UK to protect 3 shared priorities with US from defense cuts

US Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates shakes hands with British Defence Secretary Liam Fox in London, June 8, 2010.

From AFP:  London has sought to reassure anxious US officials that plans for major defense cuts will not undermine its status as Washington’s most important military ally, officials said Friday.

Amid US concerns over London’s plans to slash 10 to 20 percent in military spending, Defence Secretary Liam Fox told his US counterpart, Robert Gates, in a visit to the Pentagon this week that key weapons and programs would not be sacrificed, a British official said.

As Britain undertakes a strategic review to decide which of its military programs to cut, Fox "wanted to come over to offer some reassurance and explain how the process was working," said Martin Longden, press attache for the British embassy in Washington.

"We enter it, as America’s most important military ally, and we’ll leave this review still as America’s most important ally," he told AFP.

Fox informed Gates that Britain would retain its special forces, stick to plans to buy F-35 fighter jets and maintain its nuclear forces, Longden said.

"Those three things our friends in America care deeply about and we understood that," he said.  (photo: Getty)

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