Friday, October 8, 2010

Britannia Rules the Waves No More

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.


  1. Money makes the world go around, it surely does.

    Is this why I am seeing more articles about Australia and the US these days? (In addition to articles about an expanded "Anglosphere" - perhaps to take the place of the old NATO-type alliances?)

    Nice set of posts, Gunslinger.

  2. Hmm, I've heard about Nimble books. Is it at Zen's? Can't remember.

    (Did you see the link to the Command Post website at SWJ? Looks interesting.)

  3. Thanks, Madhu. I'm not sure of the impetus behind a shift to closer US-AUS relations. Their military is still quite small, but it's better located for our current strategic interests. Now, if only we could stop snubbing them politically...

    I hadn't seen the link but I'll be sure to check it out.

  4. To be accurate, Britannia stopped 'Ruling the Waves' in February 1922 when it accepted RN parity with the USN because UK and Empire were broke.