hadow Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox has criticised the Government’s cuts to Britain’s defence capability.
"Today we see that the Government is trying to fight a war from the core defence budget", he said. This is despite Gordon Brown and Bob Ainsworth saying that the Treasury reserve is covering the cost of the war in Afghanistan.
Fox said the reason for the cuts was not as a response to a diminished threat - "if anything the threat is increasing" - but as a result of "catastrophic economic mismanagement"."Our brave armed forces are paying for Labour’s incompetence", he said.
He welcomed the announcement of new Chinook helicopters, but noted that they would not have been necessary if the Prime Minister had not, against all advice, cut £1.4bn from the helicopter programme in 2004.
If it wasn't for this failure to understand the Armed Forces "those Chinooks could have been on the front line today, saving the lives of our brave soldiers", he said
"Instead", he added, "they will not be available until at least 2013 by which time, according to the Prime Minister, we should have substantially transferred security responsibility to Afghan national forces".