Government defence cuts could put troops at risk

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The Government's planned spending cuts for defence are so deep they could jeopardise the armed forces' ability to maintain current military operations, MPs have warned.

The Commons Defence Committee said the strategic defence and security review (SDSR) - which will determine where the spending axe will fall - was being pushed through so quickly that mistakes were bound to be made.

It expressed concern that the review could be dominated by short-term security issues and threats at the expense of the medium to long-term defence needs of the country.

At the same time, the committee warned the prospect that the Ministry of Defence could have to shoulder the full costs of updating Britain's Trident nuclear deterrent could have "very significant" consequences for future defence spending.

The SDSR is being carried out alongside the Government's overall comprehensive spending review (CSR), which is due to report next month.

While the committee acknowledged the need for ministers to move swiftly to tackle the deficit, it warned that the MoD was having to do "too much too quickly".

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