Monday, June 28, 2010

Editorial comment on WSJ Story 'Opinion Europe: Britain's Damaging Defense Cuts'

Editorial comment on WSJ Story 'Opinion Europe: Britain's Damaging Defense Cuts'
June 28, 2010

The Ministry of Defence is clearly in a footrace to establish sensible resource priorities in its SDSR Review process before the Treasury can do so on the Departments behalf. The huge risk is that the Land based operations in Iraq and Afghanistan combined with a Ministerial team with some prior experience in the British Army will move towards protecting Army capabilities at the expense of the Royal Navy or Royal Air Force - or worse taking an 'equal pain' perspective on cuts rather than taking real decisions,

Past history shows that countries with a weak navy and power projection capability are faced with either being a) hostage to events far abroad or b) faced with only being able to deal with problems when they close with the UK mainland. Neither scenario is positive and given the likely future challenges to security such as security of energy supply, resource challenges in the North Polar region and protecting UK nationals in a globalized world the current Army bias in thinking needs to be redressed. Thankfully the temptation to replace CDS has been held off during the review as the Army would most likely be the beneficiary - at the expense of Britain's future security. Less Soldiers, more simple ships and Royal Marines would draw on the right lessons of history going into a most uncertain 21st century strategic environment.

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