FT: Admiral Sir John Treacher et al: Britain’s Duty To Strengthen Its Maritime Power

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by soleil, Dec 5, 2011.

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  1. Britain’s duty to strengthen its maritime power

    From Admiral Sir John Treacher, retired colleagues and others.

    Sir, Dire economic times may seem a curious opportunity to advocate naval rearmament. But these are closely related inconvenient truths. Robert Kaplan (“The US navy fostered globalisation: we still need it”, Comment, November 30) draws our attention to the importance of sea power, focusing upon the US navy and the worrying consequences of its decline.

    Seventy per cent of our planet is covered by sea and 80 per cent of us – while inclined to travel abroad by air – are settled quite near it. Britain depends upon its international trade. Some 90 per cent of this by volume and 70 per cent by value travels by sea. No terrorist act will disturb British lives like an obstruction to the Strait of Hormuz by Iran, an unstable nation which has just sacked our embassy in Tehran. We need a dependable flow of liquid natural gas tankers from the Middle East just to keep warm.

    Extending Mr Kaplan’s alert, the Pax Americana and Pax Britannica have ensured security upon the seas for two centuries. World trade has prospered thereby but for two world wars, themselves won by strategic maritime supremacy. This now-folding umbrella is taken for granted – by our public, our government and by many in the Ministry of Defence.

    The Royal Navy has been progressively gutted over a generation, now additionally by the pressing needs of Afghanistan, and to some benefit of land-based air. Its core capabilities remain in place – just, and maritime-borne aviation especially tenuously. These, once lost, are hugely costly to regain. One major trump card exists: in the maritime field a “special relationship” with the US is ready to be rekindled.

    The US deserves much improved support from Europe, certainly at sea. This means flexible deterrent and expeditionary maritime resources. The UK, together with France, has a European duty to lead by both example and persuasion to support the US and like-minded nations to ensure the vital freedom of the seas against discord within international law. This calls for a deterrent alliance of sound maritime strength, sustained by long-term investment in bad times as well as good. “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far,” said Theodore Roosevelt.

    Admiral Sir John Treacher,

    Admiral Sir John (Sandy) Woodward,

    Admiral Sir Jeremy Black,

    Admiral The Lord West of Spithead,

    Major General Julian Thompson,

    Commodore Michael Clapp,

    Rear Admiral Guy Liardet,

    Rear Admiral Jeremy Larken,

    Rear Admiral Chris Parry,

    Commander Nigel MacCartan-Ward,

    Allen Sykes,

    Alexander Clarke
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  2. ££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££



    I hope that you are getting this on 'expenses', Sol.

    I am unable to and thus cannot access your link. :sad: Give us a clue, please?
  3. Apologies, Bob. Fixed it for you.
  4. Thanks VM Sol.

    Were I not 'ever so 'umble' my bold signature would appear (admittedly somewhere near the bottom) of that list of worthies, too!
    • Like Like x 1
  5. I sit back and await the negative spin by HMG on that article.
  6. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

  7. I wanted to sign that as well.

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