Mark Allatt, General Secretary of Conservative Way Forward which recently published a report from Bernard Jenkin MP calling for the doubling of defence spending, says that all the factors in the international situation point to the need for the UK to significantly boost its defence spending.
It was Machiavelli who advised his prince, “Before all else, be armed.” It’s about time the UK had a government that would observe this first law of statecraft.
Labour’s attempt to subcontract UK foreign policy to international institutions has failed. A British foreign policy based on the notion that it is unethical to pursue the national interest is unsustainable as British governments are elected by the British people to serve the British people.
The UK is the sixth (recently fallen from fifth) largest economy in the world; we have strong historic connections with the US and with the emerging powers of China and India, along with the old Commonwealth; and English has become the de facto global language.
When we look in detail at the trends for global security for the next 30 years the outlook is not very rosy. Conflict and terrorism, particularly Islamist terrorism, will continue to increase. The growing assertiveness of states like China, India and Iran, alongside a decoupling of the US and the EU, and the continued decline of the UN will contribute to greater trans-national and inter-communal conflict. So, if anything, demands on our Armed Forces are likely to increase.