UK Report: Rebuild Conventional Forces

UK Report: Rebuild Conventional Forces

LONDON — Britain needs to rebuild conventional military capabilities lost since the end of the Cold War in order to deter further threats on Europe’s eastern border, the parliamentary defense committee has warned the government.

Maritime surveillance, nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological warfare training, ballistic missile defense, a comprehensive carrier strike capability, full maneuver warfare capability, more warships and aircraft, and possible prepositioning of troops in continental Europe are required, the report said

Entitled, “Re-thinking Defence To Meet New Threats,” the committee said Britain’s future military force structure and the accompany national security strategy resulting from the 2010 strategic defense and security review (SDSR) conducted by the current Conservative-led coalition government are no longer fit for purpose and need rethinking.

An upcoming SDSR is planned for the other side of the general election on May 7 where many of the capability and strategy questions will be raised. Completion of the SDSR may not come until well into 2016, particularly if Labour forms the next government.

Senior politicians speaking to Defense News last weekend also raised fears of what would happen to the SDSR if a minority government is elected followed reasonably quickly by a second election.

The committee cited the increasing security problems around the globe and particularly the threat to Europe posed by Russia and warned that Britain couldn’t afford to “retreat to isolation.”

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