John Bean looks at the Brit Dems’ Defence Policy.
By next year the British Army will be reduced to 95,000 and eventually to 82,000 by 2020. To save money, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will try and expand its ‘reserve forces’, which is the old Territorial Army, up to 30,000 As we and the American and Canadian forces begin to slink away from Afghanistan we are faced with the prospect that following our complete exit by the end of this year the Taliban will be back in control within two years.
Thus for nothing have 447 British servicemen and women given up their lives, with 1500 or more being seriously injured and maimed for life. This is the outcome of the deceit, dishonesty, and derisory actions of the Lib-Lab-Con in its commitment – all in the name of expanding democracy – to follow the United States in trying to force the one world rule of the money power upon the nations of the world.
It was virtually a repeat of the disastrous interference into the affairs of the sovereign nation of Iraq, which Tony ‘I’m an honest sort of guy’ Blair got us into by the now known lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The outcome was that around 100,000 Iraqis died, as did 4,200 American and 180 British servicemen. And somehow, Blair eventually became a multi-millionaire.
Saddam was a ruthless dictator and you crossed his path, or that of his family, at your peril. But he kept this nation of opposing Shia and Sunni Moslems, plus two million Christians and Jews, from slitting each others throats. This custom is now again endemic and the Christians and Jews have nearly all departed, if not already exterminated.
Visitors to the British Democrats site should consider our views on foreign policy and defence and contrast them with those of the old parties. This is the key difference:
‘We do not want Britain to carry out the role of the world’s policeman. Our service personnel must not be sent to die in foreign wars in which we have no vital interests at stake’.
To defend our interests and prevent any future militant internal threats to national security we need an Army of the present size. An Army that has the best equipment available, living accommodation equal to that expected in similar civilian occupations, and a pay scale that will attract and hold the most suitable men and women.
In regard to the RAF, the latest MoD plan is to reduce the size by 1,640 personnel. We cannot see the case for this reduction as its aircraft become ever more complex. The Eurofighter was designed to meet a threat that no longer exists: defence against Soviet bombers. But with modifications being carried out it is said to be doing its job. We would call into question the proposed deal to purchase Americas F-35 joint strike fighter to which we have already committed £2bn towards development costs.
Stop Naval Cuts
As an island Nation we cannot possibly afford to reduce our Navy any further. We depend on trade and even if 50 per cent continues to be with the rest of Europe it can’t all go through the Channel Tunnel. Although we face no immediate threat of invasion by a foreign nation, we cannot predict what exactly will happen in ten year’s time, let alone twenty. For a start, we need to treble the number of patrol vessels available – around 20 at present – to halt the situation of our coasts being as effective as a sieve in preventing the arrival of an ever growing number of illegal immigrants. We should also have sufficient naval vessels to take part in a permanent combined European naval patrol in the Mediterranean to reduce the flood of immigrants arriving from Africa. We should also continue to contribute ships to control pirate actions on world trade routes, which has been mainly successful in dealing with Somali pirates.
The above are necessary roles for the future Royal Navy. They simply cannot be carried out effectively with the maximum of 79 commissioned ships we have at present – and nearly half of those spend most time at anchor. Excluding the fabled two giant aircraft carriers being jointly built with France, our ships include only 6 destroyers and 13 frigates as at September 2013, with 24 patrol vessels and 15 minesweepers When I left the Royal Navy in July 1948 (I reached the dizzy heights of a Leading Radar Mechanic) Britain still had at least seven aircraft carriers in operation and a hundred or more destroyers and frigates, a situation which was to last until the sixties.
We still have four ballistic missile submarines in operation, armed with the American manufactured nuclear missiles, for which they hold the keys ! This consumes a large slice of our naval budget. It could be trimmed by reducing the number to three: one on constant patrol, one always ready to go, and one under maintenance. Unfortunately, with nuclear weapons possibly available to most intrepid terrorist organisations around the globe, we would be foolish to scrap all four missile subs.
The latest reports on the two new aircraft carriers state that the original £3.6bn estimate has almost doubled to £6.2bn, and is expected to rise a further £800 million before completion. It is also reported that the carriers could set sail without a proper radar system to warn of enemy planes and missiles. The technology will not be ready until six years after the first carrier enters service in 2016. As is now well known the carriers are still without any sign of aircraft. Although the last Labour government destroyed the Harrier jump jets, they did at least visualise the use of more advanced versions. In 2010 Cameron scrapped these plans and instead ordered versions of the US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which would need catapults and arrester gear to take off and land on the vessels (which jump jets would not need). When the cost of fitting the ships with ‘cats and traps’ more than doubled to £2bn, David Cameron flip-flopped and returned to buying the jump jet. The move cost £74 million in lost man hours, administration and needless planning. So the saga goes on….and on.