David Cameron Wants More Drones & SAS Forces

By James O Malley on at

Britain looks set to buy more drones and put more money into counter-terrorist forces like the SAS, if speculation about this autumn's big strategic defence review is to be believed.

The Guardian reports that following the government's surprise commitment to meet the NATO target of 2 per cent of GDP spent on defence in last week's budget, the armed forces could be poised to splash the cash on stuff that could be useful in dealing with both terrorists and an increasingly dick-swinging Vladimir Putin (that's geopolitical jargon).

The announcement comes as the prime minister visits RAF Waddington, the British base where our existing drones are launched from. In some quotes that had been pre-briefed to the press, Cameron says:

"Now we know how much we will spend, what matters next is how we spend it. I have tasked the Defence and Security Chiefs to look specifically at how we do more to counter the threat posed by ISIL and Islamist extremism.

"This could include more spy planes, drones and Special Forces. In the last five years, I have seen just how vital these assets are in keeping us safe."

Building more of a rapid reaction force could make sense in light of changing terrorist tactics, as demonstrated in the recent Tunisia attack.

The speculation is that later in the year Cameron could ask Parliament again to authorise British action in Syria to take on both the Assad regime, which is still hanging in there, as well as ISIS. He first tried to gain authorisation in August 2013, but was defeated because no one else was very keen on going to war. [The Guardian]