As part of a revised strategy to counter Russia and China’s growing threats, the UK will spend an additional PS5bn on its army.
The Chinese Communist Party will be described in the revised defense, security and foreign policies review as an “epochdefining challenge” in a toughening language.
However, the text will not call Beijing state threats more broadly. It will only reaffirm the fact that it is the most serious state-based threat for UK economic security.
Continue reading: China’s military must be a ‘Great Wall of Steel,’ President Xi Jinping declares
It will be our top priority to address the “fundamental threat” to European security that is Moscow as well as to stop President Vladimir Putin from gaining from his invasion in Ukraine.
Before his updated review was published on Monday, Prime Minister Rishi Sonak stated that the new funds for defense over the next two-years would replenish and grow ammunition stocks and provide additional funding for the nuclear deterrent.
The Ministry of Defence welcomes the increase, but it is far less than what the military chiefs require. Sky News has been told by sources that the British Army needs an additional PS3bn per year to avoid any further cuts.
On a visit to the USA, Mr Sunak also failed to set a timeline for when his goal to increase defence spending to 2.5% of national income (up from just above 2%), would be achieved.
He stated that the UK was increasing its ambitions in defence spending and promised to revise the numbers after 2025.
His 2023 Integrated Review Refresh will outline how the UK will address new threats and challenges posed to it by Beijing and Moscow since the original text was published two years ago.
The biggest changes occurred during this period with the Ukraine war and China’s increasingly aggressive military actions around Taiwan.
UK adopts a China approach
The review will also include the following announcements:
* The creation of a new “National Protective Security Authority,” within MI5, to provide security advice to businesses in order to counter threats from China
* Double funding to a “China Capabilities program” across government. This includes investing in Mandarin language training, and diplomatic China expertise
* A new security fund of PS1bn that focuses on economic and cybersecurity, countering terrorists, as well as supporting human right. It will replace the Conflict, Safety and Security Fund.
* An additional PS20m funding has been provided for BBC World Service. This broadcasts in countries targeted by disinformation-seeking states.
According to a government statement, the review was updated and “shows how the UK will adapt its approach to China in order to face the epoch-defining problem presented by the Chinese Communist Party’s increasing concern about military, financial, and diplomatic activities…
“The prime minister has given direction to government in order for a consistent and coherent approach to China that is aligned with our allies and rooted in national interest.”
The original text contained a core component that was called an “Indo-Pacific Tilt” – this policy will be the focus of Monday’s meeting in San Diego between Mr Sunak and US President Joe Biden.
These three leaders will discuss details of a new partnership to produce nuclear-powered submarines for Australia’s navy.
The “fundamental threat” to European security that President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine poses will be reflected in the updated review. In the 2021 Integrated Review, Russia was already described as “the greatest threat” to UK security.
The UK played a major role in providing weapons and ammunition for Ukraine to defeat Russia’s invading troops, including tanks and anti-tank missiles, as well as rocket launchers.
The conflict’s intensity has revealed the deficiencies in the UK’s ammunition stocks and the ability of the defense industry to produce more weapons quickly enough.
This is a problem that all NATO countries are trying to solve, even the US.
The new money will be available in two forms: PS1.98bn from April to the following financial year, and PS2.97bn the year after that.
A total of PS1.9bn will go towards expanding and refilling ammunition stocks.
A new fleet nuclear-armed submarines
The biggest drain on the budget is the multi-billion-pound program to build and arm new submarines with nuclear-armed weapons. This will deliver the UK’s seabased nuclear deterrence, which is the foundation of UK security policy.
According to a government statement, PS3bn will be the largest chunk of the new money and will be invested in the “nuclear enterprise”.
This will also help to create the AUKUS partnership between Australia, the UK, and the US.
Sunak stated that the UK must be prepared to defend itself as the world becomes more volatile.
When was the optimum time to raise the defense budget to 2.5% GDP? The prime minister was asked. The prime minister indicated that it could happen by 2030, but he was not specific. However, he stated that defense spending would reach 2.25 percent by 2025.
The MoD might not be able to speed up plans to fill gaps in military’s warfighting capabilities
The Ministry of Defence may not be able to speed up plans to address certain gaps in its war-fighting capabilities if it is uncertain about the pace at which defense spending will increase over the long term.
This includes the possibility of reversing a cost-saving plan that would reduce the army’s size to 73,000 soldiers instead of 76,000. Many people want to see this, but it is only possible if there is more funding, according to defense sources.
John Healey (Labour’s shadow defense secretary) said that “The Conservatives are failing Britain’s national defense for the future…
“This announcement doesn’t address capability gaps that weaken the UK’s national defense and undermine its NATO contribution.