UK should strengthen forces to prevent 26/11-type attack:Panel

UK should strengthen forces to prevent 26/11-type attack:Panel

The Commission, chaired by former defence minister George Robinson and former Leader of the Liberal Democrats party Paddy Ashdown said the Special forces should be increased "to deal with a Mumbai-type attack in the UK."

Calling for radical changes in Britain's security policy. the panel set up by the Institute for Public Policy Research, a think-tank, said the defence system needs to be overhauled to reflect the realities of post-9/11 and post-recession. It also suggested investment in cyber-warfare and boosting coastal security.

Besides increase in the size of forces from 98,000 to 115-120,000, it recommended "greater specialisation" in armed forces and investing in "high quality personnel training".
The Commission said, "It is delusional for Britain to believe that it can continue to rely on US military protection as an alternative to greater European defence cooperation.

"There will be a future crisis that leaves us vulnerable to shifting American interests and opinion, relative US decline and European disunity and weakness, when Nato's political glue fails to hold and Europe is left more exposed than at any time since the Second World War," the report cautioned.

"In the post-9/11, post financial crisis world, we must be smarter and more ruthless in targeting national resources at the real security risks," said Robertson, the former secretary-general of Nato.

Britain's Special Forces, described as the elite group of the British Army, are made up of the Special Air Services, commandoes, the Special Boat Service, the Special Reconnaissance Regiment, the Special Forces Support Group and the 18 UKSF Signals Regiment.

While emphasising on security, the report also advocated strict compliance with human rights laws and recommended against extradition of suspects to countries where torture might be used.

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