Dr Duncan Redford: proposed navy cuts are bad for Britain and Europe

HMS Westminster (source Royal Navy)

From a letter published in the Daily Telegraph, 12 August 2010

The oft-stated position that our Armed Forces will have to work far more closely with allies than previously is the only basis available for assessing where cuts should be made. By this measure the proposed cuts are illogical, dangerous and bad for Britain and Europe.

In order for any increased defence interdependence to work, Britain must bring to its alliances capabilities that are in short supply; in this way we can have a smaller defence sector but still hope to be able to shape European and Nato policies as well as ensuring that the EU and Nato have credible conventional forces.

Many of the proposed cuts go against this. The European members of Nato are rich in army manpower and fast jets, but they are weak in maritime power and strategic airlift.

If Britain persists in cutting the Royal Navy when all sense suggests that our navy should be enhanced in order to strengthen our hand in Europe and the world, both Britain and the EU will be weaker for it.

Dr Duncan Redford
Centre for Maritime Historical Studies
University of Exeter

Read the full text here http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/7939093/Proposed-cuts-to-the-Navy-will-weaken-our-ability-to-shape-EU-defence-policy.html

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