General Article The Strategic Defence and Security Review: a criticism

Topic Selected: Armed Forces
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Alistair Thompson was Conservative candidate for West Bromwich East at the general election. He also runs Media Intelligence Partners with business partner Nick Wood, the former press secretary to Conservative leaders William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith.

Today I will be attending the decommissioning ceremony of HMS Ark Royal. As this proud symbol of British maritime power is consigned to history I worry that we might have botched the Strategic Defence and Security Review, which could have consequences long into the future.

Last year, in an attempt to clear up the mess left by the previous Government, the Coalition undertook the SDSR. The Ministry’s budget, under Labour stewardship, had been managed so disastrously that on an annual operating budget of about £13 billion, commitments on equipment and overspends totalled £36 billion, or nearly three years’ worth of funding.

This could have possibly been justified if our Armed Forces were

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