"It's a dangerous world and we need an Armed Forces that can really protect us" - UK MOD Statement
In a dramatic u-turn today Britain's Prime Minister announced today an increase in spending on the UK military - a further £100 Billion over the next five years in an attempt to bring UK Forces back up to full fighting strength, with new planes, ships, armoured vehicles and man-power.
"We have to see the failings of our under investment in our armed forces over the past 30 years," said Blair, speaking at a the Labour Party Conference, "It has lead to severe problems in Iraq & Afghanistan, with our Troops having substandard equipment and even in some cases having to buy their own protective gear"
Prime Minister Blair then went on to describe how in the current climate of Global Terrorism and instability, the UK armed forces would be called on more and more to exert Britain's goals abroad, and this required massive investment.
"I am not questioning the professionalism, expertise or bravery of our Sailors, Soldiers or Airmen," Blair continued, "They are undoubtedly the best in the world. They also deserve the best equipment in the world, and enough of it to let them do their jobs properly and efficiently, with an increase in man-power and wages to take the strain from severely stretched fighting units."
In a briefing to the press after the Prime Minister's speech, three of the countries top Generals, Admirals and Air-Marshall's outlined the Governments plan to increase the capabilities of the Navy, Army & Air force. Top of the list was the speedy completion of 2 new Aircraft Carriers, capable of defending any fleet or ground operations from enemy air-attack, while also providing comprehensive ground-attack and close-support capability. The Royal Navy would be subject to no more reductions in ship numbers, and a building programme designed to bring it back to pre 1982 levels. References were made to the Falklands War, and how the Royal Navy had transformed from mainly an Anti-Submarine Force designed to fight the Russians in the North Atlantic, to one that could transport large numbers of troops and equipment safely anywhere in the World, protect sea-lanes and shipping, and generally have a much wider role that it had been capable of before.
The Army has been promised no more troop cuts, and a rolling replacement of all old and obsolete equipment, from Land-Rovers to Challenger Tanks. Two new armoured divisions have been announced and the creation of several new Helicopter Units to increase mobility and fire-power. Training facilities are to be updated, and links with traditional sources of manpower, such as the Gurkhas and Commonwealth countries are to be strengthened.
The Royal Air-Force, long the subject of massive cuts has been given the opportunity to expand its bases in Germany, Gibraltar, Cyprus and Malta, and funds have been made available for a new long-range bomber and a fighter interceptor, which will probably also be used on the Navies new Carriers.
Admiral Smythe also announced the cancellation of any replacement for the Trident Nuclear Submarine fleet. Britain's nuclear deterrent would be transferred to RAF bombers and smaller, faster, hunter-killer type Nuclear Subs capable of launching nuclear tipped cruise missiles.
"The Royal Navy has traditionally tackled problems like piracy and illegal contraband head on," Admiral Smythe said, "and with this expansion of the fleets capability, we will be addressing the issues of Piracy off Somalia and Indonesia, drug and people trafficking, and improving our ability to respond to humanitarian disasters such as the Tsnami of last year."
In conclusion all three military officers agreed that this was a great day for all the Armed Services, and an opportunity for global stability and thousands of jobs in the military related industries, a return to the days when Britain really could exert it's influence all over the globe, and tackle the many military problems that aflict us today.
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