06 Oct 10. Defence Secretary: Party Political Speech. The main points made by the Defence Secretary in his speech to the Conservative Party (6 Oct 10) were:-
* “….British troops will not have a combat role [in Afghanistan] after 2015.”
* “….we will maintain Britain’s nuclear deterrent and will go ahead with the Trident replacement programme.”
* “There is an un-funded liability in Defence of around £38 billion over the next ten years – compared to an annual budget of only £37 billion.”
Comment: The Defence Secretary was obviously constrained in what he could say since publication of the National Security Strategy and the outcomes of the Strategic Defence and Security Review are still awaited. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/39, 11 Oct 10)
04 Oct 10. Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV): Collaboration. The Defence Equipment Minister said (4 Oct 10) that potential opportunities for Defence co-operation, including UAV, had been discussed with France. A further statement is expected at the time of the Franco-British Summit in November (5 Nov 10).
Comment: On 16 Sep 10, the Minister said that the UK has no collaborative programmes running for the development of UAV although opportunities were being explored with France and Italy. The UK does, however, have joint UAV research programmes with: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden and the US. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/39, 11 Oct 10)
04 Oct 10. Iraq: Cost of Operations. The Defence Secretary said (4 Oct 10) that the net additional costs of Operations in Iraq from 2003 until
31 Mar 10 was £8,200m. The estimated cost for the 2010/11 financial year is £179m.
Comment: As with all such costs expenses, such as salaries, which the MoD would have had to pay are not included (hence the term ‘net additional costs’). Savings on activities that did not take place, such as Exercises, are included. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/39, 11 Oct 10)