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Guardian: Our Defence Policy is caught between Pride & Guilt

lonestar

War Hero
Re: Guardian: Our Defence Policy is caught between Pride & G

I wanted to hate that article as it is from The Guardian and it as normal leans firmly towards scrapping the Trident replacement but it was actually a pretty honest attempt at making the comparative decisions needed. It also brings up this reoccuring notion that it's the carriers or Trident, but not both.

I remember reading about the defence review that came before Trident was announced, there was much debate at the time about whether the cost should be borne by the RN budget, spread between the 3 services or be paid for by the government separately - the argument being that although it would be an RN operated weapon, it was not a useable asset in the normal sense and as such did not contribute to the strength of our maritime forces but rather to the national position as a whole.

The brunt of it ended up coming out of the RN budget and as such we suffered greatly in conventional areas in that SDR. The point I am getting at is if the decision on the carriers is going to take into account the cost of Trident and then be framed in terms of whether the RN can afford them rather than whether the country can afford them then perhaps less people would be so firm on the need for a Trident replacement to be submarine based.

How many people would take the carriers, the aircraft for them, and a reasonable commitment in areas like the remaining Astutes and the FSC in exchange for losing a submarine borne nuclear capability and passing that over to say, the RAF?

Hypothetical I know, but i'm curious.
 
A

angrydoc

Guest
I'm not so sure lonestar - like all Guardian articles it starts out well, identifies the issues, then goes back to the "standard" left-wing line - no more Trident (pronounced Troi-dent), single European force.
 

lonestar

War Hero
angrydoc said:
I'm not so sure lonestar - like all Guardian articles it starts out well, identifies the issues, then goes back to the "standard" left-wing line - no more Trident (pronounced Troi-dent), single European force.

I do see where you are coming from and his conclusions were far from perfect, but he did seem to leave the door slightly open to not getting rid of the deterrent entirely but rather doing it cheaper (or maybe I was being too generous to the author when I read it), progress for a Guardian article.

I had always until very very recently, been completely against going for anything other than a submarine based weapon - I still am from a purely strategic sense. However if it does come down to an either or with the alternative being no carriers, no aircraft, no reasoning for future frigates to protect said carriers etc. then I am really not so sure anymore.
 

AngryMonkey

Lantern Swinger
Re: Guardian: Our Defence Policy is caught between Pride & G

Surely an independent nuclear deterrent is more important now more than ever with North Korea nuclear armed and Iran on the way there as the Chinese and Russians continue to sabotage any diplomatic/economic efforts to stop them. Any land based ICBM system would still cost billions and would take years to get the go ahead as they go through every court in the land as no one wants to live next to a nuclear warhead and in order to be effective as a deterrent they would need to be scattered across the country.
In regards to the carriers, Asia is going to be the centre of world events/conflicts for the next generation with Afghanistan being a 20 year job at least, Pakistan's likely to get worse before it gets better and China and India seem set for confrontation (either directly or via proxies) to determine whose the daddy in the continent. As well as that there's the Falklands ,which if oil is found in any substantial amount, will remain under threat from Argentina. So once again I'd say that the carriers are needed now more than ever so that we can project influence and if needs be force in world events.
 
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