The UK has a new Defence Secretary. Liam Fox continues in the role but on the other side of the House.
Out of all the appointments mentioned today this one concerns me most. Liam Fox, as shadow defence secretary, never performed better than average. His media interviews were composed of soundbites and no substance and often he seemed far more concerned that the public knew he had been to visit our troops in various parts of the world rather than address their concerns.
As you will gather I'm not impressed with Dr Fox. During the defence debate a few weeks ago he was dreadful. Even Bob Ainsworth made mincemeat out of him. Not a good omen for someone who has one of the most challenging portfolios in government. Dr Fox was a supporter of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as believing that military force is an option against Iran. He strongly supports NATO and is opposed to European defence integration (as well as European political integration).
In recent years he has been vocal in his opinion that the Military Covenant is broken and that the armed forces are being asked to do too much for what they are resourced to do. He has pledged to restructure the defence procurement process in the MoD and also stated that it would be a matter of policy to see Britain's share of global defense exports increasing under this new government.
David Cameron has, as promised, has set up a war cabinet in the form of a National Security Council and the initial meeting will be tonight. Details can be read here.
I remember Liam Fox's entrance to politics when it was mooted he was destined for great things. He had an enthusiasm about his work in those days and dare I say more than a little sparkle. It's my wish his enthusiasm returns. Our troops deserve the best from the government. Nothing less will do.
Bob Ainsworth shouldn't be a hard act to follow. I remember when he was appointed I was informed he had asked to speak to a group of senior army officers. The feedback I received was that he seemed a genuine person but continually referred to his lack of formal education throughout his talk. It's generally accepted he was promoted beyond his capabilities but no doubt he did his best. One rather nice touch from him is a message he left on the MoD's website.
Liam Fox has followed his example.