Sovereign Base Areas

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Brick, Jul 25, 2008.

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  1. Genuine question but why didn't we create more of these when we were withdrawing from the colonies like we did with Akrotiri and Dhekelia when we gave Cyprus back to the locals? When it's obvious places like the Middle East are going to become strategically important as a source of oil I just find it slightly surprising that we didn't try arranging for a similar thing somewhere like Bahrain/the UAE and other useful places in the world like the French did in West Africa.
     
  2. Good question and well put!

    Galling that the French have one over us on this - galling.
     
  3. Gib not good enough for you, then?
     
  4. Well it's nice as a pair with the Cyprus bases at each end of the Mediterranean - and granted we also have/had Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean - but the fact that we didn't think to also get something in the Persian Gulf, gave Simon's Town back, or get anything in the Far East to replace Singapore and Hong Kong who we knew we were going to be handing back and that the lease was going to run out eventually respectively just strikes me as a bit puzzling. Not that I'm saying we should have tried to keep fully fledged colonies or anything, but having a piece of your own real estate in places around the world that you can build military bases on can be exceedingly useful.
     
  5. Doesn't one of the fiundamental precepts about the Commonwealth include a provision for mutual military cooperation in the event of a need to preserve national security or further joint interests?

    As I understand it, that's 52 countries on our side already.
     
  6. The lease didn't run out. It was ours in perpetuity. We (or rather, they) gave it away in return for a limited period concession to the inhabitants.


    But, yes. It would have been an idea to keep a base there to remind the Chinese of our capabilities. (Like Singapore in 1942 perhaps?).
     
  7. My bold 'cough boll0cks', we no longer have any capabilities becuase we are overstreched all over the middle east, and I feel we would be more subject to chinese espionage and surveillance than we already currently are, so clearly it was the right move to withdraw, the british army was getting smaller at the time, so we had to make the change. The british army is a changing creature, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

    Theres no point in taking on the future economic and military superpower. We would be a laughing stock and it would be like swatting a fly comparitively for the chinese army. You my friend, are living in days of the raj, do you still watch it aint half hot mum? However with a avatar name like yours it does give it away! :p

    At my unit there are some some officers like this, and its laughable, because they are total plonkers they are in thier superficial world where they think they have thier lacky running around for them. But I can tell you, it aint this callsign. :D
     
  8. My apologies as I wasn't quite that clear, you are quite correct in that we gained Hong Kong island itself and Kowloon in perpetuity thanks to the Treaty of Nanking in 1842 I think it was. The area known as the New Territories however we acquired later in 1898 on a 99 year lease. And since the New Territories made up something like 90% of the landmass of the colony with nearly all of its farmlands and sources of water, which even then needed to be supplemented with supplies piped in from China, it was realised that trying to split the place in half just to keep Hong Kong island and part of Kowloon would be completely unworkable so they relinquished them as well when the lease ran out.

    Back around 1910 or so someone suggested returning the leased territory of Weihaiwei up in northern China in return for making the lease on the New Territories in perpetuity as well but for various reasons it never came to anything. Shame really.


    They wouldn't even have to use the military. They could simply cut off the water supplies they piped into Hong Kong along with closing the border to food deliveries and commerce. Or they could go in completely in the other direction and open the border on their side and watch the place get drowned under a wave Chinese civilians trying to get into Hong Kong for a better life.
     
  9. Why didn't you also bold the "(Like Singapore in 1942 perhaps?)"?

    Because it would confirm that you're a cnut who jumps in to comment before reading the full post?

    If you're into economic history, the reason why Hong Kong was given to China was nothing to do with military superpowers. It was simply because, with the return of the leased New Territories, it would have cost a fortune to feed and water the inhabitants. Maintaining the naval base there would also have been impractical because it would have silted up within a matter of months.

    Now, had the naval base been in Aberdeen or, better yet, Lantau...
     
  10. Brick: As you say, Kowloon and Hong Kong Island were unsustainable. With regard to maintaining a naval presence (not for action against the Chinese -that would be folly - but just to maintain a presence in that part of the world), a move to Lantau would probably have been feasible. But that would have had to have been decided before the airport was built (otherwise there'd be a big empty airport) and would have cost big bucks in terms of investment with little prospect of return.

    Lantau was also ceded to UK, had a relatively small population, farmlands and an adequate water supply. (And a BFO Buddha).

    Doing so may not have gone down too well with the inhabitants of Kowloon and HK Island, many of whom strove to escape from the area in 1996-97, not knowing what the Chinese return might bring. Fortunately, the Chinese seem to have kept their word.
     
  11. I think you are missing the point here -

    What I am saying though is if we were still there it would have no significant tactical importance to us. Because we (the british army) are too fecking small. I am saying that things have changed for the better, I am no economic expert however i can say it was a no win situation tactically for the british army to be there.

    I am clearly stating you need to get with the times....
    Now undo your putties and put some burnt orange trainers on and jog on.....
     
  12. It's not about tactics. The peacetime British Army has been too small for tactics since Victoria's day (and the Navy since about 1920). The topic is about SBAs.

    An opportunity to maintain a training base in an environment that isn't based on European warfare.

    Is Belize of tactical importance?

    The sole benefit outside the military is one of a false sense of security, hence the reference to Singapore and 1942. It may be a false sense, but it's still comforting until the brown stuff actually hits the fan.

    If it's tactical importance you're after, then you may as well re-badge the entire British Army as HM Revenue & Customs, the RN and RAF as HM Coastguard and stick to our own shores and maritime limits.
     
  13. Wasn't a lot of the handover of HK due to the belief that future Chinese economic growth could be channelled through Hong Kong, aiding British companies there and letting the Chinese economy grow around a Wester (British model)?
     
  14. There were other SBAs- the treaty ports in Ireland after 1922, ie Lough Swilly, Cobh. Im not too sure how these operated, ive never seen a map with demarcation lines on.
     
  15. MMM don't irish light houses fly the Union Flag as well as the tricolour.