Defence

Government must provide the best possible defence against the actual threats we face.

The Peoples Party will:
understand that the nature of the threat and the type of defence required to protect citizens best has fundamentally changed
not look for “enemies” but build relationships, seeking to understand the causes of tensions, defusing them where possible. In today’s world, we must stop wars, not plan to fight them
create a unified British Defence Force (BDF), merging the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force with the intelligence services and new national police force, with the primary objective to work to protect against terrorist threats, cyber attack and large scale organised criminal activity
cut traditional defence expenditure dramatically to £2bn
double intelligence and technology expenditure to £4bn. Covert actions, smart interventions and “winning without trumpeting” are vital to keeping us safe against the threats we face
ensure that the UK works with partners in NATO to concentrate on the development of small special forces units designed to undertake continuous worldwide operations against terrorists, states that sponsor terrorism or organised crime. We must leverage our involvement to give the best value outcomes
use financial, information and cyber warfare technologies to frustrate and defeat actual and potential threats while at the same time protecting the United Kingdom from counterattacks. We must proactively hack the hackers, and financially cripple our enemies
decommission Trident and stop its replacement. We must redouble efforts to prevent nuclear material from getting into the hands of terrorists, and rogue states
support efforts to deliver a world without nuclear weapons. We believe that far from making us and the world safer, the accidental use of nuclear weapons is one of the biggest threats we face
work to change hostile and potentially dangerous regimes from within, supporting and encouraging dissent
ensure that sufficient funding is allocated to civil defence equipment against WMD’s, with the comprehensive provision of PPE, vaccines and medicines
rejoin the EU to work with colleagues to ensure peace in Europe, the source of hundreds of years of conflict

The primary threats to the United Kingdom and our interests are not direct attack or invasion by other states but terrorism, WMD’s, cyber/hybrid warfare, pandemics and “accidental conflicts” set against the backdrop of the challenge of climate change.

We must also keep these challenges in perspective. For instance, creating an atmosphere of fear helps terrorists unnecessarily curtails freedom and diverts disproportionate resources from other areas. Less than 100 UK citizens have been killed by terrorists in the last 20 years, whereas more than 1,500,000 have died prematurely from smoking, with tens of thousands more deaths linked to air pollution in our towns and cities. So far, over 145,000 have been killed by COVID-19 and many thousands more indirectly.

Defence is about saving lives, but military force cannot successfully deter many of the actual threats we need to address. Further, we must not fall victim to the “defence industry,” we must take the lead and work with allies in NATO, other governments and political movements ready to adopt a more mature and progressive attitude to the waste and dangers of military spending.

Most traditional defence structures are outdated. We believe it is time to stop playing with “boy’s toys.” We need a rigorous evaluation of what weapons we need and what weapons we don’t. Posturing or tokenism does nothing to make people more secure.  Generals nearly always prepare to fight the last war; we must provide a better defence now by focusing on today’s and tomorrow’s threats. We must leverage our military assets to deliver the most outcomes at the least cost.

Cyber threats are genuine, and attacks are happening today. Many more are being planned or seeded in computer systems. A significant proportion of online fraud, crime against British citizens, is committed from abroad. The economic damage and potentially life threatening consequences of these attacks must be tackled effectively.

Attacks on our freedoms require action and must be defeated by appropriate means. Regimes that seek to undermine and supplant our way of life must be aggressively targeted.

We must learn the lessons of history. We must act against dictators and elites to nip threats in the bud, before they lead to war. We must work to free people from state repression and totalitarianism. We must have a clear view of our objectives and understand how best to deliver success.

Ultimately, defence is not a matter of emotion and sentiment but is one of life or death. Hard decisions must be taken, and along with a complete overall of the armed services, we must unilaterally abolish the UK’s nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are dreadful, they have no practical military value, and their use would cause inconceivable death and destruction – there are no circumstances in which we should “press the button.”

It is nonsense to worry about climate change while investing in weapons that would precipitate an environmental catastrophe. We should use the skills of nuclear engineers to save, rather than potentially destroy, the planet.