Monday, October 16, 2006

The dilapidated Senior Service

The Telegraph reports that the Royal Navy is unable to take a central - or even substantial - role in enforcing proposed UN sanctions against North Korea.

But senior Royal Navy officers last night cast serious doubt over Britain's ability to make a significant naval contribution to the proposed UN force, claiming that drastic cuts in government spending on the navy over the past decade had severely reduced their ability to participate in major foreign operations.

That's over the last decade since New Labour took control. Not that the useless Tories did much for the Navy either.

"But it knows that to keep our presence on the Security Council Britain needs to demonstrate what we can do."

Defence experts predicted that the most the Royal Navy could contribute was a single frigate, a Royal Fleet auxiliary support vessel and a Trafalgar class hunter killer submarine.

Wow! That'll show them. Britannia rules the waves - in Tony Blair's bathtub.

But senior navy officers expressed deep concern about their ability to defend their ships against a hostile missile or fighter threat after a decision was enforced six months ago to scrap the Sea Harrier fighter.

As a result of government cutbacks any British ships deployed to the South China Sea to enforce the UN resolution would depend on the American or French navies to provide "beyond visual range" air defence with their aircraft carriers.

So, since Labour went about systematically destroying our armed forces the RN are now so pathetic that they have to rely on the French for air defence! What a remarkable turnaround since the end of the Second World War. We're even dependent on the French to build what few ships we are to get in the future.

An island nation needs a strong Navy. A first world power - which is what the world's fourth (or fifth) largest economy should be - needs to be able to project that power globally. The fact the Britain can no longer do this is shameful. The fact that nobody seems to give a toss is disturbing.

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