Reports on Monday suggested that David Cameron will meet Rudy Giuliani when the former New York Mayor visits London next month. The reports emphasised that Mr Cameron will talk to the Republican frontrunner about New York’s successful zero tolerance approach to crime. The Conservative leader might also reflect on the Mayor’s record at cutting taxes and reducing welfare caseloads (more background here). I’ve just been reading Giuliani’s essay in the latest edition of the Foreign Affairs journal. The section on defence is particularly compelling (my emphasis added):
"For 15 years, the de facto policy of both Republicans and Democrats has been to ask the U.S. military to do increasingly more with increasingly less. The idea of a post-Cold War "peace dividend" was a serious mistake — the product of wishful thinking and the opposite of true realism. As a result of taking this dividend, our military is too small to meet its current commitments or shoulder the burden of any additional challenges that might arise. We must rebuild a military force that can deter aggression and meet the wide variety of present and future challenges… The U.S. Army needs a minimum of ten new combat brigades. It may
need more, but this is an appropriate baseline increase while we
reevaluate our strategies and resources. We must also take a hard look
at other requirements, especially in terms of submarines, modern
long-range bombers, and in-flight refueling tankers. Rebuilding will
not be cheap, but it is necessary. And the benefits will outweigh the
ConservativeHome readers put higher defence expenditure as their number one spending priority for George Osborne. The Tory defence team has done a good job at highlighting the overstretch crisis and of campaigning for better welfare arrangements for service families (see Dr Liam Fox in this week’s Sunday Telegraph by way of example). The overall Tory position needs to evolve at some point soon, however. The current Conservative position is that Britain must either reduce its commitments or spend more. I hope that we’ll choose to spend more as well as overhaul procurement efforts.
Mayor Giuliani continues with a call to accelerate American investment in missile defence (a long-term concern of this website):
"The next U.S. president must also press ahead with building a
national missile defense system. America can no longer rely on Cold War
doctrines such as "mutual assured destruction" in the face of threats
from hostile, unstable regimes. Nor can it ignore the possibility of
nuclear blackmail. Rogue regimes that know they can threaten America,
our allies, and our interests with ballistic missiles will behave more
aggressively, including by increasing their support for terrorists. On
the other hand, the knowledge that America and our allies could
intercept and destroy incoming missiles would not only make blackmail
less likely but also decrease the appeal of ballistic missile programs
and so help to slow their development and proliferation."
That final point is a crucial point: investing in missile defence upsets the schemes of our enemies. Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox has said that he supports missile defence:
"We are fully supportive of the principle of a Missile Defence system in Europe. The threat of nuclear proliferation, such as we now see in Iran, is underlying the need to look very seriously at such a system. This decision should be taken on its merits. No other country, including Russia, can have a veto over our security and that of our allies."
The full Giuliani essay can be read here.
Related link: British Conservatives would vote for Giuliani