Defence cuts

I am old enough to recall the great days when our political leaders were proud to proclaim that the first duty of any government is the defence of the realm.

Sadly, in spite of ominous events in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, the main parties have done little to reassure the electorate that they are enthusiastic supporters of Nato and our commitment to spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence.

Policies on defence matters are notably absent from party literature.

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Pleas from our American allies, back bench MPs and senior, albeit retired, officers have fallen of deaf ears.

Indeed, far from maintaining the current level of defence expenditure, there are suggestions that there will be further cuts. All this could encourage Mr Putin in the belief that Nato is crumbling.

As the election campaign progresses, questions on defence will be asked and the government cannot hope that the problem will disappear.

I appreciate that for security reasons aspects of defence policy cannot be in the public domain. However, we need reassurance from the Prime Minister at this critical time.

Allister Thom

Lieutenant Colonel 

Ross Road


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