Exposing the incoherence and Weakness in the United Kingdom’s Defence and National Defence & Strategy Research Group
Suppose There Was a War and Nobody Came?
The British public support the Armed Forces. Yet the polls show that the public does not really know what the Armed Forces do, what they are for and why they cost what they do! They trust the Government to ‘Defend the Realm’.
This suits our politicians and senior civil servants because it is inconvenient for the taxpayers to know too much about Defence lest they should reason, as every audit over the past two decades has, that Defence funding (input) does not reflect the burden of tasking that politicians of all flavours expect our service personnel to achieve (output). The public and media should be outraged at the constant reduction in Defence capability but they are not. Crowds of protesters throng the streets to defend or destroy statues but not a single protest march has been instigated to protest the shameful way our Armed Forces have been treated over the past 20 years or so.
The public face and knowledge of our Armed Forces seem to be represented by soldiers in Red Tunics parading smartly through London, when red, white and blue painted RAF jets punch holes in the sky at public events or RN warships attend the Boat Show. At other times it is civil emergencies like Fire Service strikes, flooding, Foot and Mouth and most recently, during the Covid-19 epidemic that attract attention. None of which, although splendid to see and demonstrating the Armed Forces’ professional prowess and commitment to service, is their principle role.
Since the end of WW2, British Forces have seen action almost continually somewhere in the world. Greece, Palestine, Malaya, Korea, Cyprus, Kenya, Oman, Brunei, Northern Ireland, Falkland Islands, Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Mali to name a few. British forces are deployed around the world on the sea, on land and in the air with ships patrolling the Caribbean, South Atlantic and the Middle East. Land and air forces provide ‘tripwire’ defence for our Baltic NATO allies or are on garrison duties protecting our Sovereign Bases in Cyprus and defending the Falklands. The RN provides a 24/7 365 day a year continuous at-sea deterrence against nuclear attack.
The word to describe our Armed Forces is magnificent as they do all this as well as provide home air, sea and land defence and are in constant training to reinforce our NATO allies – an attack on one is an attack on all. And it is done despite our senior political and civil elite constantly failing to properly fund our servicemen and women and the ‘kit’ that they need. They preferring to turn a blind eye to the emerging threats that undemocratic competitors like China, North Korea, Iran and Russia pose to the long term security and safety of our Nation.
In the world, after COVID the UK will need to have credible functional Armed Forces and they must have sufficient resources if they are not to be found wanting as the NHS was when the pandemic struck. Do they have it? Will the public and media ensure that the UK Armed Forces are fit for purpose?
The first priority of Government is Defence of the Realm. But what if, when the Armed Forces were called, nobody came?
Not because our service personnel are not willing to make the sacrifice – they have proved time and again that they unselfishly will and do – but because YOU the public have not convinced your MPs that OUR ARMED FORCES ARE THE GUARANTOR OF ALL THE OTHER SOCIAL PRIORITIES AND OUR FREEDOM so need to be funded properly. If not will you vote for an MP who will!