Britain will increase its intelligence agency staff by 15 percent and more than double spending on airport security to defend against Islamist militants plotting attacks from Syria, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday (16 November). Britain said it had decided to bolster its defences following a growing number of plots against it and the attacks in Paris, Tunisia and elsewhere.
Cameron said British security services had foiled seven potential attacks in Britain over the last year and more manpower was needed to combat a "generational struggle".
"We need to do more to ensure our agencies have the resources and the information they need to prevent and disrupt plots against this country at every stage so in next week's strategic defence and security review, we will make a major additional investment in our world class intelligence agencies, this will include over 1,900 additional security and intelligence staff and more money to increase our network of counter-terrorism experts in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa," Cameron said.
"We will also more than double our spending on aviation security around the world with more experts overseas working side by side with host nations in the most vulnerable location. We also need to do more to make sure the powers we give our security services keep pace with changes in technology."
Speaking in London after attending a meeting of G20 leaders in Turkey where security issues dominated, Cameron said Britain would demonstrate the same resolve in the fight against terrorism it showed against Nazi Germany in World War Two.
"It is that same resolve that will defeat this terrorism and ensure that the values we believe in, and the values we defend, will again in the end prevail," he said.
As part of its broader five-year defence and security review, which is due to be published on 23 November, Britain will fund an extra 1,900 officers at its MI5 and MI6 spy agencies and the GCHQ eavesdropping agency, Cameron said. It will also spend £2bn ($3bn) by 2020 on boosting the capabilities of British special forces, including investing in communications equipment, weapons and vehicles.
The British leader defended his recent meetings with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who have both been criticised for their respective country's human rights records.
"You can't conduct foreign policy by press releases and pious statements in parliament. You have to engage and build the alliances that can make the difference. A deeper partnership means a deeper conversation and a greater ability to address the issues that concern us," he said.