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Defence in the media

Defence in the Media: 17 November 2015

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Today's news continues to be dominated by developments in Paris, with reports running that the Prime Minister has said £2 billion will be invested in Special Forces over five years to counter the threat of terrorism and the Chancellor setting out plans to invest £1.9 billion in cyber defence.


The Financial Times and Guardian both lead with Francois Hollande's reaction to the Paris attacks. The Guardian says the president has pledged to intensify his country’s airstrikes against ISIL as he unveiled a raft of hardline measures to counter domestic extremism. The paper reports he has also demanded “coordinated and systematic controls” on the EU’s external borders, a greater effort to control illegal arms trafficking, and improved surveillance of returning jihadis. The Financial Times reports he has demanded sweeping new powers for the French state to take on Isil as he pledges all-out war against the terrorist group. Reports including on Sky Sunrise state that the French military carried out further bombing raids in Raqqa last night saying that a command station and training centre had been destroyed.

It is also mentioned that armed police will guard the England vs France football game at Wembley later in light of the security threat. Separately this morning it was reported that the Russian security services had confirmed that it was an act of terror that brought down the Russian airliner killing all 224 people on board in Egypt. 

Special Forces & Cyber funding

The Times and Daily Telegraph report on the Prime Minister’s announcement on investment in the Special Forces and cyber-defence saying that they will receive a £4 billion fighting fund over the next five years. The piece says that the £2 billion for the Special Forces will be spent on weapons, vehicles including helicopters, protective equipment and night fighting equipment.

The Daily Telegraph reports that George Osborne will warn today that Islamist terrorists want to use the internet for "evil" by launching deadly cyber-attacks that could cripple Britain. It says the Chancellor will use a speech at GCHQ to say that ISIL poses a significant cyber threat amid fears that terrorists could murder people by attacking power stations, hospitals and the National Grid and by bringing down planes.

Defence Secretary ISIL blog

The Spectator Coffee House blog carries a Defence Secretary blog where he states that Britain is bringing quality and accuracy to the fight against ISIL. The piece states that contrary to what some people are saying, Britain is playing a major role in the military campaign against ISIL. He says that we have conducted 8 per cent of the strikes in Iraq, but says that this is not a numbers game. He goes on to explain the complexity of dynamic targeting and how our missiles are precise and have low collateral damage meaning we can strike accurately and we are not aware of any civilian casualties being caused by the UK over the first 14 months of the campaign. 


The Daily Telegraph reports Kenyan MPs claims about the care of a 10-year-old boy who was injured by a mine on a training area in Kenya. 

An MOD spokesperson said:

This claim is wildly untrue, inaccurate and complete nonsense. We are aware of an incident in Samburu which involved an injury to a 10-year-old boy, and troops from the British Army Training Unit Kenya administered life-saving first aid to the child.

The boy was airlifted between the two hospitals he was treated at by British troops, which was at the consent of the Head Doctor and the boy’s father.

The unit is fully supporting investigations into what happened, and as these are on-going, claims that his injuries were caused by unexploded British ordnance are unsubstantiated.

Land used by the British Army in Kenya is routinely cleared on completion of training to make it safe, and all exercises are carried out with the agreement of the Kenyan authorities.

US Osprey aircraft land on the flight deck of the Royal Navy warship HMS Ocean during the joint Royal Marine-US Marine exercise Blue Raptor at the weekend.

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