British forces strong amid possible cuts

Oct. 18, 2010 at 11:18 AM
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LONDON, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- British forces will remain one of the greatest fighting forces in the world despite expectations of a budget cut, the British foreign secretary said.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said London was grappling with bad decisions from the previous administration and pressure from a poor economy when spelling out the national security strategy of Prime Minister David Cameron.

"We have to make sure that we are equipped for the 21st century and that means in foreign policy terms that we have to be making strong, new connections with the emerging powers of the world (and) we've started on that already as a government," he told the BBC. "That will also help to underpin our security."

He added that a strong focus on conflict prevention and cybersecurity were parts of a new defensive face from London.

Washington is reportedly concerned about London's plans to cut as much as 8 percent from its defense budget. Hague brushed off the concerns, however, saying British warfighters are and will continue to be one of the strongest fighting forces in the world.

"It will continue to have armed forces that can be deployed around the globe, it will continue to have … some of the best equipped warships in the world and … one of the most respected armies in the world," he said.

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