In response to Patrick Benham-Crosswell: If Russia attacks . . ., RizOnTyne wrote:
Russia has been re-arming since 2007/8, I think they announced their ‘modernisation’ plans in 2003/4, meanwhile we’ve been on a 30-year cost-cutting exercise with the only blip in spending being on Urgent Operation Requirements when it couldn’t be spun any more that Land Rover jeeps were suitable vehicles for our troops to use in a IED environment. After 2010 the cost-cutting continued. The steel industry has been hardest hit, not only has our home market been flooded with continental steel, but with the defence budget continually being cut it lost its safety net of a steady drumbeat of orders for steel from the MoD (tanks, apc [armoured personnel carriers], even ships) just at the time of the recession. That industry is on emergency life support now and unless a fundamental policy change takes place it will eventually be let go.
I watched a Defence Committee the other day. The MoD has been selling off its defence estates, barracks and airfields etc so if in future if the need ever arises to increase our armed forces’ size, it will have no land on which to house, base or exercise such an increased force.
If the price of peace is eternal vigilance, those in Westminster have put their own agendas above that of ‘vigilance’. I personally suspect it has a lot to do with the mindset of EU membership that has permeated throughout our every institution over the past 40 years. The UK’s national interest has effectively been merged with that of the EU, though of course that would be vehemently denied by those very institutions and politicians who have been merging it. If we actually leave the EU, and that’s sadly still in doubt because the mindset is still very much prevalent, it is going to take a few general elections to weed out that mindset.
Well that’s what I believe, others will no doubt take a different opinion and some may wonder why we should worry so much about defence at all. All I can say, for deterrence to work when a near peer re-arms, so should we. Deterrence against large-scale war must be seen as credible to work. Currently I don’t think the state of our defences are the least bit credible.