The New Government – Challenges and Opportunities for Defence and Security
Perhaps there is such a thing a catastrophic success.
With the historic, unexpected victory for David Cameron’s Conservatives on the 7th of May we suggest that in defence, as well in other portfolios, the new ministerial teams are likely already calculating how they can fulfil manifesto promises which were partially made with the expectation that they would serve as a starting point in policy horse-trading with coalition partners rather than as the action plan of a majority Conservative administration. However, with a reasonably strong commitment to defence in black and white the next parliament will be an exciting time for the UK’s armed forces and the industry which supports them.
The defining decision will be whether the Conservatives commit the UK, in the long term, to remaining in the premier league of global force-projection. There will be ample siren voices to distract the Prime Minister from the defence agenda. Both the vastly empowered Scottish Nationalists and inevitably fraught national campaigning over the UK’s future with the European Union will inevitably affect the defence debate. Yet we see potential in the administration to promote, if not a renaissance, an era of cautious consolidation for the Armed Forces in to a post-Iraq and Afghanistan era.