posted on Nov, 28 2011 @ 11:57 PM
British power declined sharply immediately after WW2, simply because the country was virtually bankrupt. The vast majority of advanced military
projects developed in Britain after that conflict were cancelled due to lack of funding. Some, such as the advanced TSR2 project, were not simply
cancelled but comprehensively destroyed beyond any hope of resurrection.
Then you have the irreversible decline of manufacturing capability in Britain. This has harmed British interests in three distinct, and important,
ways. Firstly the simple numbers game of not having the capability to increase manufacturing output in times of crisis. In the early years of WW2 it
was this capability that helped Britain "stand alone", lend-lease equipment notwithstanding. Secondly we have lost many valuable skills that are
proving to be difficult to replace. Thirdly, a nation generates wealth by earning foreign income. The service industry economy, whose chief architect
was Thatcher, is not capable of earning anything like the amount of money that a strong manufacturing industry can generate.
Now we have the wilful and deliberate weakening of British military power, ostensibly on economic grounds. Virtually complete Nimrod MRA4 patrol/ ASW
aircraft were destroyed on grounds of cost and systems obsolescence. Neither of those arguments held water; they were for the most part bought and
paid for, and the so called obsolete systems were no more obsolete than those in the endlessly delayed F35/ JSF. The F35s avionics are based around
what is essentially an IBM 970FX core dating back to 2002. Hardly cutting edge. For an island nation, the capability gap left by losing the eyes and
ears of these machines is a serious one.
The loss of the Harrier and Jaguar fleet, both retired early and unexpectedly, leaves Britain with little in the way of tactical airpower. There is a
Tornado fleet dangerously low on fatigue life and a much reduced fleet of Typhoons which are still not cleared to deploy the majority of tactical
munitions in the British inventory. Their effectiveness has been further reduced by the questionable decision to remove their guns, again on cost
grounds. Incredibly, the vital air refuelling fleet (doubly vital with the removal of a fixed wing carrier arm) will be transferred into essentially
commercial hands and made available to the RAF on a pay as you go basis. The private operators insisted on a clause that in effect allows them to use
the tankers as regular commercial transports as and when they see fit with little regard for operational requirements. The future carrier fleet's
fate is far from decided too. The F35 order has been repeatedly slashed and now stands at a level that is unlikely to meet future requirements.
The Royal Navy has been decimated both in terms of manpower and equipment, as if the lessons of history have passed our government by completely. The
army is to undergo savage cuts, and when the Challenger 2 MBT retires around 2020 it is currently unlikely to be replaced.
The real world cost savings of these cuts? In the region of £20bn over the lifetime of the current parliament. The amount of money the government has
just found to effectively underwrite sub prime loans to small businesses? In the region of £20bn. Coincidence?