Campbell calls for defence review

The military covenant needs to be reassessed in the first defence review in ten years, the Liberal Democrats say.

Former leader Sir Menzies Campbell has chaired the party’s own policy study of defence issues and will present his report later today.

“There’s clear evidence where the govt fails to honour its obligations, that is yet another reason which persuades people to leave the armed force,” Sir Menzies told the Today programme.

“Part of the problem is because of the size of our armed forces, we’re asking people to undertake operations far from frequently, far more regularly. this is as much a breach of the military covenant as is failing to provide healthcare, housing.”

The last defence review took place in 1998 and did not foresee British involvement in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

Sir Menzies fears without a radical reassessment Britain’s political ability on the world stage will be negatively affected.

“If we go on. carrying on regardless there will be a long slow decline in Britain’s military capability,” he added.