Articles and analysis

nickwattsIMG 20170907 0924504Powers such as China and Russia are challenging the global predominance of the United States and its allies, according to data and analysis from the International Institute for Strategic Studies' (IISS) The Military Balance 2018, launched on 14th February. Nick Watts (pictured) was there for Defence Viewpoints. Dr John Chipman, IISS Director-General and Chief Executive, believes that while great-power war is not inevitable, these three leading military powers are systematically preparing for the possibility of conflict.

The Secretary of State for Defence has won his first victory. He has succeeded in splitting off the defence element from the National Security and Capability Review (NSCR). The Modernising Defence Plan buys the MOD time. But Williamson and his new Minister for procurement Guto Bebb haven't solved the problem. The defence budget is out of balance, due to inadequate funding. The 2% headline figure includes efficiency savings that drive perverse incentives, writes Nick Watts..


The NSCR is a well-established Whitehall ruse last seen when the Blair Government introduced a 'New Chapter' to its 1998 Strategic Defence Review (SDR) of 1998 following the terrorist attacks of September 2001. The 'New Chapter' [1] was unveiled in July 2002. It sought to 'refresh' the 1998 SDR in the light of the events of the previous September.

wheeldonchw colour photoExcept for the Daily Telegraph and Financial Times, it is interesting that few other British newspapers have chosen to report in any great detail that the French government has announced plans to increase defence spending by 35% for the period covering 2017 to 2025, wrote highly respected defence analyst and commentator, writes Howard Wheeldon (pictured) . Whilst this increase may not match the agreement in the US Senate on Wednesday to raise the military spending cap in the US, this is by any standard of imagination possible a sizable increase by France and for that should be seen as being very pleasing news. Importantly, it is also news that other EU and NATO member states should be taking very serious note of too!

Although not necessarily being done in response to the NATO call to so do, an increase of such proportions will eventually take French defence spending well above the agreed 'work toward' NATO GDP spending target of 2%. For that we should all be very grateful. France is a strong ally of the UK and together both nations are working hard under the Lancaster House agreement to find better solutions and develop better joint capability and working together of their respective militaries.

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