According to the UK Independence Party website UKIP will try to achieve the following if they gain power at the 2010 general election:
1. To defend our national interests, maintain the NATO alliance, support our traditional partners. To disentangle our forces from the EU To keep our independence by retaining – always – ultimate command and control over our national forces.
2. To stop trying to buy defence on the cheap. UKIP will spend an extra 1% GDP year on defence – an increase of 40% on current budgets. UKIP believes in establishing a defence budget which will properly sustain Britain’s defence commitments. To keep defence costs down by smarter defence procurement, and with more involvement of British industry wherever possible.
3. To increase the Army to at least 125,000 personnel (trained requirement) in order to enable it to cope with its existing deployment and roles. To double the Territorial Army in size from 37,000 to 75,000 soldiers.
4. To restore the Navy to its 2001 strength, with 3 new aircraft carriers (one extra), 4 assault ships, 30 destroyers and frigates, 12 Fleet Submarines, 25 coastal vessels and 50 Merlin helicopters, with around 7,000 extra personnel to 42,000 (2003–41,550). UKIP would guarantee the futures of Plymouth, Portsmouth and Rosyth and not close any of these ports.
5. To increase the Air Force’s capabilities by enlarging the tanker fleet, modernising the transport fleet, buying more helicopters and 50 extra JSF aircraft, and increasing RAF personnel to 50,000.
6. To restore many traditional regiments, such as the Black Watch and Staffords, subsumed as battalions of EU-inspired ‘super-regional’ regiments such as the Royal Welsh, Royal Mercian and Royal Regiment of Scotland, in order to serve in EU battlegroups
7. To renew the Covenant between the Country and those who are asked to risk their lives on its behalf: through better pay, generous compensation for injury, restoration of Crown immunity, private medical and dental care, reinstatement of military hospitals, decent accommodation, an offence of treason for those UK citizens who seriously attack serving personnel, and above all, respect and support.
8. To withdraw our forces from Iraq, in good order, at an early date. To reappraise our operations in Afghanistan to a single mission.
9. To maintain Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent with existing Trident submarines, and to replace them with four British built US missile armed submarines.
10. To retain and increase Army and Territorial Army personnel by pay, free medical and dental care for them and their families, retention ‘warrants’, school recruitment and other incentives.
I would be interested to hear both positive and negative views on UK Independence Party’s Defence policies in the comments below?