A Royal Navy flotilla that might have provided relief in the first hours after the Haitian earthquake was withdrawn weeks before the disaster because of budget constraints, the Ministry of Defence said last night.
the first time that the Royal Navy has had a significant gap in cover in the Caribbean since the 17th century.
I agree that in relation to the Haiti earthquake this is a bit of a non-story but it does show that the number of ships that the Royal Navy now has operational has been reduced to a level whereby it is unable to maintain a presence in places where traditionally it did so.
The main role of the West Indies ship has in recent year been anti-drugs and there has been success.
The time when Brits in trouble could expect the Royal Navy to turn up have long gone. With the defence budget under pressure we may never see a reasonable size Navy again.
The fault keeps re-curring ? We always reduce the size of the armed forces and then wake up too late. I wonder what the percentage of our money is spent on the armed forces compared to other countries. I suppose if we had not got involved in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan the percentage would have been practically zero by now. Where on earth does all the money go? It's certainly not on road building or improving the railways. Some people are stashing it away for a rainy day I suppose. Well! the rainy day has arrived.