Fox warns Cameron over cuts

Posted on 29 Sep 2010 by The Manufacturer

Defence secretary Liam fox has implored the Prime Minister not to slash military budgets in a letter leaked to the Daily Telegraph.

Fox had written to David Cameron privately before last night’s meeting with the National Security Council in which discussions took place on an ongoing military strategy with the backdrop of potential 10-20pc cuts in budget.

Fox warned David Cameron there could be “grave consequences” in subjecting the defence budget to heavy cuts. Primarily, he intonated that Britain could be leaving itself open to as yet unidentified threats in doing so.

“On 22 July the NSC endorsed the ‘Adaptable Britain’ posture because we decided that it was impossible to predict what conflict or global security scenarios may emerge in the years ahead,” he wrote. “That meant ensuring the maintenance of generic defence capability across all three environments of land, sea and air – not to mention the emerging asymmetric threats in domains such as cyber and space –with sufficient ability to regenerate capability in the face of these possible future threats were it required.

“How do we want to be remembered and judged for our stewardship of national security? We have repeatedly and robustly argued that this is the first duty of Government and we run the risk of having those words thrown back at us if the SDSR (Strategic Defence and Strategy Review) fails to reflect that position and act upon it.”

He went on to point out the flaws in scrapping amphibious shipping and the Nimrod MR4 programmes in terms of conflict and peace keeping military and counter terrorism activities and also said there will be some risks top necessary civil tasks performed by the forces, “including but not limited to foot and mouth, fire-fighting strikes, fuel shortages, flu pandemics…and the 2012 Summer Olympics.”

In the letter, Fox expressly stating that he had not copied in others to the correspondence. The BBC reports that Fox is “appalled” at the leak.