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…
But perhaps the tide has turned.
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.
What it boils down to is who ‘us’ is.
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!
What did I say?
A few 2015 predictions no doubt swiftly to be proven wrong.
On the usual themes of politics, foreign policy and technology:
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.
However, Alistair Burt has given me pause to reconsider, and to refine my thoughts on Parliament’s role.
Hmmm, been a while and you have my apologies for that. Not that this is any great exposition of my grand skills as an oracle, sadly, it is just some post holiday news I feel you should read.
A brief news post to recommend the coverage given to the CDS’s Xmas speech by The Thin Pin Striped Line & UK Armed Forces Commentary defence blogs. The full text of the speech can be found on Thinkdefence here.
Some highlights follow.
Nick Harvey – “The idea that you should produce weapons of mass destruction in order to keep 1,500 jobs going in the Barrow shipyard is simply ludicrous,”
You hear some foolish statements on occasion, but considering this one comes from an ex MoD minister it is an absolute pearler! The Barrow jobs preserve the sovereign and strategic capability that is nuclear submarines, regardless of whether they contain ballistic missiles or not. And the British Defence Industrial Strategy regards nuclear submarines as a strategic industry over which we must retain sovereign control.
That said, foolish statement aside I believe he is on the money when he talks of “nukes in the cupboard”.