UK Defence Policy has not shifted too much since the late 1970s. There has been a slow decline in the number of ships, planes, and other equipment, yet the UK still maintains what is a relatively large Military for its population of 60 million. Considering the terrorist 'threat', and other responsibilities across the globe it would wise to maintain force levels and associated expenditure as they currently are.
-Military expenditure will be stabilised at current levels. An emphasis on increasing the mobility of British forces around the world should be supported, and this policy is already well under way, due to current govt. Policy.
-All contracts for new hardware to go to UK companies if realistically possible. Handing multi billion pound military contracts to foreign contractors, which results in massive net capital outflows, is a crazy situation for any government to allow.
-Euro-Army : No. The UK should retain its own self reliant and independent armed forces. Yes, the UK should take part (as it has always done) in joint exercises with any conglomerate force (such as the UN or NATO), yet overall control should remain entirely under a UK leadership.
-Nuclear : Maintain a Nuclear capability. As long as the world has innumerable crazy and unstable governments, it is sadly necessary to keep to the policy of 'MAD' (Mutually Assured Destruction). With nations such as North Korea and Iran attempting to develop a long term Nuclear system, the UK people should at least have something in their military arsenal as a last 'threat' against any foreign enemy states.
The Navy should be enhanced, with an aim for 3 full carrier battle groups (note that America has around a dozen) . As has been proved to be the case over the decades, there is nothing more important in the Armed forces than adequate Naval power. The capability to move vast amounts of equipment and troops across the oceans to zones of conflict cannot be overstated.
As has been shown in countless countries across the globe, the UK Army has provided a great deal of assistance to many people in a wide array of situations. From peace keeping activities in Europe, to the invasion of the sovereign state of Iraq, the UK Army has shown itself to merit a high level of respect from the British people.
The Air service of the UK military
tends to receive slightly less attention than the 2 other main branches. Yet the
Air service has provided an important contribution to military campaigns across the world. From
surveillance and protection of UK airspace, to patrolling the no-fly zones in
Northern Iraq. In terms of numbers, the UK air force is pretty small, and it
would seem wise to at least maintain current levels.
It is a new century, yet conflict continues across the globe. With skirmishes likely to continue around the planet, and with a continued terrorist threat against the British people from Islamic extremist, the UK people deserve a strong military.
The UK maintains an highly sophisticated and well trained professional military, and this should be maintained at current levels. However, emphasis needs to be placed upon Naval power. Plans for 2 enhanced super aircraft carriers should be supported, and indeed increased to 3 carriers. Despite euro-integration, it would seem wise to keep the UK's military forces entirely independent - and not under the control of a European super state leadership.
Ministry of Defence : The MOD's site has some useful info. including defence expenditure, and capabilities etc.
Armed forces directory : A comprehensive archive of UK defence companies
Royal United Services Institute : Dealing with Research in Defence and Intl. security studies.
Royal Navy : MOD site representing the Royal Navy.
Global Security.com : The worlds leading authority on Military affairs, by John Pike and colleagues. Superb site.
Centre for Defence Info. : The CDI, offers global news updates on defence issues across the globe.
CIA Factbook : An online resource, from the CIA, containing an interesting database on the defences for countries across the world.
Page last updated : 08/10/2004