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British Armed Forces heading for a military defeat

The past week has seen yet more headlines outlining deep cuts to our already severely depleted armed forces.

The past few weeks have seen a loosening of our commitment to an independent nuclear deterrent, the proposed reduction of the RAF to its smallest size ever and yet more reductions in the size and capability of the navy and the army.

Since the Second World War each conflict our armed forces have been asked to fight in has been radically different from the previous one, each needing the very military capability our political leaders have told us is no longer required.

The primary duty of government is defence of the nation, yet successive governments have taken the professionalism of our armed forces for granted – and run them into the ground. It cannot be long before inadequate British forces suffer a military defeat; the negative effect on our national psyche and standing in the world would be incalculable.

Whilst we support the Coalition Government's commitment to reduce the size of the state, the place to start is not with our frontline defences but with the other areas of today's bloated public sector.

We urge David Cameron to stand by his 2005 commitment to Conservative Way Forward's nine principle,s which include, "security: the first duty of the state is to provide external and internal defence of the citizenry", and to reconsider the terms of the Strategic Defence Review.

The electorate will not treat kindly any government which plays fast and loose with our national security.

Mark Allatt, General Secretary, Conservative Way Forward, London SW1

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