Cuts in military intelligence risks UKs national security

October 28th, 2008 - 3:39 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Oct 28 (ANI): The UK s military intelligence service is facing severe cuts that will reduce its ability to foresee future threats to national security and dangers to British forces abroad, a confidential Whitehall document shows.

British analysis of Russias military capabilities and activities will be reduced as the Ministry of Defence slashes the size and budget of the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS), a senior officer has warned.

The agency is losing more than one in five of its Whitehall staff and having its budget cut by nearly seven million pound as the Ministry of Defence cuts costs.

The Daily Telegraph reported that a MoD document showing that the cuts will have serious consequences for Britains ability to anticipate and react to future security threats.

The DIS analyses foreign countries military capabilities, monitoring both conventional weapons like aircraft and missiles and nuclear, biological and chemical weapons proliferation.

The paper says: Implementation of Streamlining risks disrupting the DIS” ability to provide strategic warning of security threats to the UK and UK interests worldwide and, specifically, where UK military forces might be employed. Threats may not be foreseen, or not identified in a timely manner, by analytical teams thinned through streamlining.

Air Marshal Stuart Peach, the Chief of Defence Intelligence at the MoD, drew up the document, dated 17 July and marked Restricted.

Despite growing diplomatic concerns about growing Russian militarism, the document reveals: Analytical effort will be reduced on Russian land and air force capabilities and activities.

It also warns that reducing Britains military intelligence capacity risks credibility loss and intelligence leverage with Allies as the UK has less intelligence material to share with countries like the US.

In total, 122 jobs are being eliminated from the DIS. Another 73 jobs are being rusticated from Whitehall to a DIS facility in Feltham, Middlesex.

The intelligence cuts are part of the MoDs Streamlining project that will cut more than 1,100 jobs from the ministry’’s headquarters in London. (ANI)

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