Fox is worried by Russian rearmament.
1000 planes and helicopters, 5000 tanks plus a new submarine fleet are all under construction.
Putin has shown himself quite ready to use his army to invade neighbouring states, and he has withdrawn from the arms limitation treaty on conventional weapons in Europe.
Fox is quite right to state that now is not the right time to cut back.
China is sabre rattling in the South China Sea, and Japan and Korea are concerned by both that and also the firing of missiles and torpedoes by North Koreans.
Recessions make governments more desperate to create a diversion from economic troubles. It does not make sense to cut back on defence now.
Churchill warned us in a similar way in the 1930s. Fox is doing the same now. There are significant threats of war breaking out in the world’s trouble spots. We should be well prepared.
British submarines are being tracked by Russian submarines as in the Cold War. Our airspace is invaded every day by Russian fighters. Why relax our guard now when the threat level is rising? Fox has got it right.
EXTRACT FROM LIAM FOX ARTICLE IN TIMES 2007
Russia’s petrodollars are financing a $189 billion overhaul of its armed forces between now and 2015. They will purchase more than 1,000 new aircraft and helicopters, 4,000 new tanks and armoured vehicles and a new submarine fleet. New missiles will carry nuclear warheads. Western addiction to oil and gas is causing us to fund the threat against us.
Reports that Russia is now withdrawing from the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty will only fuel suspicions about Putin’s defence posture.
Since then Putin rolled his tanks into Georgia, and has been issuing large numbers of Russian passports in the Ukraine and Moldova.
Spying In Britain
It has been reported that Russian espionage has been making great efforts to penetrate British security. They have had much success. Our best code breaker was recently assassinated, Gareth Williams. That sounds more like a Russian op than anything Al Quaeda would normally be capable of.
I was travelling by train via Crewe two weeks ago. A gentleman was photographing the railway with a very nice camera, so I asked him what he was taking pictures of. He was a Russian engineer, he said, buying aircraft parts from British Aerospace for Russian commercial jets, and he said he was interested in taking pictures of British railways and stations while he was over in the UK.
He then asked me what were the best tourist sites to visit around Wrexham where he was headed.
The conversation all seemed a little contrived.
You never know. That guy could well have been a spy.