Military chiefs secretly lobby Osborne to protest defense cuts

(RT) – At a secret meeting Friday, defense chiefs are said to have lobbied Chancellor George Osborne to leave their offensive capacity intact rather than implementing deep spending cuts to military budgets, according to reports.

The Chief of the Defence
Staff and the heads of the Army, Navy and Air Force are alleged
to have said: “If you want us to do the job, you need to give
us the firepower.

If true, their efforts appear to be an attempt to counter planned
Tory military cuts of up to £1 billion announced by Osborne late
last month.

However, it has been alleged that Osborne has no intention of
going along with the military chiefs’ plans.

The Politics Home website cited an anonymous Tory source, who is
alleged to have said: “Number 10 is not overly enamored with
the generals, and the Chancellor is trying to head off the
whining by spending time with the military chiefs.

The defense chiefs’ efforts to reduce military cuts come a day
after Julian Lewis MP was elected chair of the influential
Commons Defence Select Committee, replacing fellow Conservative
Rory Stewart.

Lewis is an outspoken critic of military cuts and has previously
said defense austerity would leave Britain “enfeebled.”

Military cuts became a hot topic in the build-up to the general
election last month, but despite considerable media hype, the row
culminated in a sparsely attended debate in parliament.

Despite months of back and forth between Cabinet members,
backbenchers, military figures and US officials on British
defense spending, the Conservative government is unlikely to bow
to pressure.

In March it was claimed in a report by the Royal United Service
Institute (RUSI), a leading security think tank, that the
government did not believe current threats justified ring-fencing
the defense budget, in spite of rhetoric about Islamist terror
and a “resurgent” Russia.

The paper, which
centered on the economics of defense under austerity, concluded:
The government is not yet convinced that strategic security
risks are high enough to justify an exemption for defense from
austerity.

This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license.