|This is what the liberals had to say
Today Sir Menzies Campbell will publish a report into the state of the ‘military covenant’ and Britain’s defence policy. The report, commissioned by Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg, sets out the tough choices required if the ‘military covenant’ is to be honoured.
Sir Menzies argues that unless defence strategy is fundamentally overhauled with a new Strategic Security and Defence Review, military personnel will continue to suffer from the strains of over-commitment and inadequate equipment. The four broad options Sir Menzies sets out are:
1.Carry on Regardless - continue to base defence policy on the strategic assumptions of the 1998 Strategic Defence Review (SDR), without the financial commitment to address shortfalls in the equipment budget. This will lead to a slow decline in capability and in Britain’s standing and influence in the world.
2.Do Everything and Do it Properly - fund the assumptions of the 1998 SDR properly to maintain both expeditionary and large scale war fighting capability. This would require significant net spending increases for the Defence Budget.
3.Roll Back –replace the expeditionary strategy with one of strict regional defence contributing to NATO and European defence assets for the purposes of protecting the region from direct attack. Such an option would be unpopular with allies and would diminish Britain’s influence in the world.
4.Focus on the Wars of Today – prioritise expeditionary and peacekeeping missions over full-spectrum war fighting capabilities. This would see prioritisation of armoured vehicles, helicopters, strategic lift and intelligence gathering technology over large scale procurement such as fighter jets, aircraft carriers, and submarines. Reliance on NATO and EU capabilities would increase.
Nick Clegg MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said:
“Menzies Campbell has produced an authoritative report that poses all the right questions which the Government has ducked for so long. We cannot continue to ask so much of our armed forces without a long-term defence strategy that is sustainable.”
Sir Menzies Campbell MP said:
“Our military has been ‘running hot’ for years; its budget is in crisis and there are huge deficiencies in the quality, quantity and utility of the military equipment available for operations.”
“Our armed forces are qualitatively second to none in the world. They do a phenomenal job for our country every day, without challenging the wisdom of their deployment, but there are now tough choices to be made”
“We have come to a point where there is no choice but change. Either our armed forces should do less and differently, or we need increases in the defence budget which will be difficult to justify to tax-payers.”
This is what the conservatives said
The soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, civilians and their families that make up our Armed Forces are the backbone of this nation’s security. But more than a decade of neglect by Labour has left them overstretched, undermanned, and with key equipment arriving late.
A Conservative government will, most importantly, repair the broken Military Covenant, respect our Armed Forces, and ensure that Forces’ families and veterans are taken care of. We will double the operational bonus for troops serving in Afghanistan. And we will pilot a follow-up telephone service that will track and monitor veterans’ mental health after they leave the Armed Forces, so that those who are deemed at risk can be referred for treatment.
Our Military Covenant Commission has recommended better ways of taking care of service members and their families. The Commission's report will provide the basis for our Armed Forces manifesto which will establish a strong relationship between the Armed Forces and the next Conservative government.
A Conservative government will match defence resources with commitments by launching a Strategic Defence Review and introducing a US-style system of regular defence reviews. We will also conduct a capabilities review to maximise efficiency in the Ministry of Defence.
Future defence procurement projects will be determined on five criteria:
We will streamline the procurement process to ensure the speedy delivery of equipment to the front line.
We will ensure that NATO, not the EU, remains the cornerstone of our nation’s defence. And we are committed to replacing Trident and maintaining the UK's independent nuclear deterrent.
personally i prefer the Liberal take, especially point 2 on the list that they have set out, i would like to hear your views, i must say the Liberals have my vote
also here are the links to the sites where i located the information, please look if you wish to know more