My good colleague, Doug Barrie, writes in to report that the British government has just kicked off preparations for a potentially far reaching Strategic Defense Review, which will properly unfold when the next Parliament convenes. Today's decision launches the preparatory phase for the review.
Bob Ainsworth, the secretary of state for defense, says that "to ensure that our forces are ready to face the challenges of the future we are... announcing a process for a Strategic Defence Review in the next Parliament. As a first step this will involve a detailed examination of a range of issues."
Ainsworth adds these will include "the lessons we have learned from our recent operations; the changing character of conflict; the requirements on and aspirations of our armed forces."
The initial outcome of the work will be published in a Green Paper in the first half of 2010.
Government spending is under intense pressure, and there is speculation that the defense budget could be hit in the coming years. A general election will be held no later than the second quarter of 2010.
Current election polls strongly suggest that the government kicking off the Strategic Defense Review preparations will not be the one actually carrying it out.