Defence group calls for ‘genuine’ review of the armed forces

REVIEW CALL HMS Duncan on her commissioning day in September last year
REVIEW CALL HMS Duncan on her commissioning day in September last year
The fragment from the Union Jack believed to have flown on board HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. Credit: Sotheby's

Flag from HMS Victory and Lord Nelson’s love letters up for sale at London auction

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MILITARY experts say Britain’s guarantee of security will ‘wither and die’ if the country does not play its part in the role of global security.

The Portsmouth-based UK National Defence Association has issued a report ahead of next year’s anticipated Strategic Defence and Security Review.

The UKNDA is calling for the review, which decides the military’s priorities and capabilities, to be judged without the shackles of a predetermined budget.

Instead, it should consider what the armed forces needs and determine the method of finances afterwards.

READ THE REPORT: Click here to read the UK National Defence Association’s commentary in full

John Muxworthy, a retired naval commander and chief executive of the UKNDA, told The News: ‘This country is standing in danger because we do not have the servicemen, women, and equipment to cope with anything that might come up.

‘We are trying to get across the message that something will go very badly wrong and we are getting weaker and weaker.

‘The Russians are arming very fast now, as are the Chinese, and we are taking steps backwards.

‘Everyone is getting stronger and there is going to be trouble sooner or later and we just don’t know what it is going to be.

‘On top of that we have a lot of commitments and we haven’t got an awful lot to deal with them.’

As the Ministry of Defence is considering the armed forces review, the UKNDA issued its report titled Diminished Capabilities and Increased Responsibilities.

The report is co-authored by a panel of defence experts including Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon and Vice-Admiral Sir Jeremy Blackham.

They said in the report: ‘No government should spend more money on defence than is necessary.

‘However, the way to determine what it would be wise to spend cannot come from plucking a figure out of the air in order to demonstrate that the MoD is among those departments that have played their part in diminishing the government borrowing requirement.

‘Let SDSR 2015 be a genuine strategic review.

‘Let it do its work unconstrained by a predetermined figure for defence expenditure…

‘If Britain does not continue to bear its fair share of the cost of the western alliance and the protection it brings, our special relationship with the United States will wither and die – and our guarantee of security with it.’