We have a much reduced Navy, Army and Air Force. However, through the means of modern technology has produced more efficient ships, airplanes and tanks, however the need to maintain sufficient defence forces to be able to deploy if and when required anywhere in the world has never been more clearer in the ever changing & conflicting world that we are seeing emerge before our eyes


The United Kingdom has a long tradition of some of the finest, best trained and bravest Armed Forces in the world. We must ensure this continues in the face of ever changing threats, as shown by the war in Ukraine, the energy war and cyber warfare to name but a few. It is vital that our Armed Forces have the people, training and best equipment to achieve this. Reform is needed to ensure more efficient joined up thinking and decision making, especially with regard to procurement of equipment; this is an area where the Ministry of Defence’s track record has sometimes let down Armed Forces personnel.

Veteran Support

Our ex servicemen. defended us, risk their lives for us, go to places we would never go to, and do things we would never do. In our name.

Its our duty to give them a level of care when they have completed their service and to integrate them back into society through retraining and counselling.

Homeless ex-servicemen littered around Britain’s streets are a failure of our Government and our Military.

We need to do far more than what is currently being done.  It is currently estimated that around 6000 homeless ex-servicemen are living on the streets of Britain.  How can this not be a national disgrace?


Our armed forces veterans should be our first priority.

Current Government is to policy import refugees from multiple sources and house them at the taxpayers expense.

Apparently we can afford this, and just within this year 40,000 “refugees” are in hotels up and down our country.

Yet we can’t afford to look after 6000 veterans who have struggled after leaving the armed forces.


Between May 2020 and Jan 2021 last year NHS Test and Trace (NHST&T) set up with a budget of £22 billion. further allocated £15 billion more: totaling £37 billion over two years that the British taxpayer will have to pick up the tab

  • We could have invested in almost 10 new Aircraft carriers at the cost of £3.8 Billion.

  • We need a full audit as to where that £37 Billion has gone, who received it and what it was for?

  • We also need a full audit into government spending in their war against Russia in Ukraine.


Many of you will have seen and been deeply disturbed at comments a senior member of the United States military reportedly made to the Secretary of State for Defence, comments which included an assessment that the British Army is no longer considered a top-level fighting force.

Sadly, this isn’t the first such assessment. Our Army has shrunk to half its Cold War size, while its ability to conduct Land Manoeuvre with fires has shrivelled with no major equipment replacements taking place for two decades.

Political leadership embraced the myth of a peace dividend and looked the other way as an increasingly turbulent world threw military and security challenges at our armed forces, resulting in operational tempo increasing rather than declining.

There are several reasons why, despite still having the fourth highest defence expenditure in the world, the British Army may be considered by our closest and most important ally as not fit for purpose.

Governments have taken pride in meeting the NATO GDP budget expenditure target on defence of 2%. Those same governments demanded a defence capability not just for territorial defence, but one that is also capable of expeditionary deployment at scale across the globe.

The operational complexity, equipment capability and strategic enablers needed to exercise this reach is far beyond that which most NATO members require for their role in the collective defence of NATO territory.

Defence procurement remains a bureaucratic, over-costly process that is riddled with waste and incompetence. Political and treasury interference combined with an inability to decide on the role of the British Army and the platforms and systems it needs, has meant that the catalogue of expensive capital equipment failures grows longer.

Over a decade of counter-insurgency operations have skewed the Army’s operational requirements obscuring much of its core purpose to provide a high intensity, warfighting capability at required readiness.

More latterly to spare government blushes it has had to turn to providing essential public services during industrial action. Support to Ukraine has hollowed out the force even further with frontline stocks of equipment spares, munitions, already at dangerously low levels, now depleted to the point of exhaustion.

The Army are not spoons in a drawer to be pulled out when needed. There is a limit to how often we can rely upon the superb quality of our soldiers to turn to meet each challenge.

The danger of escalating state-on-state conflict in Europe demonstrates previous defence strategy has been flawed and how unwise the decision to attempt ‘shop window’ defence and take the Army for granted has been.

Reform UK believes defence should be resourced for the tasks the nation sets it. Capability must be rebuilt and then maintained. Further cuts to the Army should be halted and a rapid equipment capitalisation must take place ensuring that a potential adversary is left in no doubts over the combat power this nation can deliver.

Mr Frederick Chedham

Frederick Chedham served in the British Army for 25 years, rising to the rank of Colonel, holding command and staff appointments both in the UK and Internationally.



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