Cameron says Britain needs more drones to combat IS threat
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron returns to 10 Downing Street in London after attending a VE Day service at the Cenotaph, Friday, May 8, 2015. Cameron's Conservative Party swept to power Friday in Britain's Parliamentary elections winning an unexpected majority. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha smile from the steps of 10 Downing Street in London Friday, May 8, 2015, after meeting with Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in a traditional formality, where he informed her that he has enough support to form a government. Cameron's Conservative Party swept to power Friday in Britain's Parliamentary General Elections, winning an unexpected majority. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 08: (L-R) Labour leader Ed Miliband, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and Prime Minister David Cameron attend a tribute at the Cenotaph to begin three days of national commemorations to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day May 8, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. Both Miliband and Clegg said they will resign their posts as party leaders after they were soundly beaten by Cameron and his Conservative Party in yesterday's general election. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron and his wife Samantha are applauded by staff upon entering 10 Downing Street in London on May 8, 2015, after visiting Queen Elizabeth II, a day after the British general election. British Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party on Friday won a majority in the House of Commons in the general election, results showed. AFP PHOTO / POOL / STEFAN ROUSSEAU (Photo credit should read STEFAN ROUSSEAU/AFP/Getty Images)
British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a United Nations Security Council meeting, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014, at at U.N. headquarters. Members of the Security Council were expected to adopt a resolution that would require all countries to prevent the recruitment and transport of would-be foreign fighters preparing to join terrorist groups such as the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
United Kingdom's Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014, at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
British Prime Minister David Cameron attends a meeting of the United Nations Security Council regarding the threat of foreign terrorist fighters during the 69th session of the U.N. General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014, at the United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
British Prime Minister David Cameron meets with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the UN during the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Timothy A. Clary, Pool)
President Barack Obama speaks at the UN Security Council summit on foreign terrorist, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014, at UN headquarters. Front row, from left are, British Prime Minister David Cameron, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the president. Behind are Secretary of State John Kerry and US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
British Prime Minister David Cameron greets President Paul Kagame of Rwanda before a meeting of the United Nations Security Council regarding the threat of foreign terrorist fighters during the 69th session of the U.N. General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a high-level meeting at the Ford Foundation on post-2015 anti-poverty goals, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, Pool)
British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during the United Nation Climate Summit at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
British Prime Minister David Cameron leaves after giving a statement to the media about Scotland's referendum results, outside his official residence at 10 Downing Street in central London, Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Scottish voters have rejected independence, deciding to remain part of the United Kingdom after a historic referendum that shook the country to its core. The decision prevented a rupture of a 307-year union with England, bringing a huge sigh of relief to the British political establishment. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) meets with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the Unityed Nations during the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly September 24, 2014 in New York City. World leaders, activists and protesters have converged on New York City for the annual UN event that brings together the nations for a week of meetings and conferences. This year's General Assembly has highlighted the problem of global warming and how countries need to strive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Photo by Timothy A. Clary-Pool/Getty Images)
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LONDON (AP) — Britain's military should invest more in drones and elite troops to help counter the threat from the Islamic State group, Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday, calling terrorism one of the "evolving threats" facing the U.K.
British defense chiefs are conducting a strategic policy review and Cameron said he has asked them to consider boosting quick-response counterterrorism capabilities such as "spy planes, drones and special forces."
He said the country faced emerging threats, including terrorism, cyberattacks and "an increasingly aggressive Russia."
Britain's military has faced a budget squeeze in recent years as Cameron's government cut public spending. But last week Treasury chief George Osborne committed to spending 2 percent of national income on defense — a NATO target met by few members of the trans-Atlantic alliance.
On Monday, Cameron visited an air force base that is home to Britain's fleet of Reaper drones, which have flown missions over Iraq and Syria as part of the U.S.-led campaign against IS.
Addressing personnel at another base in a hangar of Typhoon fighter jets, Cameron promised to ensure "that we have the drones, spy planes and special forces — the unique capabilities that make sure we can deal with this threat at its source."
British fighter jets have struck targets in Iraq, and Cameron and his ministers have recently suggested the mission could be expanded to Syria.
Such a move could face strong political opposition. Parliament voted in September to attack militants in Iraq, but not Syria. Many lawmakers don't wish to be seen as supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said Monday the government wouldn't rush the decision. He said lawmakers would get the chance to vote on Syria strikes "in due course."