Today’s defence in media includes coverage of NATO and the meeting that happened yesterday between Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon and US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and a report in the papers of a shortfall in the Defence budget.
NATO and US Defense Secretary Mattis’ visit
A number of papers report on yesterday’s meeting between the Defence Secretary and US Secretary Jim Mattis. The Financial Times, The Independent, and The Scotsman report that both Ministers believe there can be no return to business as usual with Russia amid reports of Russian activity in Afghanistan. While The Daily Mirror, The Times and The Daily Express report on US Secretary Mattis’s comments about the strength of the special relationship between the US and UK.
The Defence Minister also discussed the meeting with a number of broadcasters, including Radio 4 Today Programme, ITV Good Morning Britain and Sky News; where he discussed the importance of NATO, and that Britain is one of the few NATO countries that meets the 2% NATO spending target.
Further details on the meeting can be found here.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:
We have no closer friend than the United States and across the globe our nations are standing side by side in defending our values. Together we’re showing leadership on the world stage - tackling extremism, standing up to Russian aggression and modernising NATO, making it fitter, faster and more agile.
The Times, and Daily Telegraph report that there is a shortfall in funding for the British armed forces, and that this may lead to a cut in the number of Marines.
An MOD spokesperson said:
The Royal Navy is growing, with 400 more personnel, more ships and new submarines. It is right that the Navy decides the balance of roles within the service to ensure that skills are matched to the front line priorities we have.
The defence budget is going up each year and is the fifth biggest in the world. Of course spending is continually monitored to ensure we focus on the front line and deliver value for money by maximising efficiencies.