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Cameron Appoints New U.K. Military Adviser After Clash With Fox

Prime Minister David Cameron appointed a military assistant to his staff to “strengthen the government’s links to the armed forces” after clashing with Defense Secretary Liam Fox over budget cuts.

Colonel Jim Morris of the Royal Marines will provide Cameron with “assistance on a full range of military issues, with a focus on ongoing operations in Afghanistan,” the prime minister’s office in London said in an e-mailed statement today.

Disputes over the military budget, which will be set out next week in statements to Parliament, have been the most public within Cameron’s coalition. Fox warned the premier in a letter leaked last month that deep cuts to armed-forces spending while Britain is at war in Afghanistan would hit soldiers’ morale and damage the ruling Conservative Party.

Asked if the premier is bypassing Fox by recruiting Morris, Cameron’s spokesman Steve Field told reporters that the defense ministry had been “completely involved” in the appointment. “This is about making things better, not fixing a problem,” Field said.

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