Defence spending faces real-term cuts for years

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Prof Malcolm Chalmers, deputy director of the Royal United Services Institute, said: “Unless the Autumn Statement provides extra cash for the next two years then there will be real-term reductions in defence.” ... Prof Chalmers also cautioned that waiting to accelerate the increase in the defence budget until 2030 only made sense on the assumption that the main threat is a long-term one, likely from China. “Yet the most dramatic change in the military threat to Europe over the last year has been the increased risk of war with Russia in the near term,” he said. “Preparing for this needs to have a high priority. Focusing on more money in 2030, but providing nothing extra over the next two years, doesn't address this short-term acute challenge.”