Cameron sets out defence priorities following MoD funding boost

13 Jul 15

Defence chiefs need to use their recent funding boost to prioritise spending on special forces and counter-terrorist capabilities, David Cameron has said.

Following last week’s Budget, defence spending is to be ringfenced at 2% of gross domestic product, in accordance with NATO’s target, for the rest of the decade. This would help protect the UK from “evolving threats”, the prime minister said.

Cameron said meeting the defence spending target had “only been possible because of the difficult decisions we have made to ensure a strong and secure economy”.

He added: “Now we know how much we will spend, what matters next is how we spend it. I have tasked the defence and security chiefs to look specifically at how we do more to counter the threat posed by ISIL and Islamist extremism.

“This could include more spy planes, drones and special forces. In the last five years, I have seen just how vital these assets are in keeping us safe.”

As well as prioritising spending to tackle the treats of terrorism and extremism, Cameron has also asked defence chiefs to respond to an increasingly aggressive Russia and threats from cyberspace.

The Strategic Defence and Security Review, which is expected to conclude in the autumn, will determine the defence and security investment priorities to ensure the UK has “agile and adaptable” capabilities to tackle emerging threats.

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