In a recent address in the House of Commons, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps MP highlighted the enhanced role and strength of NATO in response to Russian aggression.

Shapps praised the alliance’s growing capabilities and underscored the UK’s commitment to increasing defence spending and modernising its forces.

Shapps began his address with a reminder of the political victories that have enabled current defence policies, stating, “I think the right hon. Gentleman will now understand why I was so pleased to trounce the Liberal Democrats when it came to that election—to squeeze them out of government and ensure that we could get on with Trident as we always wanted to. I encourage his party to join us in that commitment, backed up with money—not just photo-opportunities in Barrow, but money to deliver the nuclear deterrent.”

The Defence Secretary then turned his focus to the geopolitical landscape shaped by Russia’s actions. “I now want to make some progress. I want to talk about Putin’s war, and the way in which it has underlined the vital role of conventional forces. From the Red sea to the skies over Iraq, our armed forces are already doing incredible work globally in protecting and advancing our interests every day.” He also highlighted the UK’s significant contribution to NATO exercises, particularly mentioning the ongoing Exercise Steadfast Defender.

In terms of investment in military capabilities, Shapps said: “We are investing £8.6 billion in Army equipment during this decade to make our ground forces more integrated, agile and lethal. That includes the new Boxer and the long-awaited Ajax armoured fighting vehicles, as well as the new Challenger 3 tanks, of which I saw the second prototype come off the production line in Telford just last month—the first British-made tank for 22 years.”

Shapps also reinforced the UK’s commitment to NATO, acknowledging the alliance’s strengthening in the face of Russian aggression. “Our United Kingdom is at its strongest when we stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies, and therefore our commitment to NATO will only ever increase. That is why it is so important that we have been prepared to set out how to get to 2.5%. At the 2014 NATO summit at Newport in Wales, we set a target of 2% to be reached by this year; we are now extending that to 2.5%, and we invite other countries to join us.”

Highlighting NATO’s quantitative superiority over Russia, Shapps added, “NATO has become stronger because of Putin’s actions in Ukraine. It has added members: two new members have joined us, and we therefore outgun Putin on every single metric. We have three times as many submarines and fighter jets, four times as many tanks, helicopters and artillery pieces, four and a half times as many warships, six times as many armed vehicles, eight times as many transport carriers and 16 times as many aircraft carriers.”

In closing, Shapps touched on the innovations necessitated by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, promising increased investment in high-tech innovations and research.

“The fourth lesson of Putin’s war is that the battle in Ukraine has needed ever more innovation—new tech, new drones. As we ramp up our defence spending to 2.5%, we will put high-tech innovation right at the heart of our plans. I recently visited the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, and we agreed to ringfence 5% of the defence budget for research and development over the next year, and to improve our strategic defence research.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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John (@guest_816777)
20 days ago

Shapps speaks with forked tongue….then he is a politician 🙄

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts (@guest_816792)
20 days ago

“NATO Stronger” Well, we have Sweden and Finland now …..otherwise all it has done so far is wake up the politicians, there is still a long way to go in rebuilding our armed forces and supporting military industries.

Steve (@guest_816924)
19 days ago

As the UK defense minister, could he answer how the UKs position in relative and absolute terms compares since the war started.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_816913)
19 days ago

Always get the feeling our politician’s lay back because they think other NATO members can take up the slack, specially now Finland and Sweden are members this take a little more strain away. The words protect the Realm ? HMG need unstand that’s for them to do. 🙄

DMJ (@guest_816980)
19 days ago

Cynics abound here today, but I am very pleased to hear a politician talk in these terms.
Of course we don’t believe his every word, but the essence is important.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake (@guest_816984)
19 days ago

May be Putin will wait till 2035 to attack the rest of Europe so we have time to put right what our political elite have f–ked up over the last 30 years.

Frank62 (@guest_817053)
19 days ago

Putin is “rich”. He says he’ll let no coutry threaten Russia while threatening anyone who opposes him, including nukes. In hope NATO is stronger, but UK contribution can only be weaker than ever after successive cuts leaving us with a military too small even for the most benign peace.

Lonpfrb (@guest_817125)
19 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

The Peace Dividend delusion has enabled the politicians to pivot from Defence, the first responsibility of the nation state, towards social provision in the expectation that they will be re-elected by a grateful population. So the required pivot back to Defence looks like not being re-elected to the politicians and none are brave enough to do the right thing rather than the easy one. The FSB has delighted in kompromat operations to undermine democracy and compromise useful idiots #45, MAGA, to support an isolationist agenda. Their funding of nationalists seems at odds with the Great Patriotic War victory over Nazis,… Read more »