Britain Stands with Rising India: Dr Liam Fox
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Dr.Liam Fox

Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, the British Secretary of State for Defence, delivered a talk on ‘UK Strategic Defence and Security Review’ at VIF on 22 November 2010. Mr Ajit Doval, Director of VIF welcomed the gathering. Dr Fox began with a statement that the United Kingdom was committed to an enhanced partnership with India that recognised India’s position as a central player in contemporary world affairs. The partnership was based on over-lapping self-interest in trade and security. While speaking on the necessity of the partnership, he said, as the nature of threat was changing, it required an approach of necessary and beneficial partnership to face those challenges.

In regard to terrorism, he elaborated the need for trans-national co-operation to counter trans-national terror; the necessity of removing terrorists’ underlying motivations for lasting success against terrorism through offering better alternatives. Further, he also recognised the significance of economic strength for national security. In the case of Afghanistan, Dr Fox outlined that as the Afghans will take over the security of the country by the end of 2014, Britain would end its combat role by 2015. He added that the international community would continue to support Afghanistan through reconstruction, aid, military support and training unlike the 90s, though the ultimate solution was political settlement.

He continued on British strategy for the future through pursuing ‘adaptable posture’ to retain its place among the top military powers. Further, he expounded that ‘we judge that asymmetric tactics such as economic, cyber and proxy actions instead of, or in support of, direct military confrontation will play an increasing part in warfare of the future’. To counter these, Britain not only will retain its traditional capabilities, but also invest in advanced programmes – unmanned and cyber technology as well as precision weaponry. The Minister also spoke about joint exercises, developing interoperability between Indian and British Navy and Air Force.

During the discussion, Dr Fox expressed the willingness of the international community to provide a structure for governance and security capabilities to the Afghan government to control its own security. However Pakistan was reminded of its responsibilities as a partner in the fight against international terror, he recognised its contribution to the war on terror and its predicament of facing threats from within and outside. More over, answering a query on China, Dr Fox said that the inevitable need of blue water capability for its navy as a major pacific power and to ensure energy supply would enable other countries to forge a co-operative relationship with China serving mutual interests.

(The complete text of the speech is available below)

Dr Fox speech50.7 KB
Event Date 
November 22, 2010
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