trust – tolerance – self-sufficiency

We will hold out a hand in friendship to anyone who wishes to take it with a view to bettering the lot of our respective peoples.  However, the mad and the bad are always with us and occasionally, by attracting more of their own kind, they manage to take control of a nation.  Thus we have to deal with some particularly foul regimes, and the pragmatism needed for this means that the chances of remaining free from all moral reproach are, I feel, remote.

Given that we do not want other nations to interfere with our affairs we cannot reasonably interfere with theirs.  However, that said, we will best help the poor and oppressed of the world by providing an example – by setting our own affairs in order and becoming strong and resourceful in our freedom.

Defence is an integral part of Foreign Policy.  We will menace no one, but we must be able to defend ourselves at home, and any of our citizens and interests abroad.  This means that we must be capable of delivering a powerful strike force anywhere in the world at short notice.  Predominantly however, the use of our armed forces will be concerned with joint ventures with international allies. Our contribution to each will be determined on its merits but violence is profoundly chaotic and before it is offered, both the aim of it and the final withdrawal conditions and strategy must be clearly defined.

A major debate is needed about how our armed forces can best be structured and hence equipped.  Major wars such as World Wars One and Two are unlikely, but smaller localized conflicts will doubtless continue.  These will involve soldiers ‘on the ground’ with all that that means for tactics, equipment and logistics.  Their duty will be to fight whatever conflict they have been set to and to work with local authorities with a view to handing over this task to them as soon as possible. In addition, we are all, as individuals, at risk from foreign murder gangs, and there will be a role for a greater civilian component to the armed forces.

Finally, but not least, we must take far greater care of the young men and women who pursue the honourable profession of soldiering, particularly when they leave it.  Ultimately they put themselves between us and those who would harm us and without their like in the past we would have precious few of the freedoms we now casually take for granted.