This week, I wanted to write my column about some significant developments which have occurred regarding our Armed Forces.
Having served for my country and now representing our troops in Her Majesty’s Government, I am acutely aware that for nearly two decades, the Ministry of Defence’s role in delivering UK foreign policy across the globe has been rather limited by our deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
These large, enduring and expensive campaigns necessitated a focus on countering terrorism and insurgency, meaning we failed to invest in some of vital capabilities for the battles of tomorrow.
But, the integrated review published last week recognises that we now live in a world where information, data and technology shapes conflict every bit as much as ships, tanks and fighter jets.
Cutting-edge tech allows us to gather intelligence quicker, find our enemy sooner, make decisions faster and fight in a more co-ordinated and decisive way. I want those in the Wells Constituency to know what a positive time this is for our Armed Forces and how much we in Government are committed to giving them what they need to succeed and – ultimately – protect us.
The biggest increase to the defence budget in 30 years means we can deliver on that new ambition; protecting our global trade routes, being a force for good in the world, and standing up to our adversaries wherever and whenever they challenge us.