The events of the last month have lead to me labelling events with a tag of “SeapowerState”, whether that was the pointlessness of Afghanistan, the move from Trade to Foreign Office for Liz Truss, or the defenestration of France’s Indo-PAC strategy by AUKUS. Gently pointing out the power of culture in Foreign Policy; exposing the tyranny of Mahan in how we understand “Sea Power” only as a deracinated military method, and not in its truest sense of a temporary and artificial cultural construct, willingly adopted, via systematic appropriation that then drives public policy.
Most of efforts this year have been on twitter – which is to say I have been lazier in refusing to put the time and effort into properly researching, structuring, and presenting an argument in long form. Where I have taken the trouble to attempt such in twitter form – as a thread – they will be recorded for posterity below. This is less a comment on their quality, and more to do with the fact that I periodically blitz my twitter postings.
Tough times for the Commandos in the last decade. The SDR98 ambition built up 3Cdo into a force that could launch a brigade across a beach and then conduct combined-arms maneuvre warfare ashore. Afghanistan and Iraq fattened-up a lean ‘marine’ force into just another roulement brigade to be cycled through the War on Terror, and SDSR10/15 cut the ‘legs’ away from 3Cdo in shedding the RN and RFA ships that made them ‘amphibious’. The final nail is the proliferation of near-peer aversaries fielding anti-access area denial (A2AD) weapons that push traditional amphibious capabilies so far off-shore they no longer have any strategic effect on-shore. So things weren’t looking good…
I give my consent that you may govern in my name, and assent to be bound by the actions you take in my name as if they were my own.
However, the authority to govern that you possess in consequence is never to be leased out to a third party, and I will not deem those actions as were they my own.
I want a Europe that enables the power and influence of Britain in the world. For, in achieving this, our government then has in its hands the tools to maximise the welfare and well-being of the people in Britain. This requires change. At all times and in all places the willingness of a nation-state to embrace change is an absolute precondition of its future success. Allowing divergence is not something the post-Maastricht EU is known for, and this has retarded our capacity for change.
If we seek we maximise the power and influence of Britain in the world, then we need to change and we likewise need Europe to change too.
The 23rd of October is the deadline to submit your thoughts on the opportunities and threats to be considered in the 2015 National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review. Get cracking, make your 1500 characters count!
Ukraine is an endless source of fun. The play-thing of a Mad God and yet safely removed from the possibility of further Western Adventures. But, perhaps this time Putin has overplayed his hand, forcing a response that Russia’s petro-export economy can ill afford.
Perhaps not. Rather a price that has been judged worth paying:
Previously I have held to the view that the Iraq war at the same time as Afghanistan has threatened to wreck the traditional British consensus on liberal intervention. I saw parliamentary control of war as being the best mechanism we have to ensure an active foreign policy in future, it represents the best opportunity we have to keep the public engaged in what Lindley-French describes as our missionary Foreign Policy. From the point of view of an effectively communicated geopolitics I was happy see the PM retain this power, but feared it would only be a faster route to Belgium.