Perhaps the first thing is to get Gordon to pay for the defence sevices we actually need. It is not as, Ainworth who seems to be little more than a yes man hanging as a minister for all he can get out of it, suggests that we can't afford it it is that Gordon has frittered it away on trying to make himself look good and regraetaably failed at that too.
Maybe we must cooperat emore but will the French be there on the day? Whatever the 'duty carrier' is needed for, if it's the Fr one they will have a veto if they don't like the politics. I can hardly see them letting us take it south ..
The only alliances that work are ad hoc ones for a specific purpose, or (up to a point) ones like NATO where a treaty lays inescapable commitments on the parties ... but it was never tried, which is lucky. Look at what a great help the Belgians were in 1939, not letting the BEF take up militarily defensible positions in their country in case it upset the Germans. ... and refusing to sell us ammuniton for the Gulf War.
Although he was trying hard not to say there would be any cut backs on carriers etc it is the clearest sign yet that there will be.The only thing that is helping the Carriers cuurently is that there are votes for Brown in his constituency depending on them.
I must agree with Seaweed's view. If, come the day we start extracting our mineral wealth from the South Atlantic, we are constantly harassed by p**sed off South American neighbours I canâ€™t imagine the French or the boxheads (or any of our trusty EU pals) committing usefully to our needs. That said, how keen would we be to get entangled in any French problems in the Caribbean or Pacific?
Rogue states could be everybodyâ€™s problem in the future. Our own Crown possession problems will be all ours, again. I must ask my next door neighbour if he fancies contributing to my house insurance premiums.
The NATO membership obligations have been invoked. It was in â€™01 and we are still in the â€˜Stan trying to resolve its aftermath.