By John Baylis
Substitute techniques to British Defence coverage
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Extra info for Alternative Approaches to British Defence Policy
Starting on the Left, one of the few things that unites all the contesting factions within the Labour Party is a desire to see military spending absorb fewer resources.
He suggests that the concentration on national tasks implies the need to put increased emphasis on mobile, relatively lightly equipped forces with a high proportion of infantry. He suggests that: Armoured and armoured personnel carrier holdings would be progressively reduced as anti-tank and anti-air capability is increased . . Training must move quite sharply away from the formationrelated battle tactics of the North German plain to emphasise individual major-unit skills. (p. 132) Similar views are also expressed by Lord Cameron, especially on the question of the tank.
The major characteristics of such forces, he suggests, would be their ability to operate in dispersed, relatively independent units- avoiding concentrated targets for tactical nuclear attacks. Thus the aim of defensive conventional deterrence, according to Dan Smith, would be to put up the cost to an aggressor and deny him the fruits of victory without 'accentuating the confrontation and tensions which themselves could be the occasion for war' (p. 235). One of the major questions for Dan Smith is whether having adopted such a defence policy Britain would be able to convince her allies in NATO to restructure and redeploy their forces in line with the concept of defensive conventional deterrence.