No one doubts that efforts are needed to reduce the defence buget
No one doubts that the major effort must be to support the grunts on the ground in Afghanistan.
However, reducing the Royal Navy to little more than a token, and a huge gap in airborne maritime reconnaissance makes me wonder if our politicians realise that, Channel Tunnel notwithstanding, we are still an island, and dependent on mastery of the seas for our very survival.
I don't think I'll go along with that. In the days of the Cold War etc. a maritime force was essential but in the current climate, and the type of attack we are vulnerable to, I don't think a sea borne force, particularly nuclear submarines, is of much use although surface ships are obviously proving their worth in some degree fighting drug smuggling. I'ld much rather see a reduction in Navy and Air Force as has been suggested and give the "grunts on the ground" far, far more support than they already have. To announce a supply of Chinooks and they say they won't be ready for service until 2013 is ludicrous. Personally, I'ld like to see all he troops out of Afghanistan and, if necessary, utilise them on border/coastal/airport checks where the real threat of insurgency is more likely.