DefenceSynergia Call For Her Majesty’s Government and Loyal Opposition to Back Calls For A Lift In The UK Defence Budget

DefenceSynergia (DS) knows that the world has changed in the blink of a Russian eye.

 

Yesterday’s certainties are history and although some are finding it difficult to adjust, adjust they must.

 

Mr Putin may not be quite the ‘loose cannon’ that many think he is. Yet he seems determined to restore what in his mind was the heyday of the Soviet Empire. Ukraine is just the start. The Baltic States and Poland, possibly using the catalyst of Kaliningrad, will be next!

 

Putin has a host of sycophantic disciples surrounding him, pushing at the lower boundaries of the intellectual envelope when it comes to boasting of Russian capabilities with weapons of mass destruction. But more informed Russian advisers will know that the West can match Russia in the Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) stakes.

 

This is not to say that Putin would not authorise the use of a nuclear weapon but given the certainty of MAD it would only be against a nation – like Ukraine – that is defying Russian hegemony, is not itself nuclear-armed and not protected under the nuclear umbrella of the USA, UK or France. In this context, the Chief of the General Staff (CGS) has laid out, in a very recent speech, a firm determination to bring the Army’s organisation and focus on to confronting the Russian evil and illegal aggression with the object of driving the latter’s forces out of democratic Ukraine. DS finds this approach refreshing and admirable since it abjures the ‘Chamberlainesque’ views that are creeping into some Western nations’ thinking that would appease Russia and lead to further attempts by Putin to grab more land.

 

However, it is the DS view that there is something rather unseemly, and not a little disconcerting, about a politician with no military experience who is so admiring of his hero Churchill, disagreeing with the senior professional soldier and the head of the British Army and with his Secretary of State for Defence, a retired soldier, when they advise a lift in UK Defence spending. At the same time the PM is telling other NATO nations to lift their defence spending. In this, some might think the PM is wrong.

 

However, with the arguable exception of the USA, all NATO nations will need to up their conventional defence spending, not least the UK, which claims certain leadership roles and plaudits within the alliance. This is not an issue about beating the Germans to be the top European defence spender, it is about, to put it crudely, the UK putting its money where its mouth is and rebuilding real capability that has been stealthily eroded! As if to underline the need for an example on defence spending to be set, after only a few days the NATO Secretary General’s call for 300,000 troops at high readiness is not receiving universal support.

 

Our NHS was fragile in the face of a pandemic despite an exercise some years before exposing shortcomings. The UK Armed Forces must not repeat the experience for the consequences of ignoring the developing threat could be even more severe.

 

Others will cogently argue where and on what the lion’s share of any increase in defence spending should go.

 

DS simply argues that the start point must be a Government and Opposition consensus to prioritise planned Treasury spending across the UK to accommodate an inflation-proof but dramatic increase in HM Armed Forces capacity & capability across
the board.