Prime Minister David Cameron has unveiled details of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).
This is the first time that a UK government has taken decisions on its defence, security, intelligence, resilience, development and foreign affairs capabilities in the round, setting out the delivery of the ends set out in the National Security Strategy.
It follows the National Security Strategy, published yesterday, and sets out the Government’s determination to make the right decisions for the long term defence and prosperity of the country.
This review will equip us with modern defences, including armed forces and equipment fit for the 21st century; strong security and intelligence agencies; and diplomats and development aid which can help us prevent threats before they become a reality. The government doubles the amount of aid we spend in conflict countries, tackling threats at their source.
We will continue to invest in our security and intelligence agencies, and establish a transformative national programme to protect ourselves in cyberspace, backed by £650m of new funds.
The Review recognises that national security depends upon economic security, and vice versa. Bringing the defence programme back into balance is a vital part of both how we tackle the deficit and how we protect our national security.
Speaking to military personnel earlier today, the PM admitted that some “incredibly difficult” decisions had been made in preparation for the SDSR.
In a statement to Parliament, Mr Cameron said:
There is no cut whatsoever in the support for our forces in Afghanistan… Furthermore, every time the chiefs of defence staff have advised me that a particular change might have implications for our operations in Afghanistan, either now or in the years to come, I have heeded that advice.
In fact, we have been and will be providing for our brave forces in Afghanistan: more equipment to counter the threat from IEDs; more protected vehicles - like the warthog heavy protection vehicle which will be out there by the end of the year; more surveillance capability, including unmanned aircraft systems; and crucially, at last, the right level of helicopter capability.