The 2010 Strategic Defence Review is a huge disappointment to those who had hoped for a radical change in Government understanding of defence and security.
The Review provided an ideal opportunity to re-evaluate security policies and redirect financial, research and personnel resources to the real security needs of the day - global - and now national - economic injustice and disparity, the impact of climate change and environmental destruction on both planet and people, and the failure to really understand the fears and perceptions of others - so creating enemies rather than friends. Add to these the Governments own 'threats' to Britain: hostile attacks on cyberspace; large-scale natural disasters or hazards; international terrorism and military crisis between states. Aircraft carriers, Tornado's and Trident nuclear weapons have not and will not bring the real security that Britain and the wider world community seek.
Pat Gaffney, General Secretary of Pax Christi said: "This Review reveals the real weakness of military dominated defence strategies. Look at the billions that we are seeing wasted as projects such as the Nimrod are dumped. Look at how we are compromising our aid programmes by taking resources away from real conflict and poverty prevention to pick up the pieces of the havoc we have created in Afghanistan. Look at how some parts of the country, which have been allowed to become defence dependent in terms of employment, will now suffer when the plug is pulled on projects such as the military academy in the Vale of Glamorgan. In legal terms these actions might be labelled culpable negligence. They show a marked lack of vision and real responsibility towards the common good of humanity"
In January 2010 Pax Christi and sister agency the Fellowship of Reconciliation, issued Security for the Common Good: a Christian challenge to military security strategies, a discussion and advocacy document in preparation for the Strategic Defence Review.
For more information on Pax Christi see: www.paxchristi.org.uk