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By Jason Moore

BRITAIN now finds itself involved in two armed conflicts, Afganistan and Libya, but at the same time the defence budget is being slashed. The Tornado ground air attack aircraft being used against Libya are set to be withdrawn from service early and two squadrons have already been scrapped. Both France and the United States have sent aircraft carriers which will be able to enforce the no-fly zones from close to the Libyan coast.

The coalition in their wisdom decided to leave the Royal Navy without an aicraft carrier, and the Ark Royal, decommissioned earlier this month. If this ship and her Harrier aircraft was still operational it would have given Britain added muscle. I think the crisis in Libya will probably lead to a rethink of the sweeping defence cuts. We live in a very uncertain world and if Britain wants to continue to play a key role on the world stage then it must have the necessary muscle. Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron have all asked the British military to perform tasks with little or no equipment.

This must stop. Britain needs a well funded military which is capable of acting anywhere in the world. It would be best to leave any defence cuts on hold for the time being, or at least until the situation in Libya is resolved.