Los Angeles 10/15/2010 10:38:58 PM
News / Politics

Clinton Worried Over UK Defense Cuts

The US has expressed concern over planned military cutback by the British government. US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has broadcast her concerns in an interview on Friday.

The UK has the second-largest force in Afghanistan, and the planned reductions in defense spending, part of the nation’s efforts to deal with a burgeoning budget deficit, are raising eyebrows in Washington.

The interview, conducted by the BBC in Brussels asked Clinton if there was concern over the cuts. She answered affirmatively, and said that the maintenance of the NATO alliance was very important.

"Each country has to be able to make its appropriate contributions, of course there are cuts that we're making, but then there are new responsibilities, like cyber security or missile defense, that we're going to have to assume."

Clinton further stated that she hoped the budget pressures which “we all feel” wouldn’t hamper “our mutual efforts."

The review of the UK’s defense spending is still to be finalize, with a final analysis due out next week. While there are as yet no exact figures available, estimates are that reductions of around 10 percent will be likely on the 37 billion pound ($59.21 billion) budget for the Defense Ministry between the years 2011 and 2015.

The British armed forces have also expressed concern. The Defense Minister, Liam Fox was reported as saying in a leaked document that the planned 4 billion pound cut from his budget was "financially and intellectually virtually impossible."