The timing was perfect: just as the new Trump Administration is preparing to take over in the US, Beijing has published a White Paper entitled ‘China’s Policies on Asia–Pacific Security Cooperation’. It claims to outline China’s contributions to Asia–Pacific regional security. But it fails to diminish concerns over its regional ambitions.
British maritime defence industrial manufacturing capabilities saw a historic transition with the Portsmouth naval yard losing out to Glasgow. This is an important milestone, but it is too simplistic to talk glibly about the resulting strategic shrinkage or the demise of British maritime strength.
The first report of the UK government’s ‘Defence Growth Partnership’ is aimed at addressing barriers to growth for the defence industry. With on going austerity measures in UK defence, the focus will have to be on export opportunities abroad.
Norway has become the first NATO nation to introduce gender neutral conscription. This maximises operational capability and will go a long way to setting a framework for other militaries contemplating change, in female if not in conscription terms.
The Spending Review, announced on Wednesday, has surprised the many commentators who thought defence capabilities would face further significant cuts. The Ministry of Defence has achieved a settlement that is substantially better than might have been expected.