Farron on Defence Review: We need more flexible forces and better co-ordination with Europe

Tim Farron has been commenting on the Strategic Defence Review. He said:

Only this government could create a ‘rapid reaction force’ and will take 10 years to react.

The Government’s Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) has some good points, especially the new maritime patrol boats and extra frigates.

The world is more dangerous and uncertain since the last SDSR and that is why we need more flexible forces and greater coordination with allies in Europe. For all the Prime Minister’s bluster, that piece of the jigsaw is sadly missing.

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  • A Social Liberal 23rd Nov '15 - 6:36pm

    Could we have a link to his speech/article/argument please

  • John Minard 23rd Nov '15 - 8:27pm

    Yes in 10 years time we might have a fairly decent, functional armed forces! But in the meantime if we’re gonna have a war then taxes must rise to avoid an MOD deficit bleeding extra funding dry and indeed into a deficit. Blair thought war was free too! Perhaps the Office of budget responsibility could advise!?

  • It’s almost as if the bottom half of the article git chopped off. Where did Tim say this?

  • A Social Liberal 23rd Nov '15 - 9:59pm

    I don’t think that our armed forces will be decent or functional in the medium term. We have cut the regular forces to the bone, both in funding and manpower, to the point that I doubt that we could fight a medium sized war in another country and still protect the UK. Therefore I have severe doubts about SDSR going on the little I have heard. For instance, the government wishes to boost the numbers of SF troops – General Dannatt said this morning that to do this without increasing the numbers of troops they are chosen from will result in either denuding our regular forces of the best soldiers or lowering the expectations the military has for their SF troops.

  • Trident ?

  • Richard Underhill 23rd Nov '15 - 10:27pm

    Trident has a £10 billion overspend, so far.

  • nigel hunter 23rd Nov '15 - 11:50pm

    Trident is still needed with Putin flexing his muscles but ships and “troops on the ground are still needed. We are a maritime nation which exists on trade the ships are needed, likewise “boots on the ground” I propose get rid of 2 Tridents and fund the ships etc. with the money saved

  • Richard Underhill 24th Nov '15 - 11:07am

    John Grout 23rd Nov ’15 – 8:56pm Maybe it was written by an unnamed spokesman/woman. I remember the Editor of the Liberal Democrat News telling the MPs “They can write their own quotes from now on”.

  • Trident, of course, is very flexible and very well co-ordinated with Europe. Er…

  • How the news and perspectives can change in 24 hours!

  • Richard Underhill 15th Jan '16 - 7:26pm

    There are a variety of voices saying simply that NATO kept the peace and denying that the European Union did so. The reality is more complex.
    Wars between France and Germany in 1870, 1914, 1939 seemed likely to recur indefinitely. Neutrals, such as Belgium, got hurt in the process. The European Coal and Steel Community was set up to make these wars impossible and has succeeded.
    Other factors helped. War-torn Europe was offered substantial financial aid for the USA. Countries not under communism accepted. The four powers occupying agreed that Austria could be re-united. The Austrian parliament declared neutrality, has never been a member of NATO and later joined the EU. Sweden maintained a policy of armed neutrality, has never been a member of NATO and has joined the EU. The Republic of Ireland has been neutral since 1921, has never been a member of NATO and joined what is now called the EU in 1973. In 1958 General de Gaulle was elected President of France and withdrew France’s armed forces from NATO while maintaining membership of NATO’s cultural side. NATO headquarters in Europe were moved from France to Belgium. France developed an independent nuclear weapon, despite offers of help from the USA and the UK, who were worried about pollution and other risks from France’s nuclear testing.
    The USA’s Henry Kissinger thought that mutually assured destruction was a bad idea, and advanced a policy of small nuclear weapons to be used in potential battlefields in central Europe in the event of a non-nuclear attack from the USSR. The usual route for such battles would be through Poland.
    NATO did not cause Gorbachev to be realistic about the costs of the USSR’s military spending, but the ability of the USA to outspend every other country had an effect.
    All six founding member-states of the EU were and are democracies. Every country applying to join the EU needs to be a democracy for its application to succeed. Democracies tend not to fight each other. The EU deserves credit for the peaceful achievements of its members, but has rejected a role as a defence community.

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