Today's defence news includes reporting on a leaked letter from the Pentagon and an attack on an Afghan former interpreter in Kabul.
The Sun reports on a letter from US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to Gavin Williamson which warns that the special relationship could be in peril and that Britain's military prowess is at risk of erosion, if defence spending is not increased. The paper writes that while Britain may want to remain the US partner of choice, France is already boosting its defence spending and waiting in the wings to replace us. And reports that President Trump is looking forward to an update on the Modernising Defence Programme at the NATO Summit - taking place next week in Brussels.
A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said:
The UK maintains the biggest defence budget in Europe and we have been clear we will continue to exceed NATO’s 2% spending target. The Defence Secretary launched the Modernising Defence Programme to strengthen our Armed Forces in the face of intensifying threats.
Kabul attack on former interpreter
The Daily Mail report that an Afghan former interpreter has been shot at as he returned to his home in Kabul. 'Ricky', who the paper have previously featured as part of their Betrayal of the Brave campaign, worked as an interpreter for British Forces in Afghanistan and, it is reported, recently received a threatening text message calling him a spy and traitor.
A Government spokesperson said:
We have taken immediate action to ensure Ricky and his family are safe.
An investigation has been launched by our expert team in Kabul who are also providing support.
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