The world is currently a place of roiling international tensions. The British Navy recently distinguished itself for being undistinguished in a confrontation with Iran that turned into a national humiliation for England. Under those circumstances, there’s really only one thing to do, right? Yup, destroy your Navy:
Ministers have drawn up confidential proposals to slash the number of ships in the Royal Navy, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose.
The expected reductions follow a fierce row between Service chiefs and the Treasury over defence spending.
The Ministry of Defence has produced a plan to decommission five warships from next April, which would reduce the Navy’s capability to the level where it could carry out only “one small-scale operation”.
Separate documentation from inside the department suggests that the total number of ships in the Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary could fall from the present level of 103 to 76 in 2017 and only 50 in 2027 — a reduction of more than half.
The information has been supplied in an email from a whistleblowing official inside the MoD, who has given details of a row between senior officials in the department and Andy Burnham, the Treasury Chief Secretary, over the allocation of money to the MoD over the next three years.
In what is likely to be a “worst-case” scenario, with no further commissioning of ships, total numbers of what the MoD terms “platforms” is slated to fall steadily from 103 to 50 within 20 years.
The number of submarines would be cut from 13 to 11 in 2007-08 while there would be two aircraft carriers rather than the present three. Frigates would be cut from 17 to nine, while the number of destroyers would go up, from six to eight, but only because more have already been commissioned.
There would be no minesweepers or patrol ships, while the number of landing vessels would be cut from eight to six.
That high pitched spinning sound you hear is Nelson rolling at warp speed in his grave. At this rate, Great Britain couldn’t be a future ally even it wanted to be.
And by the way, haven’t I heard this song before, in the 20s and 30s, when both America and Britain decimated their Armed Forces, all the while watching slack jawed and uninterested as the Axis powers steadily increased their military capacities? Had the Allies kept up their forces, it’s unlikely the Axis powers would ever have acted. Even if they had been foolish enough to act, the war would almost certainly have ended swiftly, with the Allies having the ability to call what would have been, for the Axis powers, a big bluff.
As it was, for each country (the U.S. and Britain), its first full year of war was marked by desperately treading water as it tried to restock its own war machines. That year was marked by hundreds of thousands of lost lives worldwide and, almost certainly, contributed to the war’s length.