New Leak Exposes MoD Fury at Defence Cutbacks

Defence Secretary Liam Fox (left) and Jock Stirrup (right), outgoing head of the armed forces, listen as Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron addresses military staff at at The Permanent Joint Headquarters. Photo: GETTY

The Coalition Government’s defence review has demoralised the Armed Forces, strained relations with allies and ignored significant military advice, according to a leaked Ministry of Defence document.

The review was rushed and its handling “badly damaged the confidence and morale of our personnel,” the paper says.

The document, seen by The Daily Telegraph, was prepared by a board of military officers and senior officials working for Dr Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, for a secret Whitehall assessment of the process.

The Prime Minister will face questions about the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) from senior MPs On Thursday.

SDSR: Lessons Identified, is dated 3 November and marked “Restricted”. It describes a process carried out too quickly to take proper account of advice, to consult allies or to win the support of the Forces.

It also criticises the way Mr Cameron and his National Security Council, a panel of senior ministers, drove the review forward.

The disclosure of the report is the second major leak from the MoD over the defence review and may fuel tensions between the Prime Minister and Dr Fox, who is believed to have argued that the five-month timetable was too short.

Source: The Telegraph

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