Air League Statement – UK Defence Spending

The Air League strongly supports the House of Commons Select Committee’s Report published on the 26th June 2018 concerning Defence, its conclusions and recommendations. However, there is also a clear and urgent requirement for a new and different approach to military procurement being put into effect by governments in NATO to make provision for development of historically non-conventional warfare. This must be well in advance of it becoming an imminent threat to our defence capability. This is not only a requirement to deal with hostile cyber threats and attacks, of which there have already been numerous examples, but also a substantial requirement for new and more sophisticated drone defensive capability, 6th generation aircraft as well as of defence capability to warfare in space.  The need for a change of direction is now urgent. Defence procurement within western governments including our own is inflexible and requires excessive time, cost and political will to alter course. This is against a backdrop of a poor public understanding of defence priorities shaped by international threats. Most if not all NATO countries do not currently possess the flexibility or will to change until they are forced to do so, as history unfortunately relates. Now is the time to implement such a strategy, with the 2018 NATO Summit being the platform to do so. As the Defence Select Committee states, the Summit is taking place against a backdrop of increasing political uncertainty and potential military threat. The horizon for development of defensive means by NATO countries is increasingly shorter the greater the capability of hostile regimes and governments to develop threats to the West. The Air League believes the threat to the West to be a very real one and one that is ignored at our peril. Action to counter that threat should be taken now.
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