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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 959-10
October 20, 2010

Statement by Press Secretary Geoff Morrell on the U.K. Strategic Defense and Security Review

                “The U.K. Strategic Defense and Security Review and accompanying National Security Strategy have undertaken the difficult but necessary task of setting priorities and making choices during tough fiscal times. 

                “The U.K.'s assessment of the security threats we all face such as terrorism, proliferation, and cyber attack is very similar to that of the United States.  This shared view and a commitment to work together to address these challenges is at the heart of the special relationship enjoyed by our countries.    

                “The British military has distinguished itself by its valor and professionalism in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Indeed, we have had no more capable or resolute military ally.  We are pleased that the U.K. clearly intends to maintain its historical role as a leading nation that shapes global security, and the fourth largest military budget in the world.  

                “We welcome the U.K.'s decision to maintain defense spending at NATO target levels of two percent of GDP, to increase investment in emerging threats and challenges including cyber security and special operations, and to preserve a robust force capable of projecting power and addressing a wide range of military contingencies.  We also welcome the U.K.'s decision to maintain its nuclear deterrent, which reinforces NATO's nuclear strategy even as we work together toward our shared goal of a world without nuclear weapons. 

                “We are confident that the U.K. will continue to have the capacity to provide top-tier fighting forces in Afghanistan and other future missions in defense of our shared interests and security.”

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