WASHINGTON — In what is believed to be the first time since the 1940s, the entire British defense staff will be here March 25 to discuss long-range strategy and the impact of budget cuts with their U.S. counterparts, according to U.S. and British sources.
The meeting is reminiscent of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, when British and American military leaders joined forces during World War II. Both nations are undergoing significant budgetary reductions and will continue to rely on each other in future years for support. Understanding what capabilities will survive and won’t is essential to long-term strategic planning.
“The relationship military to military is very strong. We have common interest in how we meet the financial constraints placed on both nations, but also on issues like how we manage the drawdown in Afghanistan and also how we reconfigure post Afghanistan,” said Sir Gerald Howarth, a member of parliament and the ex-defense minister responsible for international security affairs from 2010 to 2012.