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Armed Forces: fund defence or lose our ability to fight overseas

From Times Online, February 3, 2010, by Deborah Haynes and Tom Coghlan

The Armed Forces issued a stark warning to the public today to fund defence or risk losing the ability to fight overseas and accept a decline in Britain’s global status.

In an eagerly awaited Green Paper on Defence, Service Chiefs offered a bleak assessment of the pressures being heaped on the cash-strapped Armed Forces.

“We cannot proceed with all the activities and programmes we currently aspire to, while simultaneously supporting our current operations and investing in the new capabilities we need,” it stated.

The report warned that the Strategic Defence Review (SDR) which will follow after the general election “must be able to drive radical change” within the Armed Forces.

Offering a hint of the radical thinking that squeezed budgets may require, the Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, even cast doubt on whether the army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force would exist as separate entities in 10 years’ time. ...


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