The fight against Islamic State (IS) should be intensified and more money directed towards the SAS and buying drones and planes, David Cameron has signaled in remarks made public today.
The comments are the first indication of what will be contained in the approaching strategic defense review, which takes place every five years, and follow announcements made in the budget last week that the government will commit two per cent of GDP to defence spending – meeting NATO targets.
The Prime Minister instructed defense chiefs to spend the extra money doing “more to counter the threat posed by Isil.” An extra £1 billion a year is to be spent by the Ministry of Defence by 2020, with a further £1.5billion to be split between the armed forces and intelligence agencies.
A discussion between the Prime Minister and senior defense and security personnel took place last week following the announcements in the budget. Mr. Cameron said:
“As prime minister, I will always put the national security of our country first… That’s why it is right that we spend 2 per cent of our GDP on defence because this investment helps to keep us safe…
“… Now we know how much we will spend, what matters next is how we spend it. I have tasked the defence and security chiefs to look specifically at how we do more to counter the threat posed by Isis and Islamist extremism.
“This could include more spy planes, drones and special forces. In the last five years, I have seen just how vital these assets are in keeping us safe.”
The new equipment to be invested in may include a fleet of maritime patrol aircraft – a capability Britain lost after the previous defence review. Defence chiefs are said to be united in the view that the aircraft must be replaced, The Times reports.
Breitbart London reported earlier this month that Mr. Cameron had given the SAS the green light to take out IS leaders as part of the “full spectrum” response he promised following the murder of 30 Britons in Tunisia. We also reported new Special Forces units had been set up at the beginning of the year to work alongside the Americans in Syria and Iraq.
At the beginning of this month Defence secretary Michael Fallon said it was “illogical” for Britain to bomb IS on only one side of a boarder they did not even recognise. It is expected that Mr. Cameron will call a Commons vote on the issue in the autumn in an attempt to reverse the vote he lost on the matter in 2013.