A recent report from Chatham House highlights that the next UK government will face significant challenges in security and foreign policy, particularly in the areas of procurement, security cooperation, and international development.

According to Olivia O’Sullivan, Director of the UK in the World Programme at Chatham House, despite the pressing security threats, the manifestos from major political parties offer limited and cautious goals.

The report discusses that the UK’s difficult security situation, shaped by the war in Europe, the potential return of Donald Trump to the US presidency, and the rise of authoritarian powers, requires urgent attention.

It states, “To confront Russia and play a leading role in NATO, the UK may need to consider moving closer to states like Poland who spend over 3 per cent on defence.”

The report also points out the fiscal constraints the UK faces, making it challenging to balance debt reduction with increased spending on defence and foreign affairs. O’Sullivan notes, “Unless the next government raises taxes or makes cuts somewhere, it will be hard to get the UK’s debt-to-GDP ratio falling while meeting existing plans for public spending – let alone find additional resources for defence and foreign affairs.”

On defence, the report mentions that all three major parties propose to maintain the UK’s nuclear weapons system, spend 2.5 percent of GDP on defence, meet NATO commitments, and continue supporting Ukraine. However, it argues that “2.5 percent of GDP is likely to only fill existing gaps for the current Defence Equipment Plan.”

The report suggests that a future government must make hard choices and reduce the range of military capabilities and programmes. It adds, “Recruitment and retention too, is not just about funding, but also making the armed forces an attractive career prospect.”

Finally, the report underscores the need for a new government to build on recent procurement reforms and to acknowledge the changing nature of defence, with a focus on unmanned weapons and off-the-shelf technologies.

It concludes that a coherent approach to defence spending, defining the UK’s role in European security, and rebuilding international development partnerships should be top priorities for any future government.

You can read the article here.

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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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DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan (@guest_829723)
16 days ago

Why in the world would the potential return of Donald Trump to the US Presidency have a major influence on the UK’s security and foreign policy? Is it because the UK needs to have Donald Trump as a “bogeyman” to frighten itself into rebuilding its Armed Forces and doing what it should be doing in its own self-interest? Who lives in whose brain?

grizzler
grizzler (@guest_829732)
16 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

I would suggest the potential return of Donald Trump to the US Presidency will have a major influence on ALL Western Powers Security & Foreign policies.
It would be naive – even foolish- for any sensible government to think otherwise.

Zac
Zac (@guest_829847)
15 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

The same ‘sensible’ governments that weakened NATO to the point where Putin felt confident enough to start a full scale invasion of Ukraine years ago and NATO is STILL unable to provide something as basic as artillery shells in sufficient number to be effective. I’d hate to see what your idea of pragmatic would be. Putin would be half-way through Romania by now.

grizzler
grizzler (@guest_829874)
15 days ago
Reply to  Zac

Two different points but hey if you think thats an answer to my post then carry on.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_829738)
16 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Because DT plays to his audience. The ‘Let’s stay out of European wars’ routine has been played by him and some of his predesessors a few times and it normally ends up in world wars costing Europe & Amercia a great deal in treasure and lives in the long run.

America might think it can stay out of such wars but the Putins & Hitlers of this world want world domination they will never settle for anything less.

Jim
Jim (@guest_829750)
16 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Because Donald trump has stated that he will pull out of NATO, I don’t understand why you woukd have an issue with that statement given how much the UK relies and invests in NATO.

Jack
Jack (@guest_829778)
16 days ago
Reply to  Jim

IF European countries didn’t shoulder their fair share of the burden.

Jim
Jim (@guest_829781)
16 days ago
Reply to  Jack

No he said if they didn’t pay their bill, guys a f**king Moron, NATO doesn’t have a bill.

Expat
Expat (@guest_829799)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Being in NATO means US gets to sell lots of equipment to European countries. Trump is many things but he’s unlikely to want to kill that golden goose.

Dern
Dern (@guest_829869)
15 days ago
Reply to  Expat

I think he would for his ego, the main hope is that Congress outright wouldn’t let him.

Expat
Expat (@guest_829946)
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Trump essentially said he would axe the F35 program then bragged how he’d got a better deal from Lockheed. It’s all positioning he’ll come out later saying he’s improved NATO to benefit the US

Dern
Dern (@guest_830137)
14 days ago
Reply to  Expat

“He’s a blowhard with a massive ego that bragged about shit he didn’t achieve, after wiser heads prevented him doing too much damage.” In order words

Expat
Expat (@guest_830317)
14 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Yep but I find it odd people call him a liar and unreliable. Then, when he says something like he’ll quit NATO he suddenly trust worthy. Some people seem a little confused. I just think he’s not to be trusted so his NATO comment’s need to viewed the same way as anything else he says.

Dern
Dern (@guest_830368)
13 days ago
Reply to  Expat

I mean he’s objectively an unreliable liar, and him saying he’ll quit NATO is lying because he doesn’t have the ability to do it. However the fact he’s Anti-NATO is something that needs to be considered and planned for.

Nick Cole
Nick Cole (@guest_830555)
13 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Nothing to do with ttrust! Regardless, if he issues that as a threat, it alone is real and needs to be reacted to or at least considered. Europe needs to be more self-sufficient defence ways than it is at present. It relies on US back office support , and if WWIII does indeed happen then they will be preoccupied with the N Pacific.

Expat
Expat (@guest_831090)
11 days ago
Reply to  Nick Cole

So you trust Trumps threat is real, you know he’s not lying to get votes?

The way to stop war in the Pacific is to enhance NATO China will not what to face the combined NATO forces.

And as for Europe people like Le Penns National Socialist movement are a bigger threat than Trump

Nick Cole
Nick Cole (@guest_831128)
11 days ago
Reply to  Expat

He probably is just saying that for votes, but what if (as a very old and blinkered man whom the term cognitive dissonance was written around) he carries out that threat? It is probably unlikely but we cannot be fooled into thinking we can just sit back, Either way we still have to boost our defence and rapidly.

I agree it is unlikely as if he turns to isolationism the US will lose, and similarly for China, we the ‘west’ are their biggest customers!

Meirion X
Meirion X (@guest_829916)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

He thinks NATO is like a golf club membership, owned by the USA! With membership dues annually!

Last edited 15 days ago by Meirion X
ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_829784)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim I think he sort of modified things in his 1st Term, when it dawned on him that the US without any Allies is a very lonely place when your facing off against China. The only thing I have agreed with him about is when he pretty well told the NATO countries to stop leeching of the US and meet their commitments. It pretty well worked and got turbo charged in 2022, he has been a bit more blunt about the last hold outs which include founding members of NATO. Belgium, Luxemburg, Portugal, Italy and Canada (G10 and very rich)… Read more »

Dern
Dern (@guest_829870)
15 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

“Pay up or your not getting any help from us, countries that would only ever go to war in support of another NATO country that is being invaded.” I don’t think those countries are nervous at all, if they where they’d be spending more, they’re all very secure and far from threats and what’s Trump going to do? Not help Poland when they get invaded because Portugal isn’t paying it’s “fair share” (no such thing). Just a reminder there’s only one country that’s called on NATO for help, and it’s the United States, pretty shitty of it’s former president to… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_829817)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

The president alone cannot just decide to leave NATO. UK/US defence ties go much deeper than the current residents of the White House and 10 Downing Street.

Jim
Jim (@guest_829924)
15 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

The President can do exactly that, all he has to do is issue a statement saying he will not honour article 5 and its game over. Congress can’t stop him doing that.

He can also unilaterally end the UK/USA and AUKUS Treaties if he wants.

We can do exactly the same.

Last edited 15 days ago by Jim
Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_829968)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

NATO’s Article 5 does not say that if a NATO country or countries is invaded (‘the Party or Parties’) then each member deploys every shred of military might against the aggressor in armed conflict. It says that ‘each member will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force’ If Trump chose to send a strongly worded note of protest, recall the US Ambassador, aim a carrier or two in the general direction of the Threat nation and impose… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_830370)
13 days ago
Reply to  Jim

If he ended UKUSA, he’s shooting his own side in the foot more than the Muppet realises. NSA GCHQ are hand in glove.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_829966)
15 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

True. He would need Congressional approval to take the US out of NATO membership – its the law now.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_830062)
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Cheers Graham 👍

Zac
Zac (@guest_829849)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

IF they didn’t start meeting 2% defence budget guide for membership. If you’re going to reference Trump, do it correctly.

Europe needs to get its act together on defence instead of depending on the USA. There’s no reason why we couldn’t match or even exceed the military capabilities of the USA. Our collective economy is larger, we have hundreds of millions higher population and we have technology that meets or exceeds Americas.

Dern
Dern (@guest_829871)
15 days ago
Reply to  Zac

The issue is the US does not actually want the EU to gets its act together. Lets be real here, if the EU unified it’s chains of command and created a single European Armed Force, it would instantly have the 3rd largest budget in the world (after the US and China), and the 2nd largest ground army in the world. If the US really wanted Europe to pull it’s weight they’d be pushing for integration and the removal of duplicate structures. They don’t want that because that means a competing MIC that has the scale and clout do damage US… Read more »

Jim
Jim (@guest_829926)
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Yes the US has long looked to NATO integration but only if the integration is US reliant. By law the USA refuses to accept even a single weapon manufactured in another NATO country. It has always been a double standard with the US and the last thing the US wants is an independent Europe.

The Donald does not know any of that as he can’t read and doesn’t care enough even if he could.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_829971)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

NATO integration? What’s that? Do you mean political and economic integration of NATO’s European members? …or for European nations to be directed to only ‘buy American kit’?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_829943)
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

With Germany in particular increasing its defence budget and up arming and being a central player with the SkyShield I think they’ll want to take charge of “Europe” and make it stronger and probably stir up old continental rivalries in the process. Hope the UK can still stay strong and back itself.

Last edited 15 days ago by Quentin D63
Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_829974)
15 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

No one country is ‘in charge of Europe’ or aspires to be. The French and Germans dominate the EU, but that’s it.

Dern
Dern (@guest_830096)
15 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I doubt Germany wants to take charge of Europe, they’ve been pretty consistent that they want to follow not lead. The issue is that economically Germany is Europe’s powerhouse, and wherever they lurch the rest kind of has to follow. If anything we’d be better off if the German Government and People decided to actually lead the Union,

Callum
Callum (@guest_830001)
15 days ago
Reply to  Zac

Europe needs to get its act together on defence instead of depending on the USA. There’s no reason why we couldn’t match or even exceed the military capabilities of the USA Except that Europe is a continent and geographical area, not a single entity. The US, for all its flaws and division, is still one nation with a shared identity. Additionally, on a cultural level militarism is far more popular in the US, with military service widely seen as honourable and publicly celebrated. Europe isn’t like that. For as far back as history goes, Europe has never had a single… Read more »

Dern
Dern (@guest_830097)
15 days ago
Reply to  Callum

We’re unlikely to match the US’s defence capabilities. We’d get close, but even united economically we’re a tad weaker than them. Current European defence expenditure is about 200billion, it could possibly rise as high as 400 billion, but that’s still only about half of the US’s defence spending.

Meirion X
Meirion X (@guest_829914)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Trump can’t just now pull out of NATO, unless he can get that new law, passed by both sides, overturned by Congress.

Last edited 15 days ago by Meirion X
Jim
Jim (@guest_829928)
15 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Unfortunately not, he can issue a statement saying he won’t honour article 5 and he can order all military participation ended as he is the commander and chief.

The law congress passed might stop him leaving the political structure but probably not once it gets to the Supreme Court.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_829975)
15 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

He could pull out of NATO’s integrated military command structure though, as France did for many decades.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_829965)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Trump could not pull out of membership of NATO without Congressional approval, but he could withdraw from NATO’s integrated military command struture (as the French did for many decades).

elyh
elyh (@guest_829752)
16 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Dude have you been living under a rock? Trump doesn’t believe in NATO.

Last edited 16 days ago by elyh
Jack
Jack (@guest_829779)
16 days ago
Reply to  elyh

Yes he does but a NATO where ALL members pull their weight rather than free load off the US.

Jim
Jim (@guest_829782)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jack

I’ll put that with the wall Mexico is going to pay for 😀

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_829812)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim
Carrickter
Carrickter (@guest_829825)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

You do realise that after ridiculing the wall, the democrats eventually decided to proceed to extend the wall. And kept all of Trumps tariffs which more than paid for it? In fact Biden recently extended some of the tariffs, including the 15% one on solar panels from China.

Jim
Jim (@guest_829930)
15 days ago
Reply to  Carrickter

You might be a bit thick so let me help you with this, China and Mexico don’t pay tariffs. It’s the people in America that pay the tariffs.

The number one benefit of international trade is the ability to import cheaply goods you can’t make at home.

Paul Hamilton
Paul Hamilton (@guest_829980)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Calling someone thick isn’t a great way to convince them you are correct. They are import tarriffs, so the companies importing them pay them, reducing their profit margins. Companies that have set-up manufacturing facilities in foreign countries instead of basing themselves in the US, and paying salaries, income taxes and corporation tax there. The tarriffs discourage this behaviour because it makes the practice uneconomical. Therefore you have increased salary and tax flow in the US, instead of foreign countries. Hope that helps.

Christopher
Christopher (@guest_830672)
12 days ago
Reply to  Paul Hamilton

Well said Paul!

Expat
Expat (@guest_829805)
15 days ago
Reply to  elyh

Why would trump pull out NATO membership means NATO standards for kit and US dominates the sale of this to Europe. He’ll have the US arms suppliers lobbying him like no tomorrow to get more sales not scupper it. Trump says a lit if things like he was going to can the F35 but then boasted about how he’d got a better deal. So he pretty much says one thing and does another then plays the hero card.

Carrickter
Carrickter (@guest_829827)
15 days ago
Reply to  Expat

European countries don’t buy US kit because of NATO, they buy it because it’s good and has economies of scale.

grizzler
grizzler (@guest_829829)
15 days ago
Reply to  Carrickter

errrr Surely it has economies of scale BECAUSE they buy it?

Paul Hamilton
Paul Hamilton (@guest_829912)
15 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

Not really. Take F-35 for example. US alone is ordering about 2,400; other NATO countries have around 600 planned. International customers such as Japan and South Korea add a few hundred on again.

It’s a step ahead of anything that Europe can deliver, is compatible with other affordable weapon systems and equipment, and is around the same price or cheaper than the alternatives.

Expat
Expat (@guest_829933)
15 days ago
Reply to  Carrickter

But US leaving NATO would see them departing NATO standards. Please tell me you know there’s NATO standards like part coding? It would make it much harder to integrate.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_829977)
15 days ago
Reply to  Expat

AFAIK, everything in the military inventory has a NATO stock number (NSN) and has done for as long as I can remember.

Paul Hamilton
Paul Hamilton (@guest_829979)
15 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Yes, well aware, thank you. Many countries use NATO standards despite not being members; primarily because it makes life easier for their military to be compatible and interoperable with others (mainly the US).

I’m not really sure what you’re trying to argue here. That Europe would suddenly depart common standards with their biggest supplier, and most of their other non-NATO allies, which would be massively expensive and completely illogical?

Expat
Expat (@guest_830110)
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul Hamilton

Europe wouldn’t it would still have a set of commons standards but US leaving NATO would ni longer be an allie unless you’re saying Trump would leave NATO but still come rushing to our defence , that’s illogical I’m not arguing about NATO standard just misconception that Trump would leave, leaving would allow the largest military on the planet able to set its own standards knowing that it would not be forced to fight with or depend on Europe. But the biggest drive to stay in NATO will be the defence lobby which Trump will be very aware of and… Read more »

Jim
Jim (@guest_829931)
15 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Why would trump steal a bunch of classified documents and keep them in his basement then get caught and potentially be looking at years in jail.

The guys is bat shit crazy who knows

D.Roberts
D.Roberts (@guest_829967)
15 days ago
Reply to  Expat

That’s exactly what he does. He works the stock market the same way.

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus (@guest_829819)
15 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Perhaps because Trump is a fawning fan boy of Putin and other authoritarian dictators. He is in thrall to Putin and will be more than willing to sell out Ukraine and Europe by forcing Ukraine to accept Russia’s “peace” terms, thereby appeasing a ruthless dictator ( how’s that worked out in the past?), and destabilising Western security. Some of us remember when American Republican leaders were patriots who weren’t afraid to stand up for democracy and allies and weren’t under the thumb of Moscow gangsters.

Dern
Dern (@guest_829872)
15 days ago

^ This.
Trump was buddy buddy with Putin, and remember how he tried to Black mail Zelensky?

He wants to be the US’s Putin, so he’s always going to be friendly with the “great guy he admires”

Netking
Netking (@guest_830049)
15 days ago

Excellent post. Thank you.

Zac
Zac (@guest_829845)
15 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Because Trump will require them to make effective decisions and make meaningful investments in capabilities instead of shunting endless money into shareholder’s pockets.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_829887)
15 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

I am afraid from a European viewpoint Donald Trump is considered a real security concern.You get worries when your key ally looks like it may be led by an individual who has been an apologist for your key geopolitical enemy and risk as well as essentially stating he would removed support from an ongoing war..simply put if Donald Trump pull’s support from Ukraine and forces what would essentially be the surrender of a European democracy against a dictator..you will see a profound shift in world geopolitics that would be very bad indeed for the western world.. you would essentially see… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by Jonathan
Dern
Dern (@guest_830181)
14 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Worth noting that NATO without the US is not toothless. It’s still far more capable both in terms of military might and economy than Ukraine is, and still has Nuclear Arsenal capable of flattening most of Russia. Obviously it would be much harder, and Britain, France and Germany would really have to step up as leaders, that’s the true risk of the US leaving, without them as a leader NATO might dissolve into squabbling if the big three can’t get their acts together. (This also means that a Farage-Trump axis of weevils would be disasterous, as Farage will do anything… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_830218)
14 days ago
Reply to  Dern

No indeed not, but it would probably mean a complete strategic shift..if the Europe was facing Putin alone as well as an unreliable ally in the midddle east..then I suspect you would see European nato effectively disappear from any pivot to the pacific…which would leave china to not worry about Europe.

Dern
Dern (@guest_830237)
14 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Tbf I think a ENATO contribution to a war in the SCS was always going to be minimal anyway. Maybe a CSC or two tops, CDG and one of the QE’s potentially. Cavour with a CSC at a REAL push.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_830290)
14 days ago
Reply to  Dern

indeed but, any war between the US and china is not going to end in the china seas..you would see the US and china very much engaging in the Indian oceans and the east and western Indian occean choke points…this is were the US will really need ENATO navies…if the USN has to punch through the PLANs green water navy in the china seas ( which is a huge attritional force) as well as engage chinas blue water navy..it’s going to struggle without Europe.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_829964)
15 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

You cannot ignore what an American President does in terms of foreign policy and military alliances. If Trump were elected and chooses to take the US out of NATO’s integrated military command structure, we Europeans would have to spend far more on Defence capability in our continent – it is debatable if even 3% of GDP would be enough.

If the US became more isolationist then we (UK) may have to show military leadership and a stronger naval/military capability outside of Europe – in the Middle East, the South China Sea…even the Pacific??

Paul Hamilton
Paul Hamilton (@guest_829983)
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I doubt Trump would follow through with pulling out of NATO, but even if he did he would likely substitute it with bilateral defence pacts with countries that are actually pulling their weight.

Why should the US (and UK for that matter) continue to subsidise the security of others, when they could be spending that money actually alleviating poverty and saving lives at home? How many Americans and Brits have already suffered or even died as a result of this unfairness over the past few decades.

Dern
Dern (@guest_830182)
14 days ago
Reply to  Paul Hamilton

None? The only country that has ever invoked Article V is the US, so anything that was provided by NATO was NATO soldiers dying for the US. And also that “subsidising the security of others” point is vapid to the point of idiocy. Look; the countries that aren’t “paying their way” (again, no such thing) aren’t the countries that are at risk of invasion. German security is not underwritten by US and British Soldiers manning their borders (it’s not 1976 anymore). German security is underwritten by being surrounded by friendly states that have no cause to go to war with… Read more »

Lonpfrb
Lonpfrb (@guest_830185)
14 days ago
Reply to  Paul Hamilton

Another #45 term means that the CCP can do whatever they want as NATO will be busy Supporting Ukraine without the USA. . The only NATO member to invoke Article 5 was the USA (9/11) when everyone responded. So clearly NATO membership is the USA national interest. Congress passed a law to prevent an Executive Order to exit NATO. . NATO says the 2010 spending agreement is on track so his alleged delinquency by Europe is just to trigger his supporters. Lies. . So it’s in the national interest of the free world and Ukraine that convicted fraudster and rapist… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_830384)
13 days ago
Reply to  Paul Hamilton

I also doubt Trump would end US membership of NATO as he would have to get that agreed by Congress, but he might choose to take the US out of NATO’s integrated military command structure. I agree that he might construct those bilateral defence pacts, albeit it would be a rather fussy and messy thing to do. I agree that it seems unfair that we spend the 2% but many others don’t; particularly galling was wealthy Germany spending little more than 1% of GDP for so many years. It is hard to think of NATO operations whereby the UK lost… Read more »

Last edited 13 days ago by Graham Moore
Dern
Dern (@guest_830523)
13 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Reminder that the Bundeswehr has 214,000 soldiers, while the British Armed Forces have 174,000. Maths not my strong suit but by my working Germany has 411 soldiers per million people, while the UK has 385 soldiers per million people.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_830622)
13 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Hi Dern, just checked the official Bundeswehr website. Stats as at 30 Apr 24 – For all three services (plus medics, plus cyber, plus HR etc etc)….180,517 uniformed personnel + 80,713 civilian support staff.

I was only focussing on the army in my post – Das Heer is 61,165 military (plus 2,445 civvies), for a pop of 83.25m. 730 soldiers per million.

We have 75,320 regs including those doing Ph1 trg for a population of 67.96m. 1,108 soldiers per million.

Dern
Dern (@guest_830712)
12 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Mate your numbers are wrong. For staters I’m counting Regulars and Reservers for both armed forces, if you don’t want to count reserves for the Bundeswehr then you can’t count our reserves, in both cases that means subtracting roughly 30,000 troops. So instead of 214,000 to 174,000 it becomes 180,000 to 140,000. Pretty much the same difference. There’s a reason I took the total armed forces number to compare btw. And that’s because das Heer and the British Army are not Apples to Apples comparisons, because the British Army includes a few things that das Heer doesn’t. See in the… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_830742)
12 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Thanks Dern. Great info. Shows it is necessary to ‘drill down’ as you have done. Thanks for taking the effort to do this. I am much better informed.

Dern
Dern (@guest_830796)
12 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

In fairness I did just about zero digging to find this out. My ex used to be a CMT in the Bundeswehr, so just memory, no effort.

Colin Brooks
Colin Brooks (@guest_829724)
16 days ago

We do NOT need to cut any spending plans elsewhere to do this, we simply need to exploit our natural resources of coal and shale (gas and oil) which is what the USA does.

JJ Smallpiece
JJ Smallpiece (@guest_829731)
16 days ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

The pits closed years ago. Coal fired power stations have all closed. What else uses coal……

grizzler
grizzler (@guest_829733)
16 days ago
Reply to  JJ Smallpiece

Steel works?…oh hang on they are going as well…

Knight7572
Knight7572 (@guest_829808)
15 days ago
Reply to  JJ Smallpiece

i would also point out that the coal power stations we have are at the end of their lives

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_829739)
16 days ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

We now have new natural resources Colin. Solar, Wind & Nuclear etc. works quite well. You should try it …. oh you already are.

Jim
Jim (@guest_829751)
16 days ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

I’m guessing you don’t live in Blackpool 😀

Colin Brooks
Colin Brooks (@guest_829759)
16 days ago
Reply to  Jim

I seem to be able to draw the worms out of their holes.
Jim suggests that if I lived in Blackpool I would have a different view Mark B thinks that wind and solar are an adequate substitute for fossil fuels.
More people with names like Wang and Wong, oh dear.

Jim
Jim (@guest_829783)
15 days ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

Is that some form of racist comment bout Wang and Wong?

Colin Brooks
Colin Brooks (@guest_829786)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Not racist, a suggestion that you do not owe loyalty to the UK

Jim
Jim (@guest_829813)
15 days ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

Well Colin if you had been on here for the last few years you would know I do.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_829822)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Steady on. I’ve been here, what, 5, 6 years, and I’m FSB, apparently.
Means nothing mate.

Jim
Jim (@guest_829851)
15 days ago

😀

Colin Brooks
Colin Brooks (@guest_829834)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

I have been reading the Journal for many years but not posting comments all that time (or reading them).

Jim
Jim (@guest_829852)
15 days ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

How convenient

Dern
Dern (@guest_829873)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

For many years appears to be less than 1.XD

Colin Brooks
Colin Brooks (@guest_829985)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

I disagree ‘Jim’ not reeding comments kept me unaware of you and your trash. WIN WIN for me.

pete
pete (@guest_829823)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Does 3092 coal power stations in China count, ironic that their coastal cities are in danger of sea level rise due to burning fossil fuels . Many are sinking due to excess water extraction as well !

Jim
Jim (@guest_829854)
15 days ago
Reply to  pete

No it doesn’t count, they get their coal from Australia. Our coal is so expensive to extract that we import from Brazil.

Wind is much cheaper and we don’t have to import it,

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_830604)
13 days ago
Reply to  Jim

A labour govt will put tariffs on imported wind, you just watch!

pete
pete (@guest_829828)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Lot of homeless in the North shore area !

JJ Smallpiece
JJ Smallpiece (@guest_829725)
16 days ago

The real problem is that the UK suffers from a serious lack of political willpower to fund and equip UK Forces properly

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_829744)
16 days ago
Reply to  JJ Smallpiece

Not really. The cold war ended and peace broke out. All the major military powers slashed their budgets over a period …. now the peace is over and we need to ramp things up again. The Tories are beginning to respond however Labour have over promised with health, Schools etc. and will conseqently either have to put the security of the nation at risk or brake their promises. I think Putin will force their hand ….

PaulW
PaulW (@guest_829754)
16 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

I think the truth of the matter is that the Cold War ended and uncertainty broke out. The known enemy scattered around the globe and we didn’t know which way to look. Our lords and masters had themselves are endless party at the expense of national security. The result is where we are now – in quite a bit of 💩.

grizzler
grizzler (@guest_829831)
15 days ago
Reply to  PaulW

I think in reality the Cold War never really ended…we just thought it did…

Lonpfrb
Lonpfrb (@guest_830188)
14 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

The Peace Dividend delusion has allowed politicians to safeguard their electoral prospects by shifting Defence spending to social provision and even war in Europe hasn’t enabled them to pivot back to Defence spending.

Talk of National Service and a prewar state has been a nudge to remind voters what is at stake and that the first responsibility of the nation state is for Defence.

Obviously the 80th anniversary of Operation Overlord with appearances of Presidents and Prime Ministers is another reminder of the heavy price of freedom in Europe

Andy P
Andy P (@guest_829809)
15 days ago
Reply to  JJ Smallpiece

I think its more a case of too many fingers in the decision making pies when its not ‘your’ money that’s on the line, just your ego. I have no problem with the UK wanting a few high end ‘bells and whistles’ projects but as we’ve learned, you can’t do it with everything, especially when you constantly change the specs and get charged accordingly by the private defence companies who’s job it is to make money. We’ve had a recent reminder that you only need to be good enough to beat ‘them’ (whoever your ‘them’ is) rather than be the… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_829978)
15 days ago
Reply to  JJ Smallpiece

That is the key problem. It comes down to Defence not being a vote-winner.

Jim
Jim (@guest_829727)
16 days ago

They say we need to spend more than 2.5% of GDP on defence but give no reason why? Would the UK spending 3% of GDP on defence detter Russian any more? NATO spends $1.2 trillion on defence so what difference does an extra $10 billion in defence spending from the UK matter. It’s low resolution thinking like this from apparent “professional” that means we don’t get an increase in defence spending. We could I spend 3% on defence and I can guarantee the same experts would come out and say we need to spend 3.5% of GDP on defence. The… Read more »

grizzler
grizzler (@guest_829735)
16 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Not this again – using your arguement whats he point in spending 2.5% rather than 2% , or maybe even 1.5%.
This just doesn’t stand up toguement any rationale logical thought.

Jim
Jim (@guest_829753)
16 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

The argument is very clear, we spend above 2% because that’s our commitment to NATO. NATO is the bedrock of world security, 3% has no foundation anywhere. What’s the benefit to the UK. It’s not like anyone is threatening us directly with conventional forces.

grizzler
grizzler (@guest_829832)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

So all we ever need to spend is 2% – it doesn’t matter what is happening geo-politically anywhere in the work as 2% will cure all
if you can’t see how that argument is quite simple ridiculous then – carry on.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_829995)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim, you are being rather insular. The issue is not whether anyone is directly threatening the UK homeland but if anyone is actually or potentially threatening any part of NATO territory in the Euro-Atlantic region.
Given that it can take 10 years to bring in new major platforms, we also need to be crystal-ball glazing about how threats might develop in future. It would be too late to rearm when the enemy rolls over the frontier into NATO territory.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_829747)
16 days ago
Reply to  Jim

You get to a point Jim where you just need kit etc. and need to spend whatever it takes.

Jim
Jim (@guest_829755)
16 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

What’s this kit for exactly? We are currently spending £288 billion on kit over the next ten years, is that not enough to defend the UK against Russia?

How’s Russia getting here?

Last edited 16 days ago by Jim
Fen TIger
Fen TIger (@guest_829814)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

By “air”.

Jim
Jim (@guest_829855)
15 days ago
Reply to  Fen TIger

The Russian Airforce can’t get to Kiev,

Fen Tiger
Fen Tiger (@guest_829860)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

No, but their missiles can.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_829884)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim the majority of the people who comment on this site seem to be suggesting more is always better. I am tempted to agree. More ships, planes, missiles, drones and that is just for starters. That said it should be proportionate and affordable.

Russia could get here using commercial shipping or aircraft if they didn’t want to use the military ones. I know the Ukraine conflict has put them under pressure but they are not incapable.

D.Roberts
D.Roberts (@guest_829973)
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

They are already here, the hacked hospital is just one of many examples of ongoing russian operations.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_830002)
15 days ago
Reply to  D.Roberts

Ironically if the NHS fixed & modernised their software that would probably improve the NHS for everyone. They are probably doing us a favour long term.

Last edited 15 days ago by Mark B
Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_829997)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

You mean how is Russia going to get to NATO’s Baltic states?

UK’s forces do not just defend the UK – tha has been the case since the creation of NATO in 1949.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_829762)
16 days ago
Reply to  Jim

It’s a very narrow focused report on U.K as a standalone issue, and primarily in the European and NATO area, It’s just a report from Chatham House and there are lots of them about all sorts of subjects. Another recent one argued that U.K. should concentrate more on South East Asian partners as it’s an area with strong economic growth.

Think Tanks reports are a bit like Tic Tacs, not the best sweetie, various flavours and rapidly forgotten.

Trying to ween towards a more literary style of writing.🤔

Jim
Jim (@guest_829785)
15 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Just not alot of think in the tank, as I said lots of people who are suppose to know better call for 3% likes it’s a panacea. They don’t talk about effect. Do we need an armoured division in Eastern Europe? If so we must spend 3% of GDP to achieve that. do we need a SSN fleet in the pacific, if so then we need to spend 3% Do we need a strategic bombing capability, if so we need to spend 3% Saying we need to spend 3% of GDP on defence because Russia = Bad is not an… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_829824)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Also depends what is in that 2.5% after the Tories creative accounting.
If Labour are serious about growing the economy then that goes further.

Jim
Jim (@guest_829856)
15 days ago

I’m happy enough with 2.5% excluding foreign military. I do think pensions and nuclear weapons should all be included in the 2.5%

This is pretty much what labour came up with in 98 SDR which seems pretty sensible.

However I think we should make the 2.5% pledge in conjunction with increasing spending pledge to 2.5%.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_829862)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Well Labour committing to it would be nice. But they’re not.

Jim
Jim (@guest_829984)
15 days ago

Yes but in fairness they are not committing to anything. The Tory’s know they are not going to be in power in 2030, easy to promise when you know you don’t have to deliver.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_829987)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim, that’s the problem why so many like me don’t trust them.
Conventional Defence needs more money. Commit!!!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_830016)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim, I am glad you are now talking about effect rather than just £’s spent. Do we need an effective, well equipped and fully manned armoured division that is prepared to deploy to eastern Europe (or elsewhere) and conduct warfighting? Yes, of course, as that is where the Threat is highest. One such division represents a bare minimum scale of effort (we had three or four armoured divisions in the latter half of the Cold War). We also justify an Air Assault brigade, Attack Helicopter force, more enablers etc. I doubt we have a fleet of SSNs in the Pacific… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_829771)
16 days ago

We just need to get on with what we’re doing .. In the ned the decision is simple but it seems it is beyond the scope of the average politician. Cut committments or spend the money we need to maintain the correct force levels.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_829821)
15 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

I think if most of us had the nations balance sheet in our hands, we would realise how difficult a job it really is.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_829859)
15 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Difficulties are there to be overcome, otherwise none of us would achieve anything. 🙂

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_829864)
15 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Agreed.
However. Putting Ukraine aid, capital costs of Dreadnaught, and pensions in it gives a false impression.

Jon
Jon (@guest_829885)
15 days ago

Exactly the problem. We need a metric that measures the amount going into UK conventional defence capability and start by getting that back up to 2% of GDP. Only then can we stop and reverse the rot. As long at that number keeps dropping, we’ll continue to lose ships and planes and tanks and people.

Jon
Jon (@guest_829886)
15 days ago

Exactly the problem. We need a metric that measures the amount going into UK conventional defence capability and start by getting that back up to 2% of GDP. Only then can we stop and reverse the rot. As long at that number keeps dropping, we’ll continue to lose ships and planes and tanks and people.

GlynH
GlynH (@guest_829811)
15 days ago

3% is a sweet spot for me.

Jim
Jim (@guest_829815)
15 days ago
Reply to  GlynH

But why, what are you going to do that’s significant with 3% that you can’t do with 2.5%

Patrick
Patrick (@guest_829830)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Because 2.5% adequately funds the military, 3% allows for modest expansion to deal with an ever increasing unstable world.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_829863)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Ummm…er…pardon, but you have previously expressed an interest in 12-15 RN SSN-A, presumably w/ suitably enhanced nuclear support infrastructure, training, manning etc. The same logic applies to the development and acquisition of any additional: T-26, T-31, T-32, T-83, MRSS, and replacement River OPVs. Additionally, there will be inevitable mid-life enhancements of the QE class CVs (including additional purchases of F-35Bs and defrayment of the expense of retrofitting existing F-35B fleet to Block 4 standard, and the purchase of suitable quantities of associated weapons), the enhancement and eventual replacement of the Merlin and Wildcat fleet, and the development and acquisition of… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_829865)
15 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Huh, entire paragraph re RAF requirements inadvertently deleted. Requirements for additional Eurofighters, E-7s P-8s, GCAP/Tempest GBAD etc. listed and described. 🤔🥴

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_829866)
15 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Jim,

If you have developed a method of fulfilling all these requirements w/out the expenditure of significant additional coin of the realm, you should be unquestionably be awarded the Nobel for Economics. 😉

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_829867)
15 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

…should unquestionably be…🙄

Jim
Jim (@guest_829989)
15 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

I have already found it, it’s called NATO 😀

I get the army of a billion people on the budget of 60 million

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_829970)
15 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

[Cataloging/consolidating master list of requirements] could easily (be) accomplished…🙄

Jim
Jim (@guest_829986)
15 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

We can do the submarines and the navy on 2.5% of GDP, if we also want a division in Eastern Europe then we need 3%.

I don’t see any need for us to bring back a continental army, it’s expensive and we can’t get sufficient manpower to do it long term.

Uk forces were in a terrible place by the late 80’s for expeditionary war compared to today.

Germany is plenty large with Poland and Turkey to provide the bodies on an eastern front.

I don’t see any need for us to step up if Germany won’t.

Dern
Dern (@guest_829925)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Have enough enablers to make 4 LBCT deployable?
Give us a third Challenger 3 Regiment?

Jim
Jim (@guest_829990)
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

But what effect on European security woukd the UK having a 3rd challenger regiment really make? Pretty marginal right,

Dern
Dern (@guest_830092)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Not really. An uplift that would enable 1 DSR to divide back into an Artillery group and a actual manuever brigade would mean we actually have a proper triangular division, and believe it or not a full armoured Division is not a “marginal” increase in Eastern Europe. I’m just going to list the number of Armoured Divisions in Europe here, using “Light Armoured” to refer to a division with 2 Brigades instead of 3. Poland: 2 Armorued Divisions and 1 Light Armoured Division Italy: Theoretically could form 1 Light Armoured Division (Italy task organises it’s divisions from a pool of… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by Dern
FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_830144)
14 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Dern, Thanks for the fine grain analysis! 👍 Was planning a macro level response, mostly based on intuition, that not all divisions are created equal. Was planning to compare a hypothetical 7th Armoured Division (Desert Rats), equipped w/ CR3, to various Eastern European options. Often during a crisis, quality does matter. In days of yore, there was a cliche circulating w/in the US military re the UK military, paraphrased as: ‘Lions, equipped by jackasses.’ Simply cannot maintain a Tier 1 military on a starvation budget. Never could, never will. Equipment cannot be produced by magic. Doubt whether the broad UK… Read more »

Dern
Dern (@guest_830178)
14 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Post your hypothetical 7th Armoured Orbat for us to tear to shreds! And a reminder that that division hasn’t existed since the 1950’s when it was reduced to a Brigade (one which I briefly served in (Daniele stand fast with your theories about my service history) so if you want it to be 7th Armoured you have to decide how to handle 7th Light Mechanised Brigade (the Desert Rats). Alternatively the list of recent British Divisions that you could use: 2nd Armoured: BAOR until 1982, Became 2nd Infantry in 1983, then post Cold War became a Static Reserve division then… Read more »

Last edited 14 days ago by Dern
FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_830208)
14 days ago
Reply to  Dern

As stated, a reconstituted 7th Armoured Division was a hypothetical example chosen simply for its storied history. Presume that 7th Light Mechanized Brigade would become a component of said division. Any of the other divisions you have listed would serve equally as well as the hypothetical example.

Dern
Dern (@guest_830214)
14 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Okay let me put it another way:
It’s not a case of “reviving” a storied unit, it’s a case of “this unit currently exists.”
7th Light Mechanised are the Desert Rats. They wear the insignia on their shoulder. If you want a 7th Armoured Division “Desert Rats” then you have to take that title away from the actual Desert Rats.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_830243)
14 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Dern I and speculated on that possibility, but seemingly not.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_830262)
14 days ago

Jesus Christ, just how did that end up back to front?? 😆

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_830315)
14 days ago

Agree, seemingly not, evidently.

Dern
Dern (@guest_830364)
13 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

I mean nothing impossible about it, it’s just that you need a plan for what exactly you do with 7 X ‘s identity. Because it can’t stay the Desert Rats if you uplift that identity to a division.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_830389)
13 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Querying Wiki, there appear to be a significant number of dangerous animal species occupying Sahara/Africa, which would signal to any potential opponent to give a wide berth, including: Lions, Cheetahs, Snakes (Black Mambas or Puff Adders) Scorpions (Deathstalker-a personal favorite), Crocodiles (perhaps best reserved for a RM unit), ad infinitum. Alternatively, perhaps a contest to name the unit? 🤔

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_830241)
14 days ago
Reply to  Dern

😄

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_830242)
14 days ago
Reply to  Dern

but was turned into Land Spec Ops command recently (may still be in process).”
🤔 Hmmmm, details, details, I speculated on this I recall.

Dern
Dern (@guest_830258)
14 days ago

Honestly, the way LSO interfaces/will interface with the orbat is just confusing.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_830260)
14 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Yes, as I’m unable to find details on it and….sob… 😉 you wouldn’t share…..sob….😉
I’m sure I recall I thought 6 became this after I watched that dodgy army vid, and you said no and burst my bubble….🤔😆

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_830261)
14 days ago
Reply to  Dern

My current line of thought is CMT.

Dern
Dern (@guest_830283)
14 days ago

But I don’t even know how to put up a tent!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_830288)
14 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Lol. Cobblers. That’s for the others in the rear, surely. You’re no remf.
CMT with one of 1,2,3 or 4 Bn RR.
Previous with the Reg or Amoured MS that supported 7 Bde with 432s and RR, forget which once the Bde moved out of Bergen-Hohne, Fallingbostel as my files were altered accordingly! 😆

Dern
Dern (@guest_830366)
13 days ago

😂Haha, one day I’ll tell you where you’re right and where you’re wrong.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_830367)
13 days ago
Reply to  Dern

😀 Mostly the latter I’m sure mate.

pete
pete (@guest_829818)
15 days ago

When Cameron pulled the troops out of Germany he made the career less attractive , Tidworth is not exotic lol.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_829826)
15 days ago
Reply to  pete

No, but at least they spend their money here.

Dern
Dern (@guest_830094)
15 days ago

Useful when everyone’s signed off…

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_830289)
14 days ago
Reply to  Dern

😳

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_829888)
15 days ago
Reply to  pete

I did not find Detmold exotic!

Zac
Zac (@guest_829844)
15 days ago

I’m confident they’ll concoct some excuse to be inept. Its the only skillset they possess.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_829889)
15 days ago

lots of discussion around how the U.S. election could change the security situation. For me we could be seeing a major geopolitical shift as profound as the fall of the Berlin Wall..Donald Trump from a western hegemony point of view needs to be considered a real security concern.Europe is going to get worried when its key ally looks like it may be led by an individual who has been an apologist for Europes key geopolitical enemy and risk as well as essentially stating he would removed support from an ongoing war..simply put if Donald Trump pull’s support from Ukraine and… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_829935)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The West can’t afford to be weak and the UK itself shouldn’t allow for its influence and reach to be diminished if it wants to be a global player and a strong NATO ally. How you going to get it back when it’s gone or lessened? Someone else will take your place. How the hell do we end up with a few loony egotistical power grabbing men-boys trying to run or ruin the world’s show? You don’t have to answer that.

Last edited 15 days ago by Quentin D63
Peter S
Peter S (@guest_829941)
15 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Why should the UK want to be a global player and what does that even mean? No one expects Italy to fund a global military role so why the UK? Because too many politicians and military leaders can’t fully accept the loss of empire and want us to be a kind of mini superpower. The current level of funding is adequate to provide an effective self defence capability. Enhancing that rather than unnecessary expeditionary capabilities should be the priority.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_829947)
15 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Despite the UK’s history economic engagement with the world should be a necessity for its economy, imports, exports, international revenues, international forums, polical influence etc. Social economic and military engagement is more positive, shows leadership and belief in your values, and participating in the world system as a citizen nation of it. Better to be a contributor and even a leader otherwise you might as well just be a follower and end up taking others orders. Yes the UK has its past, other countries have too but it can still act respectfully now and uphold the best of of international… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by Quentin D63
Paul Hamilton
Paul Hamilton (@guest_829993)
15 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

If the UK wasn’t a NATO member I think your argument would make sense. But our geographical location means we have the benefit of not having an adversary on our doorstep, and the most likely fighting we’ll partake in will be in an expeditionary capacity; either pre-emptively taking on rougue states in far away lands; or defending our allies in far away lands.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_830039)
15 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Hi Peter Italy has a global presence..infact they are sending a carrier battlegroup into the pacific in 2024. Like the RN they are also undertaking long term single patrols across the pacific.

Peter S
Peter S (@guest_830187)
14 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

And because of better choices, they can do that on 1.5% of GDP.. the article correctly states that Britain faces hard choices. Because we, rightly, have a nuclear deterrent and SSNs, the budget is always under pressure. So what are those hard choices? The army future size and re equipment is locked in. The RAF is arguably too small and if Tempest slips might need more Typhoons over the next 10 years. Rebuilding the escort fleet is fully contracted. The expansion of Barrow as part of the commitment to AUKUS has begun. Assuming no major uplift in budget, all that… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_830630)
13 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

The armed forces raison d’etre is to deploy on operations, and when they are not doing that, they are training for ops. Nothing else matters.

Just about all of our named Operations are expeditionary in nature. The last significant non-expeditionary operation was Op BANNER, hopefully not to be repeated.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_830081)
15 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

The UK is clearly a global player in just about every way – I am surprised you don’t know what that means or even recognise that the UK is just such a player. Italy is not comparable to the UK in any way at all. A global player has global influence. According to the usnews website: ” Countries have long sought to wield and increase their influence on the global stage, whether through military might, economic prowess or cultural impact”. Their ranking is 1. USA; 2. China; 3.UK; 4.Germany; 5. France; 6.Russia; 7.Japan. The loss of Empire has nothing to… Read more »

Peter S
Peter S (@guest_830186)
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Italy is pretty comparable in land area, GDP and population. Its modern imperial history as a united country is very different, far less significant than Britain or France. Its defence posture is thus focused largely on the Mediterranean, even though Cavour and Trieste allow it to project force beyond that. As for Corporate, an expeditionary response was necessary because of abject failures of intelligence and deterrence. The entire Argentine invasion force could have been sunk if we had deployed 2 or 3 more SSNs in time. Article 5 does not specify any particular response. The only time it has been… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_830527)
13 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

My first reply has disappeared. I agree that 2 or 3 SSNs deployed at the right time in 1982 to the South Atlantic would have destroyed or deterred the Agentina Task Force and pre-empted their landing. Sad that the CO of HMS Endurance, Capt Nicholas Barker, who raised warnings repeatedly was ignored and Thatcher said that no warnings had been received – Barker was denied further promotion. Thatcher and Carrington also ignored warnings from our DA in Buenos Aires. Anyway, Argies landed and we had to respond – no choice really. Our forces have always been about expeditionary operations –… Read more »

Jim
Jim (@guest_829991)
15 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

The west has never been so strong compared to its adversaries.

Paul Hamilton
Paul Hamilton (@guest_830050)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Not if you include China.
Russia has shown itself to be a paper tiger, but they are working hard to rectify that.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_830035)
15 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I agree..and I don’t know how we can mitigate this disaster in which politicians on both the left and right as well as the general public in the west are geopolitically incompetent.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_830073)
15 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

The UK not only wants to be a global player, but is a global player and has always been.

The UK’s military capability has been severely lessened already, but no-one has taken our place amongst other European nations although France is a clear competitor across the piste, and Poland may be superior but only in the land warfare arena.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_830148)
14 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

If Trump could unilaterally impose a truly isolationist foreign policy (not a foregone conclusion), believe the other principals in NATO would have little choice beyond finding another gear re military expenditures. If 2.5 % of GDP is a significant hill to climb, imagine all the MPs fainting at the prospect of 6-9%. May not have sufficient smelling salts available w/in the kingdom to enable recovery from the swoon. 🤔😳😉😁

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_830159)
14 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

To be honest I think every western power needs to upping their spending to 3-4% as a minimum even if the west stays together…let’s be honest in the Cold War we were all spending 5-7% and we actually had a more stable world.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_830149)
14 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Simply cannot believe how the USN managed to design such a clusterflock competition for FFGs, that they managed to exclude T-26. As the immortal Pogo stated, “We have met the enemy, and they is us.” 🤔😳🙄🥴

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_830154)
14 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Very tangential relevance to your post, simply relieving frustration over Uncle Sugar’s procurement process. All Western countries require massive rearmament, but no country is wealthy enough to simply squander financial resources. Aaarrrggghhh…🤔😳😱☹️

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_830161)
14 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

US military procurement is pretty dire..and to be honest has developed because the U.S. had to much money and no enemy for 20 years so defence has been dominated by the pork barrel….the problem has arisen because since 2010 the U.S. has had less and less money for defence and serious enemies who are gunning for the west and massively up arming…but the pork barrel has simply grown.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_830318)
14 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Yes, had been contemplating individual case studies of procurement, but taken all together, do form a pattern. Thanks for providing rationale. 🤔👍

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_830342)
13 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

If you look, US defence procurement during the Cold War was essentially rational and focused….it was only when there was no enemy it became the self licking lollipop it is today.

Knight7572
Knight7572 (@guest_829919)
15 days ago

Let’s not forget that Trump is convicted felon and a putin puppet

Lonpfrb
Lonpfrb (@guest_830190)
14 days ago
Reply to  Knight7572

“I don’t care about you, I just want your vote.”

– Donald Trump 6/9/24

Send him to the Big House not the White House 🇺🇲

Baz Melody
Baz Melody (@guest_829929)
15 days ago

For too long we (NATO) have been negligent in its priorities. They just hoped that the word NATO would be enough to stop people/Counties in their tracks. But due to our inability to front up we are now in a situation where the likes of Russia. North Korea and China are testing the waters to see how far they can push without getting a bloody nose. Russia is in too far to back out as Putin is a dictator/authoritarian who will not back down, as is proven as he keeps sending troops to their certain death without a second thought.… Read more »

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_829976)
15 days ago
Reply to  Baz Melody

Good post 👍

Lonpfrb
Lonpfrb (@guest_830192)
14 days ago
Reply to  Baz Melody

Another #45 term means that the CCP can do whatever they want as NATO will be busy Supporting Ukraine without the USA. . The only NATO member to invoke Article 5 was the USA (9/11) when everyone responded. So clearly NATO membership is the USA national interest. Congress passed a law to prevent an Executive Order to exit NATO. . NATO says the 2010 spending agreement is on track so his alleged delinquency by Europe is just to trigger his supporters. Lies. . So it’s in the national interest of the free world and Ukraine that convicted fraudster and rapist… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_830571)
13 days ago
Reply to  Baz Melody

How is NATO failing to ‘front up’?

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_830616)
13 days ago
Reply to  Baz Melody

After some reading around I think that if the incoming govt is labour it will re-engineer the way government works in pursuit of missions ( housing, planning, infrastructure, energy, education, health); more matrix management across the civil service, rebuilding of internal expertise, ditching of consultants, partnerships with private sector rather than dependency on outsourcing. The taxation will probably look more like it did before Thatcher and will encourage long term investment and growth rather than short term shareholder gain. There will be significant transfer of power and funds to the metropolitan mayors. Some of the principles of the way they… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_830569)
13 days ago

This report suggests that the UK should spend something close to Poland’s 3% of GDP, then doubts that much, if any, uplift from current spending levels will happen and then suggests ‘that a future government must make hard choices and reduce the range of military capabilities and programmes’. That covers a lot of ground. I have lived through umpteen defence reviews (whether they were called SDE, SDR, SDSR or IR+DCP) and experienced cuts that were logical and made sense but mostly they were not. What is left to cut? I find it very hard to now second guess what cuts… Read more »