Britain must be prepared to defend its place in the world

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Semper_Flexibilis, Jan 1, 2010.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Mr Rifkind does make some very good points, but seems to miss the key one. Yes, we must be prepared to defend our place in the world - but what is it?

    It seems to me that many of our present problems are down to prevarication over what capabilities we do or don't need. Until that's decided, most of the arguments on procurement, manning, deployment etc. remain moot.
  2. Rifkind gives himself a paradox to answer: "The defence budget can hardly expect to be totally immune when the public finances are in such a mess. But nor can our national interests in a dangerous world be ignored or endangered."

    The defence budget has been under pressure since SDR. Commitments have increased, budgets have been held, or grown at a lower rate than defence inflation. We've fought somebody pretty much every year since 1998. And yet we've cut capabilities, reduced force levels, and our forces are not in the position they were supposed to be after SDR, or after new chapter. Bluntly, the defence budget ought to be immune because otherwise we won't have the capability to defend our interests.
  3. According to Mr Rifkind:

    "we need more substantial partnerships with France and other serious European military states"

    Couldn't agree more.....
  4. Remove the word OTHER and it would be spot on!!

  5. You can do the cooking… . :wink:
  6. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Usmarox has put his thumb on it. Defence forces exist to serve political ends. Until political objectives are defined nobody can size what a country does or doesn't need. This now has to be done within the framework of the EU taking over our foreign policy so that we don't have one any more, and in this sense our elected politicians have abdicated responsibility for the Defence of the UK to a body which couldn't care less about us as an independent entity, indeed seeks to fragment us into 'Regions' and destroy our sense of nationality, and is driven by people who have spent the last five centuries trying to do us in the eye. Politicians need reminding that the original reason people banded together and accepted political leadership was in return for being defended, and that in the case of the United Kingdom the defence of the Realm is the primary task of Govt, not some sort of nice-to-have addon. When Cameron speaks of 'ring fencing foreign aid' as his top priority that shows he hasn't 'got it' to borrow his own phrase.
  7. Please explain?

    I thought we defended our place in the world on at least two occasions, the dates of which escape me...
  8. So why was'nt Rifkind more supportive of Defense when his lot were in power? Because I don't recall any great effort on his part.
  9. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Indeed Monkey, but right now our Govt and potential Govt do not seem to have any idea of where we ought to be in the future.
  10. 'Defending our place in the world' is about more than just military means, though. It's a whole package of activity from maintaining economic muscle through to developing cutting edge intellectual property. The UK's budgetary pie isn't big enough to feed R&D, universities, supporting manufacturing and technology companies, etc. and still keep the Armed Forces in the top band of world class.

    There's also a lot of mileage in the idea that a nation's 'place in the world' is determined in part by the values it upholds as well as the means by which it upholds them. We used to have a measure of resect because of the moral high ground we more often than not occupied. It cost us dearly on a great many occasions, but other nations knew we could be relied upon to do the decent thing - both allies and opponents. The last 12 years have put that to be, but it was getting drowsy by the point we sheltered Pinochet. Political pragmatism can be great in the short term, but needs cautious application with an eye on the future. Vision is something our political classes have been conspicuously lacking since WW2.
  11. Let's recall what sir Malcolm wrote 31 August 2008

    So in 2008 sir Malcolm was sure that there are 'the difficult years ahead' and the main cause is Russia's policy. But now, in the recent article, Russia has not been mentioned at all. But why? Because sir Malcom as a true politician may make 'tough' statements and forget about them after a year or so. And all these 'points' that have been made now could be forgotten as well in 2010 or 2011.

    Thus don't pay much attention to words sounded by politicians.
  12. I think there is a lot of sense above, however, in looking for any place for the UK & NI in the world, I think we need to consider not only the larger aims of do we wish world influence, do we wish to be ruled from Europe etc., but the bigger question:


    What foundation for world respect of any kind is the downhill spiralling of our society?

    What financial stability can we offer the world whilst we bankrupt ourselves supporting the yob and riminal sector of our society?

    How much trust can any foreign state, or large commercially based concern have in our position whilst our newspapers are rampant with obvious self-interest in our leaders?

    It is great to have world ambitions, but these should be the ambitions of a proud and hard working people, not just those of politicians and financiers.

    As to how, and led by whom, politics is a statesman-free zone at present!
  13. Go on I'll say it, European Army. At least that way we won't have to spend a lot on an HQ (JHQ) and its barracks. With the months of hand wringing before deploying any troops (which are most likely to come from these fair Isles) we could drop our readiness levels to that of the TA - thereby bringing the TA into the "One Army".
  14. Showing up late to battle is a US trait. In fact, one wonders if the US would have ever fought the Nazi menace if the Japanese hadn't stuck Pearl Harbour!