Long-awaited Green Paper foresees new domestic role for Britain’s services, with emphasis on greater co-operation as chiefs face up to budgetary constraints
By Kim Sengupta, Defence Correspondent
Britain’s armed forces could be used on a regular basis on the streets of Britain to confront the threat of terrorism, under the terms of a strategic defence review announced yesterday.
Two of the six “key questions” to be considered by the SDR will focus on domestic threats which “cannot be separated from international security”, according to a Green Paper setting out the grounds for a full scale review to start after the election.
Decisions need to be made on the “balance between focusing on our territory and region and engaging threats at a distance” and “what contribution the armed forces should make in ensuring security and contributing to resilience within the UK”.
The paper states: “Stronger, more effective partnership with other Whitehall departments, the intelligence agencies, police forces and others at the national level will become even more important to achieving our security objective.”
One proposal due to be considered, according to Whitehall officials, was the formation of a rapid reaction force which could be deployed to counter Mumbai-style terrorist attacks and carry out swift operations outside the country.