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Government is not neglecting the armed forces

Harry Stephenson is right to praise the bravery of our armed forces (writeback, September 7). But he is wrong to accuse the government of neglecting its military. The UK is rightly proud of punching above its weight in the international arena and events in Libya have proven once again, that our forces are among the best in the world.

We currently spend £35bn on defence annually. By 2015, the government will still spend that amount of money.

That means the UK has the fourth-largest defence budget in the world, in spite of having to repair the damage caused to our country's finances by the Labour Party. There is an ongoing process to make sure that our armed forces remain at the highest level: streamlined and prepared for the challenges of the modern world.

By the end of that process, the UK will have a nuclear deterrent, a brand new fleet of submarines, a state-of-the-art aircraft carrier, new destroyers and new fighter-jets.

The government is giving the British military the backing it needs and deserves. The prime minister is hugely proud of the job the armed forces did in Libya.

In conjunction with Liam Fox at the Ministry of Defence, David Cameron will ensure our forces are prepared for any challenges which may confront them.

IRWIN ARMSTRONG

Chairman, Northern Ireland Conservatives

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