- Defense spending below 2% of GDP - possibly as low as 1.7%. Below NATO norms.
- A Royal Navy fleet of 25 ships of all types. I'll say that again. 25.
- Reduction in all types of armaments, including pre-WWI numbers for combat aircraft.
- An aircraft carrier with no aircraft.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Everyone has suspected that the UK was going to make drastic cuts to its military under this new government. When Liam Fox says "draconian" he isn't kidding. Per a couple of UK papers, the cuts are likely to include:
Now, this could be posturing before real cuts are made which will make the real cuts look better in comparison. Between this and the very real possibility of a UK-France partnership on nuclear weapons controls, storage, and employment, the notion that the UK is a near-peer partner is becoming a delusion. No wonder the U.S. has been increasingly leaning on Australia as its closest partner, whose RAN is about to surpass the RN as the fourth largest fleet in the world. This is beginning to make ADM Mullen's 1000-ship navy to secure the commons look like a pipe dream. The power of European nations is becoming suspect at best - which doesn't do the U.S. a whole lot of good since we've thrown our lot in with them for the most part. Maybe NATO is becoming irrelevant if the member states can't project their power. Maybe the U.S. should begin realigning itself with other parts of the globe.
H/T to Nimble Books via twitter for drawing my attention to the 25-ship navy link.