Saturday, January 21, 2012
Britain Possibly Without Aircraft Carriers Until 2020 -2030
Great Britain, a nation that defined the notion of "ruling the waves", is effectively without an aircraft carrier. This creates a major weakness in force projection and consequently leaves the nation unable to confidently commit to defending such faraway possessions as the Falkland Islands. Leftist Argentine President Christina Fernandez, echoing the actions of the incompetent military governments that paralyzed that nations' growth in the 80's, has returned to that scheme to take the Argentine peoples' collective minds off their real problems and "pledged 'an eternal fiight' to reclaim the islands'.
Most are aware of the Falklands War of 1982. Below is a link that provides a decent summary of that conflict. Note that even at that time, the US Navy did not think that Britain could successfully retake the islands (When it had a much stronger naval force). The actions of their task force, coupled with the fighting elan and superior training of British military personnel, eventually prevailed. The word "yomp", referring the the ground-pounding across the islands of heavily-laden British soldiers and Marines, thus entered our vocabulary.
The high number of Argentine prisoners that were taken, many of whom had been issued all of six rounds of ammunition per soldier (Reported at the time), appears to testify to both that the Argentine government truly believed that Britain would not move to retake the islands and that the typical Argentine soldier's heart was not in this fight.
The following refers to to the reactions to Prince William's deployment to the Falklands:
"When asked if Britain would be sending an aircraft carrier to the Falklands during Prince William's military service, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense told NBC News: "No, we don't have one." HMS Ark Royal was decommissioned in March".
[Aside from am airfield described as well-defended and possessing Typhoon fighters, the Falklands have no other air assets. It was noted that, in the event of a successful attack that destroyed the Typhoon force, Britain would lose all control of the air in the region].
"...Admiral Sandy Woodward, who commanded the task force that liberated the Falklands' British population from Argentine occupation in 1982, believes the islands "are now perilously close to being indefensible.' "
[That is a very telling statement coming from the mouth of a Brit]
Also mentioned in the article is that Argentine athletes are considering wearing messages on their uniforms at the 2012 Olympics in London stating "The Falklands are Argentine". I would have thought that they would have chosen their name for the region, Las Islas Malvinas, but maybe they feel that using the English name for that region will be better at getting the point across.
Note also that an Argentine Official, Sebastin Brugo Marco, was quoted as saying that sending Prince William on deployment to the British possession was "a provocative act"
[I guess that they are trying to sound like China does with Taiwan]
The stepping-up of exploratory oil drilling by Britain in 2010 was the most recent catalyst for Argentina to feel justified to express resentment. Note that, prior to the beginning of Britain's 180 year-rule of the islands, and like most other nations, Argentina showed no interest in possessing or ruling that region. The citizens of the islands are British, not Spanish-speaking British subjects.
With the decommissioning of the HMS Ark Royal, Britain is simply in no position to function in a manner consistent with having a modern navy. This is a sad event. After Trafalgar, when Napoleon's dreams of naval power were crushed by Nelson, no nation challenged British sea power until the period before WWI. Even then, the Royal Navy more than held its own. From decisively containing much of the threat from Imperial Germany in that war through the Cold War, Britain could always be considered to be a naval power.
The Royal navy does have new carriers under development, but the above article notes that these will not be available until possibly as late as 2030. Even if they are commissioned by 2020, we are still looking at nine years of the same.
Lack of funding is always the first reason for reductions in military spending. Lo and behold, today also saw an article that exposed one telling reason for the current financial state of Britain:
According to the article, billions of Pounds Sterling are spent each year of welfare payments for immigrants who are not approved to remain in that nation and would be sent home if they happened to be residing in other nations. The Labour Party repeatedly not only forced this economic, political (The immigrants consistently vote for Labor candidates), and religious (A disproportionate amount are Muslims who also create massive criminal and security problems), burden onto the British people. It has also repeatedly lied about the extent of the immigration deluge.
The governments of the Western nations seem to be working together to destroy the cultural, ethnic, and religious factors that made these countries what they are. In doing so, they cannot but be aware that they are also destroying the abilities of their respective nations to actually defend themselves and their interests/possessions. I hope that the people of these nations put aside their minor differences and address these problems before it is too late.