×

Defence

AUSTRALIA-NAVY-MILITARY

Will Philip Hammond challenge the SNP’s conceits?

15 April 2014 8:51

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas has said, in the Telegraph, that the sum of the Royal Navy’s parts is not greater than its whole. Scottish independence, he says,… Continue reading

121 Comments
World Leaders Meet For G8 Summit AT Lough Erne

Ukraine increases mistrust and misinformation between Russia and the West

14 April 2014 8:48

The tense situation in Ukraine has escalated overnight. A deadline has passed for pro-Russian agitators to vacate government buildings in eastern Ukraine or face military action. There is no indication… Continue reading

73 Comments
Operation Buzzard

Women should not fight on the frontline

10 April 2014 13:44

Writing in the Spectator Diary some time ago, the evergreen Peregrine Worsthorne, observed that one of the things about getting on was that you ended up forgetting the reason why… Continue reading

141 Comments
(FILES) A file picture taken in 1971 sho

Scottish independence: an exemplary or cautionary foreign policy Rorschach Test?

9 April 2014 15:35

The eyes of the world are upon us. Or so Scottish Nationalists like to say. Whae’s like us? There is some truth to this even if you think unseemly all… Continue reading

149 Comments
A section of HMS Queen Elizabeth II being towed up the Clyde. (Image Getty)

Surely we should have called our new flagship HMS Margaret Thatcher?

28 March 2014 13:00

It’s great news that this summer will see the launch of Britain’s biggest-ever warship, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, built on the Clyde and weighing 65,000 tons. This beast will be… Continue reading

36 Comments
US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel. Image: Getty

America won’t be Europe’s policeman any more – but that’s good for Britain

25 February 2014 14:32

The US Army’s cuts are good for Britain. They will force our European allies to think about their own defence and re-evaluate their policies. This will highlight the benefits of… Continue reading

45 Comments
British soldiers inspect a 'Snatch' Land Rover vehicle outside Basra in September 2006. (ESSAM AL-SUDANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Tory rebels and government are fighting yesterday’s wars

20 November 2013 9:27

Philip Hammond, the defence secretary, has a battle on his hands. 20 or so Tory MPs have signed John Baron’s amendment to the Defence Reform Bill. The bill aims to… Continue reading

39 Comments
Philip Hammond was made defence secretary because of his ability to balance the books. Picture: Getty.

Philip Hammond: Britain can do better than a blank sheet of paper or the Lib Dems

29 September 2013 15:27

listen to ‘Hammond: 'A Conservative government will never send our forces in to battle without the right kit'’ on Audioboo Philip Hammond’s speech to the Conservative conference was accompanied by… Continue reading

25 Comments
Shadow defence minister Jim Murphy. Photo: PA.

Jim Murphy: Labour does believe in intervention

23 September 2013 10:26

When Ed Miliband dropped his support for the government’s motion on military intervention in Syria, it was seen as a convenient way of the Labour leader avoiding the thorny question… Continue reading

19 Comments
Philip Hammond was made defence secretary because of his ability to balance the books. Picture: Getty.

Philip Hammond: No 2nd Syria vote ‘unless the circumstances change very significantly’

2 September 2013 16:50

Defence Questions this afternoon was, as you might expect, a rather chippy affair. It seemed that whenever Philip Hammond rose to answer a question, he answered it by reminding the… Continue reading

65 Comments
Argentina's President Kirchner is not afraid to play on the global stage by her own rules. Britain should stop her. (JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

Argentina’s G-20 membership should be revoked

12 August 2013 17:07

When Argentina appears in British public discourse, it is normally in relation to one of the two ‘f’s – football or the Falklands. The behaviour of President Cristina Kirchner’s regime… Continue reading

75 Comments
HMS Illustrious is on its way to Gibraltar.

What did President Eisenhower say about the ‘military industrial complex’?

9 August 2013 9:03

The ‘routine’ deployment of HMS Illustrious and two bustling frigates to Gibraltar, en route to the Gulf of Aden, has excited the morning papers. And the evacuation of the American… Continue reading

61 Comments
Image: Getty

Is José Manuel Barroso after the top job at Nato?

24 July 2013 13:30

José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, put on a suspiciously big-time press conference today to launch what were really no more than some modest proposals to standardise the… Continue reading

25 Comments
"I heard that you were short of air cover in Afghanistan, so the guys at DFID made you something..."

If David Cameron wants a military capable of toppling Assad, he’ll have to pay for it

18 July 2013 9:05

Libya is a success from which David Cameron might not recover. This, at any rate, seems to be the fear of Sir David Richards who has marked his exit as… Continue reading

29 Comments
British soldiers inspect a 'Snatch' Land Rover vehicle outside Basra in September 2006. (ESSAM AL-SUDANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Soldiers’ right to protection remains, and so it should

28 June 2013 13:59

Last week’s Supreme Court ruling in the Snatch Land Rover / Challenger II cases, which allowed the families of four soldiers who lost their lives while serving in Iraq to… Continue reading

16 Comments
The Wedding Of Melissa Percy and Thomas Van Straubenzee

Did the taxpayer contribute to the ‘Royal Wedding of the North’?

24 June 2013 13:58

Mr Steerpike is a romantic at heart and a conservative, so I like love and marriage. Yet I was irritated by one detail of the nuptials of Lady Melissa Percy… Continue reading

19 Comments
British soldiers inspect a 'Snatch' Land Rover vehicle outside Basra in September 2006. (ESSAM AL-SUDANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Bring on the drones – the Supreme Court has changed the way we fight wars

20 June 2013 11:30

On the face of it, the Supreme Court’s decision to allow three suits to be brought against the Ministry of Defence is surprising, almost shocking. My colleague Alex Massie has… Continue reading

19 Comments
A Syrian army tank patrols an area in th

Cameron wants to change the military balance in Syria, but how do you do that without arming the Islamists?

16 June 2013 18:20

David Cameron and Vladimir Putin have just concluded their pre G8 talks, the main topic of which was Syria. Cameron wants to use the next few days to try and… Continue reading

64 Comments
Philip Hammond was made defence secretary because of his ability to balance the books. Picture: Getty.

Why Defence Secretaries go native

14 June 2013 9:26

When Philip Hammond was sent to the Ministry of Defence, his skills as a bean counter were much lauded. Colleagues hoped that he wouldn’t, like other Defence Secretaries, go native.… Continue reading

24 Comments
trident

Do the Americans want Britain to renew Trident?

24 April 2013 18:07

What is the point of Britain’s nuclear deterrent? If it is an insurance policy it is a remarkably expensive one that might not, in any case, ever be honoured. I… Continue reading

17 Comments
Spectator Cover Art

Cutting and running from Afghanistan

10 April 2013 12:29

MPs on the Defence Select Committee made a similar warning this morning about the UK’s withdrawal from Afghanistan as Con Coughlin made in The Spectator last month. He wrote that… Continue reading

17 Comments
HMS Astute sails up Gareloch on the Firth of Cylde to her base at Faslane. (Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)

Nuclear weapons, Scotland and the future of the United Kingdom

5 April 2013 10:47

David Cameron – who, in case you’d forgotten, leads the Conservative and Unionist Party – made a rare visit to Scotland yesterday. He spoke about defence. His message was clear:… Continue reading

43 Comments
Pipe Major Scott Taylor, 34, from Glasgo

Nemo me impune lacessit: defending an independent Scotland

14 March 2013 15:38

Sometimes I wish Conservative cabinet ministers would couch their arguments in favour of the Union in terms of principle, not process or drab accountancy. Philip Hammond, the unimpressive Secretary of… Continue reading

40 Comments
Troops Prepare Ahead Of Operation Herrick 16 Deployment On Salisbury Plain

The Great Defence Procurement Rip-Off, Housing Edition

6 March 2013 12:12

There’s no business like government business. Reacting to Philip Hammond’s statement on future army basing yesterday, today’s newspapers have led on either the decision to strip the Desert Rats of… Continue reading

3 Comments
The Adam Smith Institute predicted that if Vince Cable got his way and capital gains tax rates were increased to match income tax rates, the Treasury would not make anything out of it. Picture: Getty

Vince Cable tells Philip Hammond, cut Trident not welfare

3 March 2013 12:16

On The Sunday Politics today, Vince Cable told Andrew Neil that he disliked ring fencing particular departments. But he accepted that the NHS and DFID budgets would remain protected for… Continue reading

25 Comments