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Police search MoD HQ after leak of Liam Fox letter
#1
Liam Fox is Britain's Defence Minister, and he wrote an allegedly FOR YOUR EYES ONLY letter to PM David Cameron articulating his view on the proposed cuts in the UK defence budget.

Quote:Liam Fox's letter to David Cameron

The letter, leaked to the Daily Telegraph, was written before today's National Security Council meeting on the Strategic Defence and Security Review


September 29, 2010

Dear David,

We are nearing the culmination of the work we promised to deliver on our approach to national security; the NSC meeting tomorrow is a key opportunity to set out the risk and consequences of that work for our NSC colleagues. This is not a letter I am copying to others ahead of tomorrow's NSC but I wanted to let you know my views, which are shared by my ministerial colleagues.

Frankly this process is looking less and less defensible as a proper SDSR (Strategic Defence and Strategy Review) and more like a "super CSR" (Comprehensive Spending Review). If it continues on its current trajectory it is likely to have grave political consequences for us, destroying much of the reputation and capital you, and we, have built up in recent years. Party, media, military and the international reaction will be brutal if we do not recognise the dangers and continue to push for such draconian cuts at a time when we are at war. I am very grateful to Peter Ricketts and Jeremy Heywood for the help they have given officials who have worked strenuously to bridge a gap that is, financially and intellectually virtually impossible. I am concerned that we do not have a narrative that we can communicate clearly.

On 22 July the NSC endorsed the 'Adaptable Britain' posture because we decided that it was impossible to predict what conflict or global security scenarios may emerge in the years ahead. That meant ensuring the maintenance of generic defence capability across all three environments of land, sea and air - not to mention the emerging asymmetric threats in domains such as cyber and space -with sufficient ability to regenerate capability in the face of these possible future threats were it required.

How do we want to be remembered and judged for our stewardship of national security? We have repeatedly and robustly argued that this is the first duty of Government and we run the risk of having those words thrown back at us if the SDSR fails to reflect that position and act upon it.

I suggest we start tomorrow's discussion by asking whether we are really prepared to see Defence spending reduced to this level. The impact on capability, particularly in the maritime domain, would be more substantial than one might imagine from the paper.

Our decisions today will limit severely the options available to this and all future governments. The range of operations that we can do today we will simply not be able to do in the future. In particular, it would place at risk:

The reduction in overall surface ship numbers means we will be unable to undertake all the standing commitments (providing a permanent Royal Navy presence in priority regions) we do today. Assuming a presence in UK waters, the Falklands and in support of the deterrent is essential we would have to withdraw our presence in, for example, the Indian Ocean, Caribbean or Gulf.

Deletion of the amphibious shipping (landing docks, helicopter platforms and auxiliaries) will mean that a landed force will be significantly smaller and lighter and deployed without protective vehicles or organic fire. We could not carry out the Sierra Leone operation again.

Deletion of the Nimrod MR4 will limit our ability to deploy maritime forces rapidly into high-threat areas, increase the risk to the Deterrent, compromise maritime CT (counter terrorism), remove long range search and rescue, and delete one element of our Falklands reinforcement plan.

Some risk to civil contingent capability, including but not limited to foot and mouth, fire-fighting strikes, fuel shortages, flu pandemics, Mumbai style attacks and the 2012 Summer Olympics

The potential for the scale of the changes to seriously damage morale across the Armed Forces should not be underestimated. This will be exacerbated by the fact that the changes proposed would follow years of mismanagement by our predecessors. It may also coincide with a period of major challenge (and, in all probability, significant casualties) in Afghanistan.

Even at this stage we should be looking at the strategic and security implications of our decisions. It would be a great pity if, having championed the cause of our Armed Forces and set up the innovation of the NSC, we simply produced a cuts package. Cuts there will have to be. Coherence, we cannot do without, if there is to be any chance of a credible narrative.

Yours

Liam Fox

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/...id-cameron
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
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#2
The FOR YOUR EYES ONLY letter was immediately leaked, and now the rozzers have been called in.

Behind the theatre, serious matters are playing out.

The military-intelligence-multinational complex is furious.

Quote:Police search MoD HQ after leak of Liam Fox letter

Up to 30 officers in operation to discover how sensitive letter from defence secretary to PM was leaked to Daily Telegraph


Vikram Dodd, Nicholas Watt and Richard Norton-Taylor

Police are today conducting a search of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) headquarters in Whitehall to try to find evidence over the leaking of a highly sensitive letter from Liam Fox to David Cameron.

Up to 30 officers are involved in the operation, which comes after the government was severely embarrassed by the leak to the Daily Telegraph of Fox's warning that he is facing "draconian" defence cuts.

An MoD spokesperson said the search was an "internal investigation" and did not involve any officers from the Met or from regular police forces. The spokesperson could not say who had ordered the search by MoD police.

The operation came as Fox condemned the leak of his letter to Cameron in which he warned that the strategic defence and security review (SDSR) appears to be a souped up Treasury cuts process that will harm the military.

The defence secretary said: "It's appalling that a secretary of state can't write to the prime minister in confidence and we will be looking into that this morning."

Fox insisted he had received strong support from Cameron. "I've had tremendous support from the prime minister and he fully understands the problems that Labour left behind. We will continue to work together collectively to ensure that we get a good outcome to the SDSR. We won't be able to do it overnight. It will take us, I imagine, several years to get out of the position that we're in."

Fox's remarks failed to paper over tensions between the MoD and Downing Street over planned cuts to the military that will be announced by George Osborne in his spending review on 20 October.

The MoD believes the defence review, which is to be completed ahead of the spending announcement, has been taken over by the Treasury.

These concerns were highlighted in Fox's strongly worded letter to Cameron, written on Monday night before a meeting of the national security council (NSC) that discussed the defence review.

Fox wrote: "Frankly this process is looking less and less defensible as a proper SDSR [strategic defence and strategy review] and more like a "super CSR" [comprehensive spending review].

"If it continues on its current trajectory it is likely to have grave political consequences for us, destroying much of the reputation and capital you, and we, have built up in recent years. Party, media, military and the international reaction will be brutal if we do not recognise the dangers and continue to push for such draconian cuts at a time when we are at war."

Fox warned that the review could mean that Britain will no longer be able to maintain a naval presence in the Falkland Islands. It could even increase the risk to Britain's Trident nuclear deterrent if the Nimrod MR4 is removed.

"Even at this stage we should be looking at the strategic and security implications of our decisions," Fox wrote. "It would be a great pity if, having championed the cause of our armed forces and set up the innovation of the NSC, we simply produced a cuts package. Cuts there will have to be. Coherence, we cannot do without, if there is to be any chance of a credible narrative."

Tensions between Fox and Cameron were strained further after it emerged at yesterday's NSC meeting, chaired by the prime minister, that plans to build two large aircraft carriers at a cost of at least £5bn are in jeopardy.

The navy is pressing for the carriers, which would be equipped with US planes costing at least £100m each in a package that could cost £15bn.

Cameron questioned claims by navy chiefs and the shipbuilders that cancelling the contracts would save only £1bn, according to Whitehall officials.

Under existing plans, the navy will be equipped with new frigates and destroyers. A well-placed official said last night that the question of which ships the navy will get, and how many, was now "up in the air".

Fox is at loggerheads with Osborne over who will pay for a new Trident nuclear missile system. The chancellor says the initial estimated £20bn cost of renewing Trident should come out of the core defence budget; Fox says it should be paid for using a special supplementary budget.

The defence secretary blamed Labour for leaving the government with a deficit at the MoD. "We were left with an appalling legacy of defence by Labour. It was a shambolic financial position they left behind. We are trying to sort it out. It's very difficult. We're in a spending round, it's likely to be robust when there's tight finances."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/...k-liam-fox
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
Reply
#3
Quote:I am concerned that we do not have a narrative that we can communicate clearly.
Making it up as they go along. Must get the story straight first. Then sell it. God forbids these idiots to actually know what is the right thing to do and just do it.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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