Tuesday, 17 September 2019
Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.

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The crisis in Kashmir is probably one of the most significant international political events in recent years. It has parallels with the unrest in Hong Kong. It is in essence about one nation two systems with the exception that the majority population in Kashmir was only subjected to this condition on a temporary basis, having been promised a plebiscite to determine their own future – a promise that has not been fulfilled in 70 years. The crisis is receiving relatively little news and political attention, writes Professor Afzal Ashrad. This indicates a selective approach by the UK and other Western countries to championing democracy and human rights. Unlike Hong Kong, where the international community is calling for restraint in dealing with protesters, there is a complete clampdown on democratic freedoms and restriction of basic human rights including free-speech in Kashmir. The region has been described as one big prison camp, yet there is little in the way of an outcry from the international community.

MoDIMG 20181218 1521345 2Following the sacking of short-serving - 84 days - Secretary of State for Defence Penny Mordaunt (a reservist Royal Navy Lt) by new Prime Minister Johnson, the ministerial team now seems to be;

Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP - Secretary of State (formerly Security Minister. MiD as a Lt with Scots Guards, subsequently worked for Qinetiq before becoming an MP)

Rt Hon Mark Lancaster MP - Minister for the Armed Forces (continues in position. Mark is a reservist Lt Col)

Baroness (Annabelle) Goldie - Minister of State (answers on defence in the Lords. Unpaid)

Anne Marie Trevelyan MP - Minister for Defence Procurement (Junior minister, previously a PPS at MoD)

Johnny Mercer MP - Minister for Defence People and Veterans (Junior Minister. Retired Aremy captain who srved 3 tours in Afghanistam)

Immediate issues facing the team :

* Protecting UK shipping in the Gulf

* Shortage of escort ships (long term - short term maintenance issues)

* Warrior capability update and other capital programme delays and overspends (is there another Black Hole in the budget?)

* Manpower shortages/ non-recruitment

* Prosecution of Northern Ireland veterans

* Leaving the EU - EDA and participation in EU operations

This post wil be updated if/when more info published.

MoDIMG 20181218 1521345 2Military appointments in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for 2019 are shown on the next page

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