The United Kingdom will not be able to maintain their position as a Global power if the Government continue to cut British defences, according to a report by the Henry Jackson Society.
The Henry Jackson Society is an independent think-tank. Their report, entitled The Tipping Point: British National Strategy and the UK's Future World Role argues that the UK is at a "strategic tipping point" and must decide whether they wish to either remain a global power with a global role or become, "just another European country with only a regional one."
The report is authored by Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin and Director for Global Security at The Henry Jackson Society George Grant.
The report adds: "Our government still aspires to the global role, but is cutting our capabilities to the point where only a limited regional role will be possible in the future.
"This incoherence is not just a consequence of pressures imposed by the ongoing financial crisis. It is also a consequence of the fact that this country lacks a proper national strategy."
It is expected that later today the government will confirm plans to cut 19,000 full-time soldiers by 2020, in favour of an increased reserve army.
Speaking to IBTimes, Grant said that there is a "very dangerous dichotomy between rhetoric and reality, between government aspiration and what they are actually doing."
Grant said that there are very few people focusing on UK National Strategy at the moment. "The idea is to force government to have this debate which they don't want to have," he added.
The report suggests that threats to the UK will often be unforeseen, stating that none of the major conflicts that the UK has been engaged in since 1945 were predicted. From this, the report argues for a greater assessment of the risks facing the UK and what is needed to guard against them. This should go some way to forming a consistent National Strategy where government aims on the global stage are in keeping with resources.
Grant adds: "The problem we have is that the government is still aspiring to a global role, with Libya being an example, yet undercutting the enablers."
The report is in favour of the UK maintaining its position as a global power, suggesting that if the UK withdraws from the frontline of global politics then the country will become less secure.
The report states: "As we visibly reduce our capacity to defend and advance our interests, and as the public and political will to do so dissolves away, we will find ourselves confronted more, not less often. It was the decision to withdraw our only naval presence from the South Atlantic in 1981 that prompted Argentina's decision to invade the Falklands, perceiving that the UK no longer possessed either the capacity or the will to defend them."
The report adds: "Those who believe that the UK can no longer afford to maintain a global role neglect the fact that power is an essential guarantor of prosperity. The reason why British citizens have been able to enjoy the social, economic and political freedoms that so many now take for granted over the past 50 years is because we have, working closely with our allies, retained the capabilities necessary to keep the threats to that freedom and prosperity at bay."
A foreword by Labour MP Bob Ainsworth states: "We need, now, a debate about the threats we face and the size and the configuration of the armed forces we want to best meet them. I hope this paper will promote exactly that."