Lt. Col. Stuart Crawford, a former SNP Defence Spokesperson and current defence analyst, has raised concerns regarding the defence and security provisions outlined in the SNP’s newly released election manifesto, “A Future Made In Scotland.”

Crawford’s critique highlights several key issues, particularly the feasibility and practicality of some of the party’s defence pledges.

Crawford pointed out the lack of detailed costing in the manifesto’s defence policies. “As with other parties’ defence policies, the SNP’s defence pledges are long on rhetoric and short on detail,” he stated.

Despite the availability of data that could inform cost estimations, the manifesto remains vague on financial specifics.

A significant point of contention is the SNP’s commitment to scrapping the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent, Trident, and reallocating the saved funds to bolster conventional forces. However, Crawford noted a critical oversight in the manifesto: omitting any mention of NATO membership.

He argued that the SNP’s stance on Trident directly conflicts with the prerequisites for joining NATO. “This is because removing Trident and joining NATO are mutually exclusive,” Crawford explained.

“If the SNP were ever to manage to remove nuclear weapons from Faslane/Coulport, then the USA would veto an independent Scotland’s accession to the Alliance. Philosophically, they are caught between a rock and a hard place.”

Crawford also criticised the SNP’s foreign policy aspirations, particularly the call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the recognition of Palestine as a state. He described these ambitions as impractical, given the longstanding complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Bearing in mind that neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis favour a two-state solution, it’s difficult to see how they’re going to succeed in that one,” he remarked.

Despite his criticisms, Crawford expressed support for the SNP’s proposal to establish an Armed Forces Representative Body. He acknowledged the longstanding need for such an entity, which would provide service members with a channel for communication and redress independent of traditional military command structures.

“This is fiercely opposed by the MoD and all three services, but it is an idea whose time has come. Our service people deserve a source of communication and redress independent of the normal chains of command,” he said.

In conclusion, Crawford suggested that the SNP’s defence manifesto serves more to maintain internal party unity than to persuade the broader electorate. “All of that said, the SNP can rest easy in the knowledge that they will have no opportunity to deliver their defence promises in the near future. Their manifesto is aimed primarily at keeping the party faithful onside, not at persuading the wider electorate,” he concluded.

On their website, the SNP previously stated the following.

“Scotland will, we intend, take its place as a member state in its own right of both the European Union and Nato. The SNP continues to believe that an independent Scotland’s security and safety is best guaranteed as a non-nuclear member of NATO, just like Denmark and Norway.

10 years ago, SNP members voted at our conference to back an independent Scotland’s membership of NATO. We continue to be pro-NATO because we are pro-peace. An independent Scotlanf [sic] can follow the path of similar independent nation and make our own contribution to collective defence arrangement which, as part of NATO, far surpass any security that is offered by Britain alone.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_827881)
1 month ago

apart from it’s global positioning it’s doubtful whether Scotland would be even wanted by NATO.

ABCRodney (@guest_827890)
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

NATO wants unity and no gaps. The Geography is very important as it has by far the majority of deep water anchorages facing the North Atlantic and is a key component of the GIUK choke point. It’s irrelevant because the chances of the SNP getting a referendum any time soon are zero. And he is right if they did kick the RN CASD out of HMNB Clyde the US would go absolutely apeshit at them. And the impact of doing so and losing all the defence industry related jobs as well would be economically cataclysmic. We all focus on the… Read more »

Knight7572 (@guest_827941)
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Scotland would face the economic avalanche that the delusional SNP want to ignore in favour of a delusion

Knight7572 (@guest_827940)
1 month ago

Yeah if the SNP get rid of Trident, the US and UK will be on the SNP’s rear end for it very fast Also let’s not forget Russia, China and the other enemies of the West want the UK to break up cause it blows a major hole in NATO’s nuclear umbrella, weakens NATO, and leaves the UK exposed to a possible hostile power on its border, weakens the UK military, leaves the GIUK Gap wide open cause the SNP cannot a fund with any hope to guard it I’m sorry but objectively from a military standpoint the SNP’s dream… Read more »

PraagmaticScot (@guest_828111)
29 days ago
Reply to  Knight7572

The SNP can’t get rid of Trident, if they formed the government of an independent Scotland then yes they could request it be removed but this won’t be a matter resolved by force. The boats would still go to sea and the CASD would eb maintained, so the risk on that front is low.

Knight7572 (@guest_828652)
27 days ago
Reply to  PraagmaticScot

That might have been the case if we were not living in a post trump presidency world where we all saw how far rabid nationalists are willing to go

Knight7572 (@guest_827943)
1 month ago

Are the SNP so deep in the delusion that they won’t be wiped off the face of the earth in the event of a nuclear war, Scotland would be targeted no matter what if a member of the UK or independent

PraagmaticScot (@guest_828110)
29 days ago

Does anyone seriously think Westminster would try and keep the CASD at Faslane post independence, surely there would be a transition period or more likely a settlement around basing or mutual defence (outwith NATO) that would benefit both parties.

The debate around nuclear is so ingrained with the SNP they can’t see it’s not a core issue for most Scots, take it off the table and make it a post independence matter to be debate/voted on separately.

Sandy mcdonald
Sandy mcdonald (@guest_828373)
28 days ago
Reply to  PraagmaticScot

I guess if NATO don’t want Scotland as a member then we can do an Ireland . More savings. Thanks.

Sandy mcdonald
Sandy mcdonald (@guest_828374)
28 days ago
Reply to  PraagmaticScot

Of course Iceland remains members due to strategic importance . Even won some cod wars by threatening to leave. As such I suspect Scotlands conventional forces would be welcomed in NATO. But if not hey ho !

Knight7572 (@guest_828446)
28 days ago
Reply to  PraagmaticScot

Yes they would because the SNP do not understand their anti-nuclear view do not fly with NATO