Stuart Andrew was in Washington to discuss the UK-US defence relationship.

According to the MoD, the Minister met with the US Navy Under Secretary Thomas Modly and US Army Under Secretary Ryan McCarthy to discuss bilateral capability priorities and future areas of collaboration between the two armed forces.

Addressing the Heritage Foundation, Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said:

“Over the years, the deep UK-US alliance has endured through two World conflicts, the chill of the Cold War, and the continuing struggle against extremist terror. Today our forces work highly effectively together across the globe – on land and sea, in the air, space and cyberspace. We are stronger together.

Just as our Armed Forces’ capabilities are effectively inter-twined, so too are our industries. We are now moving even nearer the goal of full interoperability, leveraging the talent, strength and innovation of both our Defence industries to meet the challenges of the future.”

According to a news release:

“The most prominent of these is the F-35 fighter jet programme, with the aircraft now embarked for flight trials on HMS Queen Elizabeth as she sailed into New York just last month. Other recent examples of collaboration are the Unmanned Air Systems programme and a Common Missile Compartment for UK-US Ballistic Missile Submarines.

Both nations also play leading roles in Nato, which is vital to the transatlantic partnership and have been calling for other nations to invest more in security and to increase the readiness of their forces. By the end of 2018, eight members will be meeting the commitment of spending 2% of their GDP on defence compared with just three in 2014.

In further display of solidarity, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson recently announced that the Red Arrows are set to carry out their largest ever tour of North America in 2019 as the UK looks to strengthen ties and sign trade deals outside of Europe.”

23 COMMENTS

  1. Here’s hoping that the US continues to support our defence establishment in the face of our bizarre decision to back Iran against them.

    Certainly now Trump has secured his position with a more Republican dominated Senate, I would not be surprised if he demands a change in position from the UK given all of the support the US gives us.

      • As long as he also knows that the many thousands of noisy protesters in Whitehall ALSO do not represent the views of the majority of silent Britons either…

        It is apparently OK for the foreign ministers of numerous Muslim nations who all ban Jews from travelling to come to London. Yet the leader and most powerful man of the “free” world, for all his gaffes and faults, who is an anglophile and ACTUALLY WANTS to do a trade deal with us, benefiting us all, is not.

        Funny eh.

        • I would fully support a Ban on Trump (The Man), however it is not Trump that is invited it is the President of the United States (who currently happens to be a horrible moronic idiot). We should indeed be inviting the Leader of our biggest and closest ally over leaders from China and the middle east…

          • The “horrible moronic idiot”, within two years, has given the US the best economy in 50 years with unemployment at a 49 year low, GDP at a growth rate over 3%, revitalized US defenses, and has started to confront China, something both Bush and Obama failed to do over the last 16 years .
            On the other side of the pond, Theresa May is turning the UK into a EU colony.
            I’ll take the “horrible moronic idiot” who, by the way, is a billionaire. How much are you worth?

          • At least Trump looks after his country and people more than our lot do, he isn’t some politically correct wimp either, you have to respect that. And yes, the U.S.A. is our closest ally, and we theirs, I’m sure we could work something out that benefits both of our great countries.

          • @PKCasimir.

            I think you will likely find that the economy was already in the upward direction just before Trump came in. He has just not made it go into another nosedive yet. That will come if he continues his aggressive America First actions (many of which have not had time to either be enacted properly or have not had time to show an effect yet).

            Also being a billionaire if you are given the money is not a great achievement… In fact I came from having very little money to being fairly well off. I have probably improved my situation far more than Trump.

            This is also the idiot who managed to bankrupt his own casino before the casino market crashed! He then stole the money back of unwitting investors. (Or should I say had his lawyers steal the money back for him). He was effectively bankrupt but pushed his debt onto other people.

    • It depends on your view I suppose. I am not sure Trump is doing the right thing with Iran. I think the carrot and stick approach was a better way forward than removing the carrot and getting a bigger stick. Diplomacy about more than simply bullying.

      • We’ve had 30 years of carrot and twig with Iran, the Palestinians, N. Korea etc. and the world has become progressively more dangerous.

        Under the watch of previous presidents jobs have been exported in their millions to India and China, which harms the lower classes most, the poor and those least able to contend in society.

        Trump has come in – demanded fairer trade, forced the issue and has already secured better deals for his farmers, miners and manufacturers. Yes the pie might shrink but the slices the poor get are becoming thicker.

        Please feel free to focus on Trump’s many obvious flaws without subjecting Obama and the Clintons to the same scrutiny – we all have our biases. But please recognise that in 2 years he has attempted more and looks like he will achieve more geopolitically and for the poor than the last 3 presidents combined.

        Obama was big on words but not so in delivery. Bush took the US in to numerous wars of dubious need and legality and Clinton allowed all of this to germinate under his watch – better not to mention Lewinski (in the Oval office).

        Imagine what could have been achieved if the media and political establishment there hadn’t unconstitutionally acted at every opportunity to thwart the democratically elected president of the USA.

    • I think that would make sense. We won’t ever order enough to make it financially worth developing our own, so we may as well take our knowledge on say composite armour and join them with the bonus of getting lower unit cost, hugely reduced r&d, and work share for our industry. We also stand to get a far better end product.

  2. I am fully behind the “Special Relationship” with the USA, and for that matter all of the Anglosphere.

    But HMG simply have to stop cosying up with nice words and put the financial commitment in.

    That means NO MORE CUTS!

        • This was only after they did everything they could to get us to surrender the islands (as they did with Suez / NI, etc) and having failed that, and realising we were going to war with or without their support, they decided they had no choice but to support their strongest European ally and knowing if they didn’t it would have a huge pr coup for the ussr

          Let’s not pretend the sidewinders were given because of the special relationship, it was all about advancing US foreign policy and interests.

          All the talk of trump being an Anglophile is also not founded on a solid base. Europe required higher quality standards than the US which puts US suppliers at a disadvantage. Trump sees brexit as a way to pressure the UK to dropping these standards and as a way to export more US goods to the UK

          The special relationship is an odd one, as it doesn’t really appear to exist, but it’s always talked about. Yes we benefit from certain things like intel but only because they want ours, and other countries get more back from thier alliances. In the end, to me we are just close allies and get what that brings but so are a number of other counties with the US.

  3. DOD is also under pressure to reduce spending, so what is new? At the end of the day, future defence spending will depend on how the UK develops post-Brexit. I firmly believe the UK Government will come under increasing pressure to expand the operational envelope, as it expands international trade?

    • I respectfully disagree Gavin – future defence spending should depend on a government willing to recognise the threats confronting the country and willing to take the political flak to ensure sufficient funding is in place to deal with them. We have had governments – and have one now – that knows the threats but is in complete and utter denial about what funding is needed to properly defend the country against them. Until that changes, we will have more of the same disingenuous lip service we see today whilst the Armed Forces continue to be hollowed out…..

    • The threat has increased but defense spending has been on a downward trend for *decades*.
      The defense budget is a function of how much is left after spending on “social” needs is met.
      Apparently defense of a nation is not considered “social” by the elites.

  4. I love it when non Americans hate on Trump for standing up for America and telling European leaders that they must start to take over and pay for more of their own defense needs. Did you really think the American taxpayer would foot the majority of the bill for your defenses forever?

  5. The US are getting sick to the back teeth of filling our capability gaps. The nominal effort to cross train with the USMC of late to smooth ruffled feathers is just that, nominal. Trump is right, put up or we’re done with you. Whitehall is rightly flapping.

  6. The UKs best measure of commitment to the US-UK allience would be to raise our defence spending to 3% GDP. It would be good for the UK too to do a lot better at getting better value for money for the billions we do spend.

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