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Pentagon welcomes London's NSS

Oct. 21, 2010 at 3:30 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- British forces will continue to provide a quality war fighting machine in Afghanistan and elsewhere despite defense cuts, the Pentagon said.

London rolled out a national security strategy this week that included an 8 percent cut in defense spending. British Prime Minister David Cameron said his government would cut troop numbers by 17,000, scrap some defense equipment and work to retool the force to prepare for asymmetric threats such as terrorism, cyberwarfare and small-scale commando missions.

Geoff Morrell, a spokesman for the Pentagon, said the British assessment of the changing threat environment was shared by the U.S. Defense Department.

Washington, he added, welcomed the British decision to keep a "robust" force capable of projecting power across the globe.

The Cameron government decided to delay the replacement of Britain's nuclear deterrent, a submarine-launched missile system called Trident, by four years to 2028, something Morrell said was an important asset for NATO's defense.

The Pentagon spokesman said the Defense Department felt British forces would continue to provide "top-tier" fighting forces in Afghanistan and across the globe.

"Indeed, we have had no more capable or resolute military ally," he said in a statement.

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