RUSI convened a debate between political parties on the subject of defence ahead of the UK General Election, scheduled for 8 June 2017. The main topics proved to be the requirement for a full defence review after the election, and whether the current force level was affordable.
This is the ‘Brexit Election’ – called because of it, and fought over the right to conduct it. Nevertheless, so far, and now in the manifestos, Brexit is present everywhere but hardly discussed. It is the spectre at the feast of domestic initiatives.
After months of uncertainty, David Cameron has offered his most detailed case yet for the UK to extend airstrikes from Iraq to Syria. He stands a good chance of exorcising the ghosts of August 2013. But how robust are his arguments?
The latest Strategic Defence and Security Review can be best described as being a ‘steady as she goes’ review, providing a welcome element of stability in defence planning after five years of substantial reductions.
In the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, the government has attempted to deal with the challenge of preparing to deploy more conventional forces in a traditional war-fighting manner, as well as being seen to meet a growing and long-term terrorist threat.
On 7 September 2015 the British prime minister controversially announced that two British citizens had been killed in RAF drone strikes. The point is not so much that they were British but that he was targeted in an area that the UK does not currently regard, legally, as an operational theatre of war for UK forces.