Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Royal Navy ` Would Struggle To Fight A War'


That's exactly what a leaked report from Britain's Ministry of Defense had to say.

The report was commissioned by Britain's Defense Secretary, Des Brown as ammunition to counter criticism in the media and from Britain's Conservative opposition...but ended up coming to a very different conclusion than Brown expected.

According to the report, after years of cuts in spending by Labour, the British Navy has an "under-resourced" fleet composed of "aging and operationally defective ships", the Navy would have problems even repeating its role in the Iraq war and is now "far more vulnerable to unexpected shocks".

The leaked report continues: "A combination of age and reduced spending on maintenance has resulted in today's ships carrying a far higher number of operational defects, which directly erode operational capacity."

"The current material state of the fleet is not good; the Royal Navy would be challenged to mount a medium-scale operation in accordance with current policy against a technologically capable adversary."

The report also refers to the British Navy as "thinly stretched", says its fighting capability is being "eroded" and the fleet's ability to influence events at the strategic level is "under threat".

Of course, the point man on this is none other than the present British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown...who as Chancellor of the Exchequer under Tony Blair was the one who controlled the fleet's funding.

The report was created by one of the UK's most prominent sailors, Rear-Admiral Alan Massey, CBE, the assistant chief of the naval staff.

To show how badly the British navy has eroded, the report cites the following:

  • The entire naval fleet has been reduced from a fleet of 136 in 1987 to only 75 ship today, a reduction of around 44%.
  • The navy's destroyers and frigates have been cut by over half, from 54 ships to a mere 25, and those ships have an average age of 17 years. Submarines have fallen by 66%, from 38 to 13 and the navy's manpower has been cut from 66,500 in 1987 to a mere 38,860, a reduction of around 44%.
  • Britain's home fleet, its first line of defense had 35 ships operating in the UK's home waters in 1987...in 2007, there are only 10.
The report has one positive bit, when it comments on Britain's building program for new aircraft carriers and what it calls joint combat aircraft. It doesn't mention, however, how these ships are going to be protected without sufficient destroyer and submarine cover.

Of course, the Royal Navy's not the only casualty of Labour's defence cuts. Just two weeks ago, British army chief General Sir Richard Dannatt complained to the British government that it was "mortgaging" the goodwill of the Army, referring to the huge cuts in spending and in personnel forced on it by the Labour government.

This, by the way, is why Britain has to crawl to repulsive regimes when its citizens or sailors are kidnapped or abused.

Cousins, you had better pray for peace...it certainly doesn't seem like you're prepared to do much to be able to defend yourselves.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

why does the UK need a navy?
the enemy is living in londonstan.

B.Poster said...

This is why the British Naval officers felt they had to surrender to the Iranians when the Iranians took their hostages. The British Navy is probably in no shape to fight and win a Naval confrontation against Iran.

Iran is definitely a "technologically capable adversary." I'm not sure but this is probably who the report had in mind.

Not only should our cousins be concerned, we should be concerned as well. Right now the United States military is not in very good shape either. After four plus years of fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere with an undersized military the US military is worn down and nearly broken.

Freedom Fighter said...

Actually, Anonymous I would have said the enemy is living at Number 10 Downing Street.

Hi Poster,
Don't believe for a second the nonsense about our military being `broken'.Don't listen to Murtha and harry Reid AND CONFUSE their nonsense with reality.

They're battle tested, hard as nails with high morale and well equipped. They merely lack concerted leadership from their commander in chief and orders to get the job properly done...but that won't be the situation forever.

ff

B.Poster said...

I agree that our military is tough, battle tested, and hard as nails. Pound for pound they may well be the best in the world. One of the problems is the military is too small for what it is being asked to do and its equipment is wearing out. It is not just Murtha and Reid who have alluded to this problem. Also, Colin Powell has mentioned it.

They are correct to point out these problems, however, they are only doing it to use it as a political club against the hated Bush Administration. They need to be actually proposing solutions. Their complete unwillingness to attempt to do any thing concrete to solve this problem is unacceptable. It seems that especially Murtha and Reid want this problem to go unsloved, so they can use it against the Bush Administration.

As I've written before there is something very creepy about a political party that wants the US to lose. It seems the actions of the Democrat party indicate that they want the US to lose in Iraq and elsewhere.

To solve this situation, I would suggest either scaling back the mission and pulling US troops out of Iraq and many other places in the world or increasing the size of the military. If we scale back the mission, this will lessen the strain on the Armed Forces. If we increase the size of the military, we would be in a better position to meet the requirements of the various missions we have.

Even if you increase the size of the military, this would not solve the whole problem. Arguably an even bigger problem than an undersized military is the fact that they have not been allowed to fight decisively. In order to maximize our chances of success, we should remove the restraints that are being placed on the military and we should increase the size of the military.

"...but that won't be the situation forever." I hope and pray you are right. Unfortunately it is hard to be optimisitc. If one had to bet on it today, Hilary Clinton will win the Presidency and the Democrats will see gains in the House and Senate. If they impeach the President, they will likely see even bigger electoral gains. I jsut don't see the "hate America" party doing anything concrete to fix the military leadership issue.

I could be being to harsh on the Democrats when I refer to them as the "hate America" party, however, many of the movers and shakers within the Democratic party, such as George Soros and moveon.org do seem to hate America. The party leadership is bound to be pulled by these people.

Of course i'm not sure the Repulbicans would be much better. Many American business interests would be hurt significantly if the US were to take a tougher stance against Islamic terrorists. These business interests will exert their influence on both major political parties to enact appeasement policies.

In summary, I just don't see the leadership issue of the military changing for the better. I pray I'm wrong of course.

Anonymous said...

Standard procedure – leaks prior to the latest spending round being decided. May or may not be true, but they cry wolf every time.

Freedom Fighter said...

` Cry wolf' Anonymous? After Britain was humiliated by Iran kidnapping its sailors and had to pull its navy out of the Pesian Gulf and leave the US and its other allies high and dry as a ransom?

Ummmm, don't think so. And, I would add, this gutting of Britain's military has been going on ever since Labour took over...again, something that occurs every time the Left is in power.

Regards,
ff

Anonymous said...

Sadly, this is not specifically the policy of the Left in the UK.The “gutting of Britain's military “ did not begin with Labour taking office. Defence reductions were constant feature of the Thatcher years, too. Remember the Falklands? Triggered by the withdrawal of Endurance, and fought by a navy that would not have had the capacity after the then planned cuts.

Anonymous said...

PS.

“After Britain was humiliated by Iran kidnapping its sailors “

It is difficult to relate this to levels of spending, as opposed to operational procedures

Freedom Fighter said...

Hello Anonymous Persons,
First, I think we would agree that the process of cuts greatly accelerated with the ascension of the Blair government. and is continuing at a fast pace.

Second, Anonymous 2, if you can't see the relationship between the ability of a British fleet able to execute its international commitments, defend the realm and carry out missions in places like the Persian Gulf and sharply reduced spending on personnel and equipment, there's little I can add.