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Saturday, February 6, 2010

South West forces 'vital' as deterrent

The importance of the South West's Royal Navy and Royal Marines to the future defence of the UK has been highlighted in a new report.

The document was drawn up by retired admirals and security consultants to lobby senior politicians ahead of the forthcoming strategic defence review. 

The Ministry of Defence has said a formal consultation will begin next year

With 95% of UK trade moved by sea, one of the biggest threats is disruption of shipping, the report found. 

It said deterrence was vital and warned against constraining core capabilities. 

Last week the government's Green Paper did not specify where the axe might fall, but there remains some uncertainty over the future of two new aircraft carriers and the Trident nuclear submarine fleet, which could seriously affect the South West. 

The report, which looked at the risks posed to the United Kingdom, concluded that too much focus was being placed on land operations in Afghanistan.(BBC)