Leaked MoD report admits troop morale hit

By politics.co.uk staff

British troops’ confidence and morale was “badly damaged” by the way the strategic defence and security review was handled, according to an internal Ministry of Defence (MoD) report.

The paper, leaked to the Telegraph newspaper, was assessing ‘lessons learned’ from the defence review process.

It confirmed the criticisms of the Labour opposition that key decisions were being taken without consultation and found that “high-level military judgements” should have taken another six to nine months to reach.

“The combination of well-sourced media stories on final decisions and these restrictions on internal communications have badly damaged the confidence and morale of our personnel and created a poor baseline for implementation,” the report stated.

Labour’s shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy said the report showed that decisions had been “stitched up” to meet the government’s spending plans rather than Britain’s security needs.

“We all know the defence review created big gaps in our defence capability, and now it is clear there is a gaping chasm in the government’s credibility,” he commented.

Defence secretary Liam Fox was embarrassed during the defence review process when a leaked letter he had written to prime minister David Cameron, revealing his concerns about the process, was published in the press.

He told the Telegraph: “The SDSR process and its outcomes have been supported throughout by myself, my ministerial team and the service chiefs.

“The SDSR will deliver a modern armed forces fit for the range of tasks that we face. It was based on a rigorous assessment of our priorities, proper consultation with allies, and thorough discussion with the Chiefs and their services.”