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S28 - Statement of Intent from the Secretary of State for Defence Watch

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    (Original post by Nigel Farage MEP)
    Your last requirement is odd, to stop the deficit being increased, there needs to be tax increases, a cut in defence, or cut somewhere else in government spending.
    I'm confused, what are you referring to?... Yes, quite aware of that.
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    (Original post by CoffeeGeek)
    I'm confused, what are you referring to?... Yes, quite aware of that.
    You state you are against this SoI because it adds to the deficit; I want to know which of the three alternatives you would choose.
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    (Original post by Nigel Farage MEP)
    You state you are against this SoI because it adds to the deficit; I want to know which of the three alternatives you would choose.
    Probably the last one out of the three.
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    (Original post by Count Bezukhov)
    I'll respond to all replies in full later (out at the minute), but I would just like to allay fears that the policies outlined will add to the deficit. They will not. Appropriate measures are being taken to accommodate for the changes in question.
    We will require an explanation of those measures, and if they're tax increases I think many will find this hard to support
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    Thank you to all those who have expressed your support, I look forward to working with you all to pass the necessary legislation and other measures required to put these policies into action.

    I will answer those who had queries below:

    (Original post by Nigel Farage MEP)
    You are praising something that does things which would happen under Canon, that ignores the previous defence SoI by contradicting it, and says what will be done but does not say how that thing will be done.
    This is a new SOI under a new government, and as parliaments are not bound by the actions of their predecessors any contradictions or other deviance in policy between this and the previous SOI should be taken as a change in direction for the government. I did not 'copy' policies from previous governments; I made a (much) longer draft document from scratch, debated policies with my party and government peers, and shortened it down to this final version. This SOI is entirely original and should be understood as the most up-to-date version of the Ministry of Defence's views.

    Regarding Canon, I assume you are referring to policies such as Trident renewal? As I am sure you are aware, there are members of parliament who favour nuclear disarmament, so this statement serves as a notification that government policy is to renew the nuclear deterrent in spite of such voices, as I (and many others) believe that maintaining Trident is overwhelmingly in the UK's national interest. Procedures that happen under Canon will continue to do so; in fact, this statement is a reassurance that no attempts to subvert this will be made.

    As for your last point, the SOI accomplishes what an SOI sets out to do: inform MPs of the government's intent. Specifics on policies will be divulged when it is apt to do so, and the aims set out in this SOI will be achieved using the measures most appropriate to do so, be that by bill, motion or otherwise. Now, if you're done making incredibly minor nitpicks, do you actually have any comments on the policies outlined?

    (Original post by Wilhuff Tarkin)
    And the right honourable gentleman is welcome to feel that way but he under the notable disadvantage of being wrong. I support this because :

    1. The right honourable Defence Secretary wasn't even here when we were in government, so I have serious doubts he just blatantly copied any such policies.
    2. It outlines sensible steps to ensure the security of the United Kingdom through programs such as the renewal TRIDENT and steps in order to counter the fall in active personnel.
    3. It is very detailed and informative about the steps it wishes to take and adequately outlines the cost of said steps.

    If the right honourable gentleman is searching for blind opposition, he should look elsewhere. If he's looking pragmatic opposition where one prioritises the country above party politics, then he should just cease.
    I thank the right honourable member for his support and commitment to putting the nation above party rivalry.

    (Original post by barnetlad)
    I thank the Minister for making a statement. I profoundly disagree with the renewal of Trident as the House may be aware. I welcome the recognition about energy security and the need to generate renewable local energy supply, though I think the government moves too slowly in this regard.

    Whilst welcoming the pay rises for those in our armed forces, I note that for new recruits they are still below a Living Wage, which concerns me. I am concerned that it appears that we are becoming too like the US where armed service becomes predominantly for those from communities devastated by de-industrialisation and this is reflected in the pay on offer.
    Whilst we have differences over the renewal of Trident, I am pleased that we can find common ground regarding energy security. Energy policy is mainly the domain of Afcwimbledon2, and he set out some fantastic measures in his own SOI that will enable the UK to transition towards a Green Economy over an appropriate period of time. I'm sure he would gladly answer any queries that you have if you post them in his thread. My role is to identify the energy interests that are a strategic weakness to the UK - one such target that the MoD has in mind is Russian imports - and I will work closely with my colleague to target them in the most appropriate manner.

    Regarding pay, one must also bear in mind that whilst recruits are serving they will not necessarily bear the normal costs of living at home, as food and travel costs are either paid for or can be claimed back in expenses. Reservists, as well, will usually have a civilian job during the week which will be their main source of income, so pay for this type of service is generally supplementary to a main income and acts as compensation for the time and overall commitment that these servicemen and women put in to supporting our armed forces. As demonstrated by the above-inflation pay rise of all military personnel, this government is committed to ensuring that members of our armed forces are well paid for their service. Under this SOI, all members of the armed forces will see a rise in their real, and not just nominal, income.

    (Original post by Gladstone1885)
    Count Bezukhov


    "Equally, it is vital for Europe’s own security interests to gradually reduce its reliance on American military power over the coming years. The election of Donald Trump as POTUS demonstrates the growing strength of the isolationist streak within American society, and therefore America cannot be relied upon to unconditionally support European states in military affairs."

    Couldn't agree more, Britain needs to be self-reliant in terms of defense. Not because of Trump's election but because nations should, as a rule, pay for their own defense and because my IRL tax dollars are going to pay for your defense. In the same light, renewing Trident is necessary to discourage further nuclear proliferation by our allies in our defense.

    However, this statement makes no pledge of support to the Kurds, particularly the Rojava government, in its struggle against the authoritarian dictatorships of Turkey and Iraq. The broader theme of your statement of intent is cooperation, and we must not neglect our chief ally in the region.

    I also see that your plans would add 27m GBP to the deficit over the next 4 years. You should outline areas in which we can make the necessary savings in order to pay for those additions, whether military or non-military, otherwise I cannot support this.
    Likewise, I agree with the sentiments you have expressed here and this is why we will be encouraging all NATO members to meet their spending targets, so that the burden is not placed disproportionately on the shoulders of others. However, I think that Europeans must recognise that America may not necessarily be there to defend them unconditionally, and this is why improving Europe's military capabilities are of vital importance to continental stability - this isn't a statement on whether or not America 'should' or 'should not' defend Europe, merely a recognition that times are changing and European states should become more self-reliant.

    I neglected to mention a lot of individual groups by name simply to save space (as the word count is already very high), but all of our partners in the region are included under the umbrella term "local forces" and other similar terms used within the SOI. The main objective of the MoD in Iraq and Syria is to eliminate Islamic State, and in line with this we will be providing appropriate levels of support to all groups who are allied with us in this fight.

    Regarding cost, appropriate measures are being taken in order to ensure that this does not add to the deficit. These measures will be fleshed out more at a later date, likely when the budget is released. I can assure you though that I have spoken to the Chancellor directly about the matter, so you have nothing to worry about in this regard.
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    (Original post by Count Bezukhov)
    Thank you to all those who have expressed your support, I look forward to working with you all to pass the necessary legislation and other measures required to put these policies into action.

    I will answer those who had queries below:

    This is a new SOI under a new government, and as parliaments are not bound by the actions of their predecessors any contradictions or other deviance in policy between this and the previous SOI should be taken as a change in direction for the government. I did not 'copy' policies from previous governments; I made a (much) longer draft document from scratch, debated policies with my party and government peers, and shortened it down to this final version. This SOI is entirely original and should be understood as the most up-to-date version of the Ministry of Defence's views.

    Regarding Canon, I assume you are referring to policies such as Trident renewal? As I am sure you are aware, there are members of parliament who favour nuclear disarmament, so this statement serves as a notification that government policy is to renew the nuclear deterrent in spite of such voices, as I (and many others) believe that maintaining Trident is overwhelmingly in the UK's national interest. Procedures that happen under Canon will continue to do so; in fact, this statement is a reassurance that no attempts to subvert this will be made.

    As for your last point, the SOI accomplishes what an SOI sets out to do: inform MPs of the government's intent. Specifics on policies will be divulged when it is apt to do so, and the aims set out in this SOI will be achieved using the measures most appropriate to do so, be that by bill, motion or otherwise. Now, if you're done making incredibly minor nitpicks, do you actually have any comments on the policies outlined?

    I thank the right honourable member for his support and commitment to putting the nation above party rivalry.

    Whilst we have differences over the renewal of Trident, I am pleased that we can find common ground regarding energy security. Energy policy is mainly the domain of Afcwimbledon2, and he set out some fantastic measures in his own SOI that will enable the UK to transition towards a Green Economy over an appropriate period of time. I'm sure he would gladly answer any queries that you have if you post them in his thread. My role is to identify the energy interests that are a strategic weakness to the UK - one such target that the MoD has in mind is Russian imports - and I will work closely with my colleague to target them in the most appropriate manner.

    Regarding pay, one must also bear in mind that whilst recruits are serving they will not necessarily bear the normal costs of living at home, as food and travel costs are either paid for or can be claimed back in expenses. Reservists, as well, will usually have a civilian job during the week which will be their main source of income, so pay for this type of service is generally supplementary to a main income and acts as compensation for the time and overall commitment that these servicemen and women put in to supporting our armed forces. As demonstrated by the above-inflation pay rise of all military personnel, this government is committed to ensuring that members of our armed forces are well paid for their service. Under this SOI, all members of the armed forces will see a rise in their real, and not just nominal, income.

    Likewise, I agree with the sentiments you have expressed here and this is why we will be encouraging all NATO members to meet their spending targets, so that the burden is not placed disproportionately on the shoulders of others. However, I think that Europeans must recognise that America may not necessarily be there to defend them unconditionally, and this is why improving Europe's military capabilities are of vital importance to continental stability - this isn't a statement on whether or not America 'should' or 'should not' defend Europe, merely a recognition that times are changing and European states should become more self-reliant.

    I neglected to mention a lot of individual groups by name simply to save space (as the word count is already very high), but all of our partners in the region are included under the umbrella term "local forces" and other similar terms used within the SOI. The main objective of the MoD in Iraq and Syria is to eliminate Islamic State, and in line with this we will be providing appropriate levels of support to all groups who are allied with us in this fight.

    Regarding cost, appropriate measures are being taken in order to ensure that this does not add to the deficit. These measures will be fleshed out more at a later date, likely when the budget is released. I can assure you though that I have spoken to the Chancellor directly about the matter, so you have nothing to worry about in this regard.
    I think it's crucial we have a Defense Secretary who understands the need to reduce our military dependence on the United States, so I commend you for that. However, I disagree with you assessment that we should simply be aiding 'local forces', as under that umbrellas could be included some of the most vile human being ever to exist upon the face of this earth. Rojava is the only relatively liberal, democratic nation that exists in Syria and Iraq and they deserve our specific support
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    Would be nice if the Rt Hon gentleman would look at what is already the case in TSR land rather than starting with a clean state, or looking at what other countries are actually doing rather than what the MSM suggests they are doing.

    As Nigel has already pointed out this statement does things which are already the case, whether it be via the canon amendment, MHoC activity, or even both with trident renewal committed to at least once in TSRland and IRL with work already underway (I personally having put out a statement including it two terms ago) and I believe there has been primary legislation on the matter to boot (although whichever idiot wrote it gave it a funny name making it hard to find).

    Next paragraph we get a load of waffle that basically says "1000 troops to Poland"

    Then a paragraph of fake news with no real content

    Section 2 is the fun bit because this is where no research has been done. If we look at recent reviews we see that this is all in all a non issue. The review in Feb 2016 increases the Gurkahs to 5000, army regulars to 100,000 and combined RAF and Navy numbers to 70000. In June of the same year this then goes further with 7500 extra marines and the reformation of the 7th Armoured Division (so that's yet another 10k+ for the army) and 2500 navy personnel for new ships, I don't think increases in reserves are really necessary...

    Beyond that we get the question of whether we really need more reserves when this is the cause of the manpower shortage in the first place: reserves are great for making the army look bigger for less, but not so useful when soldiers are actually needed. They're also useless for the Navy which is where the biggest problems are IRL.

    Finally looking at the costing and I assume relating to this section there is talk of a 5% pay increase (something that does not feature in the statement itself), once again, unnecessary if we look at recent statements. The Feb 2016 statement gave a 10% bump to all combat roles and the June 16 statement gives a further CPI+1%

    You will also find that the June 2016 statement also deals with the reported type 45 issues as well as ordering 6 more so you don't need to do that either. That's the entire section section made entirely redundant.

    Section three comes with a load of waffle that basically asserts that assets on the ground do not win and hold territory, despite the fact that this idea is supported by basically every engagement ever (without ground forces of some form you can bomb an area to hell to make the bad guy go away, but that doesn't stop them coming back).

    Then another paragraph that is a load of waffle to say "100 more personnel to train locals"

    And the third paragraph is finally something sound, but again I have a feeling that this is something that has come up before however if there is I can't be bothered to find it

    Time for the home straight: section 4 is waffle that belongs to another department to pad out the statement.


    TL;DR
    Well done on not doing your research and consequently doing next to nothing other than the government planning to change very little and perhaps only replace/repair half of the type 45 fleet.

    p.s. where did you get £950k for a tomahawk from, I can find lots of different figures depending on the variant and size of the order, but nothing that is or converts to 950k?
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    Order! This statement of intent is in cessation.
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    This Statement of Intent has passed.
 
 
 
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