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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.

Lieven passport photoAmerica's military is the only institution that can break the partisan deadlock on the worst threat the nation faces, Professor Anatol Lieven (pictured) wrote in the January 2018 edition of Foreign Policy magazine.

The precise extent of human-induced climate change is unclear, but the basic science is unequivocal, as is the danger it poses to the United States. This threat comes from the direct impact of climate change on agricultural production and sea levels but equally importantly from the huge waves of migration that climate change is likely to cause, on a scale that even the world's richest states and societies will be unable either to prevent or accommodate.


Yet for two out of the past four U.S. administrations, action on this issue has been frozen due to the refusal of a large section of the political establishment and electorate to accept the clear scientific evidence that this threat exists — and the Trump administration has now decided to remove climate change from the list of security threats to the United States under its new National Security Strategy (NSS).

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