Tuesday, 28 March 2017
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Saudi Arabia and Egypt want to buy the Mistral vessels which France originally agreed to sell to Russia. Stratfor sources in the region have largely confirmed French media reports, indicating that there is at least a preliminary interest in acquiring the vessels. Despite the considerable obstacles that Riyadh and Cairo would have to surmount before they could effectively utilise Mistral-class ships, the vessels could eventually offer these Arab countries increased capability to respond to varying threats in the region. Analysis on next page.

Details on next page

The contributing author of Think Defence takes the Telegraph to task for its story headed "Not fit to serve: Vladimir Putin exposes UK defence industry failings.
Britain's Army is outgunned by Russia, and so is our defence industry, as Vladimir Putin sends his bombers into UK airspace"
Okay, so I know its the Telegraph, but I can’t seriously believe that any editor would allow such inaccurate nonsense to appear in a broad sheet. It seems the problem with getting the message on defence spending across to the media is two fold. The vast majority of the media know little about defence and care even less. The few that do profess to care seem to know nothing beyond watching the Battle of Britain.
Just to pick up on some of the inaccuracies
Russia does not have the 2nd biggest defence budget in the world. China spends almost double. In dollar terms Russia’s budget is likely to drop below ours soon as well.
Neither Russia or Ukraine is any where near the English Channel.
Russia does not have a million man army ready to storm across Europe. Even if it did one million men is a pretty small force to use to invade Europe, which coincidently has more soldiers than Russia. In addition despite the cut backs in Europe its forces are still of a far higher quality both in training and equipment than anything the Russians poses in numbers.
I have never come across any report that said Russian aircraft violated UK airspace this week.
While I don’t doubt we should take the Russian threat seriously and I do believe we should begin to slightly increase defence spending, lets not pretend by any stretch of the imagination that Russia and Putin in 2015 is Hitler and Germany in 1939. The author of this article is either lying to get his point across or so badly informed that he should not be writing in a major news paper.
Either way, bad journalism like this helps no ones case to get a higher priority for defence spending. (Read more below)

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