox has said defence spending will increase from 2015 following last year’s cuts which were made to address a £38bn black hole in the budget.

Dr Fox is expected to confirm the government has virtually eliminated the black hole during a speech in Manchester next week.