The Think Defence site has begun a series of articles looking at new ways of structuring the forces with the aim of achieving the best bang for the buck, or Capability Plus in TD parlance. The first service to attract scrutiny is the Royal Navy. The articles are packed with informed detail, cast a harsh spotlight on many long accepted assumptions about what the Navy should do, and provide a number of excellent solutions for preserving and enhancing capability. The purpose of this article is first and foremost a recommendation that people should read them.
Additionally; both thanks and awe that TD has remained such a prolific writer throughout.
Another roller-coaster week in Strategic Defence & Security Review, with a parade of headlines in the news, that if considered chronologically, draw an interesting picture of the evolution of ideas that is occurring at break-neck pace inside the offices of government.
And it all started with the following headline: “Navy to reduce to smallest size ever to save carriers”
The RUSI paper released today deals with the realm of deterrence, and principally the naval means by which a maritime power such as Britain requires presence to achieve this, the paper is titled; Why things don’t happen – Silent principles of national security. Its argument lies in a refutation of the Admiralty strategy of preserving high-end war fighting capability against the Treasury tendency to argue that an insufficient capability is in fact sufficient because its inadequacy has yet to be demonstrated. France has long maintained a hi-lo naval force structure, notably with its Floreal and La Fayette class frigates, to provide for constabulary and diplomatic duties in addition to specialised vessels such as the Horizon class AAW vessels and the FREMM class ASW/GP/AAW frigates. The latter are principally tasked with escorting High Value Assets (HVA’s) and providing area defence to a naval task-group, perhaps its is time to force the Admiralty to accept the same prescription……
For to concentrate purely on high-end war fighting is to create a fleet so limited in numbers that any loss is catastrophic and therefore its employment improbable, and its utility nullified.