UK at risk of sea-borne attack

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by singha61, May 18, 2009.

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  1. From BBC
    Britain is vulnerable to terrorist attack from the sea because no single body is responsible for protecting the UK's coast, MPs have warned.

    Just nine Royal Navy ships along with a "motley collection" of police and coastguard boats guard a shoreline more than 7,000 miles long.

    The Commons defence committee suggests developing a "deterrent capability" to ward off sea-borne attacks.

    The Ministry of Defence has insisted clear procedures are in place.

    Concerns over the UK's preparations for dealing with a maritime terrorist threat were raised by the committee.

    Daily Mirror
    6 warships 'too few to guard coast'

    By Bob Roberts 18/05/2009


    Just six Royal Navy warships are protecting Britain's coasts, a report warned yesterday.

    It said defences are now so thinly-spread ports, harbours and oil refineries are easier targets for terrorists.

    And it revealed the Navy was supported by a "motley collection" of vessels from the police and coastguard.

    The Commons Defence Committee said there needed to be a single organisation with overall responsibility.

    Its study said: "It need not necessarily be resourced by the military but we are not satisfied that an intelligenceled approach is sufficient."

    The MPs also urged the MoD to make greater use of the Territorial Army in civil emergencies such as floods.
  2. "Deterrent capability." Nice phrase. Has a certain ring to it.

    The US Air Force, possibly the biggest air force known to man, sort-of "deterred" 9/11?

    Attention-diverting headline, anyone?
  3. island nation, once the greatest maritime power in the world for 250-odd years, hasn't even got an integrated system for controlling the seas around it anymore...why am I not surprised?
    • Like Like x 1
  4. I like the way the MoD is urged to do use the TA more.... I take this will be a cost neutral, but dynamic empowerment of teh TA enterprise. Using their existing framerwork during immersion leverage to reach a paragim using proactive synergy during those crucial tipping points.

    In reality it is a good idea, if we could turn SOME of the TA in to a sort of THW (German diaster relief org).

    That would allow a two tier TA system, those who want to help their own country, and those who don't mind backing up the regs in Afghanistan.

    Obviously at this point the government have to realise that money spent on expenses may have to be diverted to this shindig instead.

    As for defence of the Nations costline... it is pretty fcuking obvious. The Royal Navy take the lead, again a bit of funding may be neccesary.
  5. I think this is probably spin. They are really after boats to stop drugs coming in.

    Labour can hardly openly acknowledge that problem drug use has risen 800% since they came to power and that they spend all the money on making junkies lives easier rather than patrolling sea.

    I suggest they use the word "terrorist" instead of drug smuggler so that they can get the money to do it without having to reduce the junkies benefits. Smuggling is far more detremental that a beach raid from terrorists? What will they do, blow up a sand dune. If you want to destroy a peer you'd be easier walking down it from the land.
  6. My bold. I think the Members of the Upper House are managing self-destruction quite well, at the moment.
  7. Pay fishermen to carry out patrols when they are not fishing. Keeps the fisheries safe, fisherme emplyed and reduces stretch on the "reactive" boats.

  8. I think the sea has the same problem as the land in that the Police have primacy over the armed forces over all security matters in territorial waters (though i wouldn't be surprised to find we've actually passed sovereignty to Brussels somewhere along the way....).

    I sat through a maritime security presentation by a senior Policeman: he spent most of the time repeatedly underlining the fact that the Police saw no need or desirability for any involvement by the armed forces.....
  9. This report is rather odd - the MOD has spent a long time weaning domestic agencies off provision of MACA type tasks for the reason that we (MOD) aren't funded or equipped to do them, and that they need to get their own house in order.

    We spend years spreading the word that civil agencies need to sort their lives out, and people just start to get it, when a committee of instant expert MPs turns up and decides to ignore the briefings and doctrine and advice from people who spent years on this and tells us to go back to square one.

    Thanks guys, much appreciated - particularly as when we start running round trying to respond, you'll then criticise us again for some other reason.

    If you ever want to know why MOD sometimes appears schizophrenic, its due to reports like this from MPs.
  10. This is potentially a very interesting debate. On the one hand, I suspect MPs are talking about a potential maritime terrorist threat to the UK. On the other, there is a very real lack of resources to deal with such threats.

    Clearly, in the interests of OPSEC, discussion of the potential threat is going to be pretty general. I'd focus on a potential mining threat at major ports; a suicide attack against a ship or waterside target by a fast small craft; or possibly a VBIED attack on a port or ship.

    In reality it would be very very difficult to harden these targets completely, and I don't think even a navy with 100+ fast inshore attack craft could do so. Where there is a threat it would need to be countered by intelligence led ops.

    Can the Navy deal with the potential threat from maritime terrorism? Manifestly no. We have 14 ships in the UK which could even pretend to act as fast patrol boats, and they're primarily tasked with the URNUs. Fish patrols do their business further offshore. Ironically given our commitments in and near the Gulf, our ships often have better situational awareness there than in home waters.

    Would a bigger Navy help? Yes, not least because we'd potentially have more than one fleet ready escort, and we could have more ships available in home waters, carrying out training and gaining situational awareness.

    Is that likely? No. And the cost of those ships would need to be balanced against the likely threat.
  11. Follow the Septics example and turn the Coast Guard into a para-military force?
  12. Not a bad idea.... although I (and no doubt the USCG) would argue that the USCG is NOT a para-military force but an actual "Armed Force" in its own right. It is referred to as teh "Fifth Armed Force", (i'm assuming the USMC class themselves as the 4th... or perhaps the USAF (seeing as they are by far the most junior, even to the Coast Guard).

    A fleet of CG vessels that could even be scrapped RN Frigates where possible could perhaps protect our coastline better. The current CG assets could be swung in to the new CG, and the RNLI could be merged for administration. Perhaps the CG could also absorb Mountain, Cave and similar rescue organisations also.

    Just for a bit of fun the Coast Guard could absorb the borders agency... And perhaps the RAF Regts Mountain Rescue role, when they are inside the UK.

    Thus the Coast Guard could become an extra "Armed Force" but paid for by the Home Office.

    Worth noting that during War USCG sometimes pop up to provide help. There was a flotilla of USCG Cutters on standby at D-Day to pick up survivors from sunken boats.
  13. again like the ARRSE adventure to somalia perhaps its time for arrse members to put a twin linked .50 on a rowing boat and patrol the sea's

    in all seriousness though the fact we have no border patrol despite our history etc comes to no surprise but simply further increases my depression and the need to move out of this country, I just cant fathom how on earth such a group of people came to power and how all these failures come about as a good idea to them :(
  14. Absolutely correct, CF. My bad. :oops:

    As usual in these situations, there is an obvious solution that will NOT be used. Because the Gub'mint is unwilling to spend money on anything so sordid as Defence... :roll: