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“It is easy to lose sight of the fact that one of the core businesses of Government is the defence of the country and of national interests, and that is every bit as true during difficult financial times as during more settled ones. The thinking of easier times (when public spending on health, education and social security was increased by much more than that on defence) must not be allowed to continue into these troubled times. The defence of our country must be maintained whatever the circumstances”. Defence Select Committee, 4th report, 10 Feb 2010

Strong words from the Defence Select Committee yesterday. Except time and again,(most recently in the Defence Green Paper published just last week), the government has acknowledged that “there is no external direct threat to the territorial integrity of the UK”

So all this huff and puff about “defence of our country” is poppycock. By all means try to make the argument that we need to have sufficient armed force to invade other countries to enforce regime change so that the West’s economic and political interests are served, but please do not dress this up as “defence of our country”.

I think we are all going to need strong stomachs over the the next few months as there will be a lot of cant spoken about ‘defence’ as the strategic defence review gears up.