Re: RUSI: " 'Little Britain' will not be global military pow
So if we take on board the "little Britain" option, the Fleet becomes nothing more than very expensive fisheries protection and border enforcement ships. With occasional days of Empire visits to the former pink bits on the map.
Global politics doesn't work like that, but he's right in saying UK Plc has to make a decision on what punch up (or peacekeeping / humanitarian / law enforecment) we get involved with.
Reminds me of that old Yes Prime Minister sketch on Foreign Office stages of intervention:
"In stage one we say nothing is going to happen.
Stage two, it may happen, but we should do nothing.
Stage three, maybe we should do something, but there's nothing we CAN do.
Stage four, maybe there was something we could have done, but it's too late now."
In his 'Troubleshooter' TV series in the early 1990s, ex-Lt Cdr, wartime veteran and legendary business leader Sir John Harvey-Jones MBE looked at the Royal Navy as an institution. He remarked that Britain's ability to project global power independent of the UN, NATO, Brussels, Washington, etc., relied on the RN's three main capabilities: Air Power, Amphibiosity and Submarines. Remove any one of these and Britain would need to rely on other nations in order to take any effective military action, even against a fifth rate power.
He warned at the time that salami-slicing had pared things to the bone and any further cuts would affect at least one of these arms and its infrastructure. Here we are 20 years later and thanks to the Astute programme, the LPH and LPDs, and the promised new carriers, we are still holding on... but only just. People are talking about the need for a new foreign policy review to drive a defence review. All well and good but if the same scant attention is paid to the latter as was paid to SDR, then we really are up the creek. As before, economic factors will influence matters far more than the country's actual defence needs.
Over 95% of UK Trade is carried by sea - ipso facto we need a navy to protect the trade interests of UK plc - no question of our not being able to deploy said navy worldwide since that is where our import and export trade is!
We should not get confused by the arguments of power projection/world policing and defence of Britain's interests including trade and sea lines of communication
It would be rather silly to have mineral extraction rights in the South Atlantic without the means of securing its safety; but, hey, what the hell do we know.
For a Nation of around 61M souls, we are still pretty prosperous and still around 5th in the World order. The chattering classes seem to think we are militarily powerful (again in relation to our size) because we are rich. they never seem to question whether we are rich because we are militarily powerful.