The Norwegian Ambassador appeared before the Scottish Affairs Committee as MPs continue gathering evidence for the report into defence in the North Atlantic and High North.

Amid growing tensions with Russia, the focus of this session was the challenges for the UK’s Arctic allies on defence and security in the North Atlantic and the High North.

The committee also considered future possibilities for collaboration with Arctic allies on defence and security matters.

Wegger Strømmen, the Norwegian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, said at the sessions.

“For us, there has been enormous change in the last year. The obvious factual thing is of course the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the invasion of Ukraine, and I will leave that out, but that has huge implications for northern Europe and for the North Atlantic, which involves the United Kingdom and Norway, clearly.

Extremely important is the fact that Sweden and Finland have asked to join NATO. It is hard to overestimate that. That was something that we spoke and thought about in theoretical terms if you go back a few decades, and you could say it was sort of a Norwegian diplomatic dream that we would all, in northern Europe, hang together. Now, all of a sudden, we are in a situation where Sweden and Finland will be members of NATO—maybe Finland a bit before Sweden. For us both, that is very important, and that will change not only the dynamic, but the strategic outlook for northern Europe, including the North Atlantic and, clearly, the northern part of the United Kingdom—for Scotland and for the maritime areas in the north of these islands.

We will have a new NATO-Russia border—a long one. If my memory does not fail me, I think we are talking about 1,400 km or something. We manage a border with Russia that is 196 km and, believe me, that is a task in itself. I would not say that we are proud of it, but we have been doing our best to manage that border through the cold war. It is not an easy one. We are helped by climatic conditions; it is a cold and dark place for much of the year but, nevertheless, it was where the Russian Federation met NATO. Now that will change. Both Finland and Sweden are modern industrialised democracies and rule-of-law-respecting countries with industrial bases and armed forces that will really change the strategic situation in northern Europe.

Coming to the west, because I represent more the western part of northern Europe, we are massively interested in the United Kingdom taking its role as a major regional power in northern Europe. You are the leading military and intelligence power in northern Europe. I did not, by that, make a comment on the integrated review and tilt to the Pacific or to the Indian ocean, but Norway is not in the Pacific or the Indian ocean and my task, on behalf of my Government, is not to talk about that, but I will talk about the North Atlantic.

If that was the sort of factual and the strategic military setting, politically-speaking, I think we are helped by a couple of other factors. Relations between the countries of northern Europe are actually very good, and they have probably improved over the last few years. There is very close collaboration there always, but there is also a sense of the practical, and that does not only relate to the invasion of Ukraine; there is a sort of political kinship, in a way, because we face so many of the same tasks. “

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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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Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 months ago

Very sensible person. Get and keep ur own back yard safe before going to some far off Yard that has many more assets than u do.
The Chinese navy are building the equivalent of the RN every few years. Trying to work with them not against them can hopefully work out.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
11 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

As has been said before, increasing the RNs numbers of T26s, T31s and T32s, subs, P-8s and Merlin’s a tad, would help even further with staying really strong and patrolling the undersea backyard in around Europe, Atlantic and the far Morth. Russia’s sub force and missile nasties need to be kept in check and anything spare can patrol further afield.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
11 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

And if we did that we would wave bye bye to the UK defence industry.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I mostly disagree. Some products are actually very competitively priced for what they are. OK, there are a few, mostly historical, warts on that! Things are moving on from the over consolidated approach of BAE owning everything and being a monopoly supplier. In all fairness it was hard for BAE as they were expected to keep expertise in all areas alive with a rapidly falling level of orders. It is a key reason why unit costs went mad for a while. There are some areas, rotary aviation, that we probably should walk away from. As every UK ‘version’ has cost… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
11 months ago

I agree, some areas, such as Warship/ Submarines, fixed wing aviation should be retained in house, or via collaboration.

Helicopters, absolutely, flogging a ‘very expensive’ dead horse there…

The Army has shrunk to the point we’re domestic manufacture makes no sense whatsoever, cough, cough, Ajax, cough.

Buy off the shelf for the Army absolutely, MBT’s, APC’s etc, spending billions on bespoke equipment in small numbers is certifiably insane…

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

The production run of AJAX is enough to make sense?

The problem with AJAX, as we have been over many times, is ridiculous weight growth mainly from very, very high protection levels.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago

589 AJAX is more than enough for a UK-based production run – pity it is the wrong vehicle (too heavy, large, expensive and late into service) and made by the wrong company.

SteveP
SteveP
11 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Totally agree about the Army. For most kit it’s a balance between your own industrial base and purchase off the shelf. I think that in the UK politicians primary objective for the defence budget is job creation and sustainment so we often get that balance wrong. If we take Nimrod AEW and Nimrod MR4A as examples they cost £5.5bn in 2022 figures and none were ever built. We embarked on these high cost, high technical risk projects for job creation reasons before abandoning them and buying the proven US platforms that were already available. The money wasted would have bought… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  SteveP

One Nimrod MRA4 had been completed and delivered to the RAF for Acceptance testing – the other 8 airframes were virtually complete. HM Treasury is largely to blame for the failure of the project as they rejected advice from BAE to fund new fuselages and forced the adaptation of exisitng fuselages. Had BAE advice been taken, the project would have had only moderate technical risk.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I don’t think new build fuselages were offered on the UK MRA4 but they were offered to an export customer?

Sean
Sean
11 months ago
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Interesting.

Thnx for the link.

I was aware that BAE offered new build to export customers.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 months ago
Reply to  Sean

What could go wrong with chopping up hand built 50 year old airframes and slapping new bits all over the place!
I would still of preferred the Japanese P1 but we are where we are with the P8s.

Sean
Sean
11 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Seems to work with the B52s, but I think they’re the exception to the rule… maybe they’re the flying equivalent of Trigger’s Broom 😏

I’ve just relieved the Boing P-8 Poseidon is based on the 737 NG and not the 737 Max…

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Thanks Sean.

Hooston
Hooston
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The Nimrod MRA4 bid was for 21 aircraft, not 8 or 9 at a vastly inflated price. I think the expensive item was BAe Warton learning how to design and build a large aeroplane. Once you are out of the game it is £10bn plus to get back in. I’ve seen similar with the Mitsubishi MRJ. IMHO the customer’s biggest fault was consistently choosing to believe what BAe told them against all common sense. The trick is to do a few small things well. For example it’s a lot easier to build a loitering munition than a bomber without a… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Hooston

I am sure you are right. The last large military aircraft designed and built or adapted from donor aircraft in the UK, was the Nimrod MR2 which was produced in 1975-79, so skill fade must have been massive, when it came to building the MRA.4. I would not be surprised if BAE was economical with the truth about difficulties they encountered, but a core problem was HM Treasury not taking BAE’s advice at the outset to have new build fuselages. I am guessing you are ‘from across the pond’? We don’t of course just do small things in defence manufacturing,… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Graham Moore
Hooston
Hooston
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I was, shall we say, very close to the project. The only part of BAe with any relevant experience was Woodford (BAe 146 and Nimrod R1/AEW), but they only got involved half way through.
Don’t blame HM Treasury for the incorrect costing of a fixed price contract! Google “The Nimrod Review” to understand the BAe management culture at the time.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Hooston

I got my information from a reliable source. The BAE recommendation that was scuppered by the Treasury was made well before Contract Award, so I am not blaming Treasury for any incorrect costing. My point was that HM Treasury rejected sound technical advice and foisted a problem onto the Programme that made it almost impossible to succeed.

The Nimrod Review is of course all about the fatal crash of XM230 in Afghan in 2006, rather than the build of MRA.4, but I take your point that it reveals aspects of BAE management culture.

WillDbeest
WillDbeest
11 months ago
Reply to  Hooston

9 MRA4s were going to cost around 4 billion, pretty much the same as for the P8s we are getting and would have been in service 10 years ago.

WillDbeest
WillDbeest
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Totally agree.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago

I am sure Leonardo of Italy will retain the site in Yeovilton but it would be their commercial decision.

Mark B
Mark B
11 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Surplus US kit would be better off going to the likes of Ukraine, Taiwan, Austrailia etc. countries which need to bolster certain areas of their defence with quantity. We should simply stick to the strategy of providing quality leaning towards cutting edge kit. Providing we could man more ships we should simply build more of what we have (T26, T31 and maybe T45 if it’s problems are at an end). We should stick with medium quantity – high quality at the moment but beef it all up with autonomus kit.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 months ago
Reply to  Mark B

What do we need more AAW ships for?

We can only have one or max 2 CSG so I’m not sure what any more would be defending.

More ASW and P8 yes.

More GP yes very much so.

Mark B
Mark B
11 months ago

Sorry SB I was not trying to be too prescriptive. I suspect all of those types could bend to fit new requirements. Also it could be argued that we are spread too thin. The strategy of basing ships around the various oceans for long periods may become a necessity in the future and we might benefit from having the numbers to achieve that. We would need the budget relaxed a little 😂 to achieve any of this but bearing in mind we have already paid for these designs producing more of them would seem more cost effective.

Dern
Dern
11 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Yeah we’d never buy anything from the UK and the entire British Military would end up with clapped out, worn US parts that had no centralised planning, or strategic autonomy.

Mark B
Mark B
11 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Yes. If we need to reduce the cost per unit then we need to exploit new technologies and buy in quantity not buy old tat (no offense).

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Why do people think American kit is better than British kit: very often it isn’t.

US navy ships are generally knackered by the time they are retired. They require much larger crews than ours.

What are you talking about: old missile systems. We can all see how useful obsolete missiles are to Russia. Are we to emulate them?

I’m not seeing how using US cast offs would help us at all.

Paul.P
Paul.P
11 months ago

What you and RB said.

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
11 months ago

Yes this is a really impractical idea on every level. First of all, the US would never ever agree a blanket deal for one ally to buy any major retiring kit. There is still technology transfer involved, the US will want their old kit for storage, etc, etc. On the British side it makes no sense either. Buying clapped-out kit will not be cheaper but much more expensive given increased maintenance, repair and upgrade costs.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 months ago
Reply to  Ron Stateside

The other issue with old stuff is that discreet components are no longer readily available.

So you have a cottage industry with soldering irons!

Why not pay a tiny bit more to retain the full tech advantage oh and be free of ITAR – the gift that keeps giving….

dp
dp
11 months ago
Reply to  Ron Stateside

See Canadian submarine purchase of UK gear…

Chris
Chris
11 months ago

The US is retiring the entire Tico cruiser class. Each one has TWO BAE 5″ guns and 100 Mk41 VLS cells. The Americans maintain their stuff well and these weapons could be grafted onto ships like the T-31.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 months ago
Reply to  Chris

OMG

However well you maintain things salt water does have a way of destroying things over time!

As they get older they need more and more maintenance and older versions have parts chain issues.

If the parts are good USN will be using them to keep other legacy systems going….

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 months ago

Those tico’s are begging for retirement. They are shagged out. The refits cost to get a few years out of them was staggering.
This was from usni news in 2021
If we want to keep the cruisers to be retired in 2022 for two years – all seven ships – that’s roughly $2.78 billion. The cost to modernize Hue City and Anzio alone is $1.5 billion

Last edited 11 months ago by Monkey spanker
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

That sounds like

4 x F26; or
10 x T31…….

New ships……just roughly mind!

Coll
Coll
11 months ago

The LCS comes to mind.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 months ago
Reply to  Coll

Those wonders…

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
11 months ago

B-1Bs, B-2s and/or B-52Hs? Extremely low probability event, but could all prove valuable if the need arises for the UK to terminate Mad Vlad and the Slobbering Orcs w/ extreme prejudice. 😉

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
11 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Future scenario obviously, provided B-21 acquisition program remains on schedule.

Adrian
Adrian
11 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

How old are the US ships when retired Vs how old the RNs? The US get longer out of ships for a number of reasons, but they are best part of 40 to 50 years normally.

The RN doesn’t have the money to man more ships not that we can’t build more

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 months ago
Reply to  Adrian

And you can imagine how obsolete the machinery in those is at that age!

It would be like running B1 T22 on still – crazily expensive – for what end?

Things have been learned from Corporate and various SINKEXs over last 40 years so ship design and survivability has moved on.

You would not be able to certify a 40 yr old US ship into RN service as it would not meet class rules. Simple as that.

Jim
Jim
11 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I agree with the sentiment just not the practice, we have enough of our own kit like Typhoon and challenger 2 to try and hold on to.

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Yes to be clear I think these sort of hand-me-down deals are a possible avenue for the Baltic States to get some basic capability and knowledge where none exists. So yes, if they want, gift them some old F16s with some useful service life left, and let them sink any budget into maintenance. Perhaps down the road they won’t want to give up that capability and will collectively do a joint buy of fast jets, or have one do so while the other 2 states augment their naval and land capabilities. For Britain though it would be a capability disaster… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Challenger 2 will of course be replaced by 148 CR3s. We will not keep any remaining CR2s once that happens.

George
George
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

148 CR3 is simply not enough. Upgrading every available CR2 (447 max) would be a far better option. Pending the opening of another British BAE production line for MBTs. 1000 being a healthy peacetime target figure.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 months ago
Reply to  George

As Ukraine has shown there is a usefulness in keeping the retired kit and all the spares etc for emergencies.
So store warrior, CH2, CVRT etc etc. Then when there replacements get retired dump the stores and store the recently retired stuff.
So I’m storage would be challenger 1, if CH3 was new build these would be dumped and CH2 would be stored.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  George

I agree that 148 CR3s (enough for only two tank regiments) is not enough. We bought 386 CR2s from 1998 and some were scrapped so I think we have about 308 now, so no chance of producing 447 CR3s.

You are optimistic in wanting 1,000 tanks – we didn’t have that high a number at the height of the Cold War. Only the US can field that sort of number.

George Parker
George Parker
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Fielding 1000 is different to producing them. Issuing a few hundred to regular and reserve forces for familiarisation training. Then mothballing the remainder to be rotated in service according to an organised schedule. In the same way, mechanised infantry units could be issued with and trained on both wheeled and tracked IFVs. (Including a healthy number mothballed and maintained as above.) Built by the same factories as MBTs Not only would it permit a choice of IFV for commanders when deploying to different environments. But also provide a fleet of vehicles to be issued to conscripts, if mobilisation is deemed… Read more »

Jim
Jim
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We can buy Oman’s C2 if we want more.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Why do we want 38 more CR2s? The powers that be has been running down the CR2 fleet numbers from 386 since first fielding in 1998 – and the corresponding establishments. SDSR 2010 reduced the in-service fleet to 227. We only have three armoured regiments now and soon will be down to just two under the Future Soldier Orbat. I am not saying I agree, but it is what our political masters have decided. When the army reduces to 73,000 the headcount would be sufficient to have a tank fleet of about 170 (two armd regts plus trg org, repair… Read more »

David
David
11 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Ridiculous. You mean F15C that have 10,000 flight hours or F18C from the US navy that have fatigue issues? Platform that newd 40 hours maintenance per flight hour.
Or Paladin SPGs where spares are so problematic they are buying replacements.
Tico cruisers that need hundreds of millions of dollars spent to deal with structural cracks? You just buy obsolete kit that drains budgets. Even the US can’t afford to keep it.

JohninMK
JohninMK
11 months ago
Reply to  David

I agree. There are very good reasons why the US is taking them out of service, often after serious political pressure to keep them. On the other hand, the US might be very pleased, as it could avoid them getting hit with the often significant scraping costs.

Sean
Sean
11 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

The US takes its obsolete ships and equipment out of service.
Whereas your Russian friends sends theirs into battle 😆

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 months ago
Reply to  Sean

I thought they had smoking related accidents for they got to battle?

George
George
11 months ago
Reply to  David

It would need to be on a case by case basis. Old airframes from the US (F15, F16 or F18) would be a mistake for the British armed forces. But some Arleigh Burke class destroyers would be another thing entirely. As would Abrams MBT’s.

Steven B
Steven B
11 months ago
Reply to  George

The Arleigh Burke’s are certified for 35/40 years. Flight 1&2 for 35 years and flight 2A and 3 for 40 years. The Flight 1&2 are being examined on a case by case example to extend service life to 40 years. Is really buying a destroyer in 2030 as old as HMS Argyll a wise buy?

George
George
11 months ago
Reply to  Steven B

That depends on the bean counters and if they consider woke pronoun policing or holiday hotels for illegal immigrants more important than national defence!
Would you rather have a second hand Arleigh B. or a leased river class patrol boat.
I imagine they would replace destroyers with uprated frigates first but you get the idea. It’s the same principle that has us making do with STOVL-only carriers and not the real McCoy.

Jon
Jon
11 months ago
Reply to  George

Rivers are owned not leased anymore, and I’d rather have the OPV any day of the week. We won’t have any of the missiles the Arleigh Burke uses (our Tomahawks are different and our Harpoons will be gone). We don’t want to have to train RN sailors to use Aegis or RN engineers to maintain a myriad strange systems with no spare parts. The Royal Navy is limited by crew numbers and operating costs not by hulls, at least until a few ships have been shot up in a war. An A-B requires twice the crew of a Type 26… Read more »

Steven B
Steven B
11 months ago
Reply to  George

Surely the bean counters will see the rather large figures the US Navy pays for maintenance to keep these aging ships running. 35-40yo Arleigh Burke’s would be a big mistake for UK. Anything is preferable to purchasing a aged financial black hole, that extracts money that can be put to better use.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 months ago
Reply to  Steven B

No. It’s a terrible idea.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Don’t the Americans already sell off their surplus kit to allies?

expat
expat
11 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

If you define the strategy as own back yard there won’t be anything spare to go further afield and over time all assets will be come tailored for the strategy.

Frank62
Frank62
11 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

It’s an idea but there are many allies interested in aquiring retired USN kit. What we really need is a government that collects more tax from the richest who get the best deals from our tax system, invests promptly in existing & new programs, gets the MOD to stop adjusting build specs so much during construction & ensure they get built swiftly & as near budget as they can. What we’ve seen in recent years is shameless starving of funding while ensuring rich shareholders & corperations rip off our limited budgets.(All accompanied by disengenious soundbites for public consumption).

Stu
Stu
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Need to end crony capitalism bud. Been going on for 20+ years at least. UK gov doesn’t struggle with tax revenues, struggles spending it efficiently and without simply enriching their friends, often for doing nothing. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a Tory v Labour issue. They’re both sponsored by the same corporate interests.

Frank62
Frank62
11 months ago
Reply to  Stu

Nail on the head Stu.

George
George
11 months ago
Reply to  Stu

So what system would you replace it with comrade, complete state ownership communism?

Stu
Stu
11 months ago
Reply to  George

No douchebag. I’d scrap 99% of government subsidies which do nothing but drive prices up and quality and efficiency down. I’d begin dismantling the welfare state which does nothing but reward failure and trap people into reliance on the taxpayer from the second they’re born until the instant they die. I’d restore actual capitalism which is properly regulated to prevent monopolies, encourage startups and drive innovation and competition. I’d tax multinationals properly, especially those that use their massive profits to crush uk owned businesses. I’d eliminate all corporate donations to political parties, cap private contributions, abolish any corporate lobbying, prevent… Read more »

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
11 months ago
Reply to  Stu

“I’d restore actual capitalism”
So back to company rule in India and the Atlantic triangle then?

David Steeper
David Steeper
11 months ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

You believe capitalism, imperialism and slavery are the same thing ?

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
11 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

You don’t?

George Parker
George Parker
11 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

😂 Well said!

Stu
Stu
11 months ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

Idiotic question. Did you miss ‘properly regulated’?

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
11 months ago
Reply to  Stu

Ah I see, your special blend of regulations are ‘actual capitalism’ and will definitely work this time.

Stu
Stu
11 months ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

Says the person typing this on their computer or smartphone, both developed under capitalist systems… That’s a rather pathetic attempt at ‘I’m rubber you’re glue’ given this is a pretty obvious criticism of socialism/communism. Seems every time it’s been tried, once enough people starve to death and/or are murdered by their own government and society goes backwards for 50+ years, eventually it collapses & then “yeah, but it wasn’t real socialism. I’d get it right”. What gets me is the arrogance of anyone arguing for that system is beyond belief. They all think they’re smarter than Lenin, Mao, Castro etc… Read more »

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
11 months ago
Reply to  Stu

“But but but whatabout Stalin!”

Focus on defending your own murderous ideology bud.

Presumably in your perfect world I wouldn’t be here to call you out because I wouldn’t have the welfare state providing me with the means (a phone) to do so? Meanwhile your omega grindset would naturally and fairly elevate you to your rightful position at the top? 🤣

Last edited 11 months ago by Tomartyr
Stu
Stu
11 months ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

Not defending it. Especially not the present state of affairs. That’s why I want to make changes, because I can accept there are flaws. That’s how I know I’m not indoctrinated. Can you say the same? Wasn’t just Stalin either was it. Mao, Xi, Castro, Che, Pot… all of them. Can’t allow people to think differently or question it. Then they might see the faults… Shhh, don’t ask questions. Don’t critique it. Just do what you’re told. Go with the herd. Have your two minutes hate against the current thing. Utopia is just around the corner comrade. Just a little… Read more »

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
11 months ago
Reply to  Stu

Comrade? I point out that ‘actual capitalism’ is a murderous ideology (the most murderous by numbers btw) and that makes me a commie?

Yeah I’m definitely the indoctrinated one who can’t handle a critique..

Stu
Stu
11 months ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

Capitalism is an economic system. In the absence of regulation, the profit motive can (and has) led to atrocities, death etc. but it’s not a requirement. The system itself doesn’t require death, indoctrination, restrictions on liberty, in/out groups etc. to function. Hence the need to regulate it. People who refer to it as an ‘ideology’ tend to be proponents of Marx as they throw ‘capitalism’ (a word invented by socialists I believe) around like an insult… much like you have been. They also claim anything not communist/socialist is “capitalism” (as you seem to be) and therefore every ounce of human… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Stu
Tomartyr
Tomartyr
11 months ago
Reply to  Stu

“every ounce of human suffering throughout all human history is capitalisms fault. Why? Because someone profited from the misery of others? “Profit!? Must be capitalism!” It’s infantile.” Sorry bud but you’re the one arguing for a specific type of capitalism, and that’s what I’ve limited my criticism to, nice strawman though. When I said it was the most murderous I was referring to the period of laissez-faire capitalism that caused 50-165 million deaths in British India. Of course I expect you to reply that you have the special blend of ‘actual capitalism’ all figured out, except you haven’t actually given… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Tomartyr
Stu
Stu
11 months ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

You called it a “ murderous ideology” and “‘actual capitalism’ is a murderous ideology (the most murderous by numbers btw)” but it’s a ‘strawman’ when I point out the flaw in that argument, ie that it’s a system, not an ideology as proposed by Marxists? The cognitive dissonance is real with you. I’m not arguing for replacing the current system. I’m arguing that it’s broken and some changes need to be made. Did you even read my original post!? Where did I argue for ‘replacement’? I’m arguing for restoration. That’s a strawman pal. “Social Democracy” is ‘the peaceful transition to… Read more »

George Parker
George Parker
11 months ago
Reply to  Stu

Having studied the old soviet union very closely indeed, looking for weaknesses to exploit. I would argue that Marxism in all it’s forms, is diametrically opposed to the answer we seek for GB. Even mild socialism is fundamentally flawed in practice.

Stu
Stu
11 months ago
Reply to  George Parker

Yes sir. Hence my original desire to slowly dismantle the Welfare State – mild socialism as it stands. I’m a big believer in society looking after those that cannot look after themselves, or are temporarily enduring hardship, but our current system simply rewards failure and encourages dependency. I’m happy to accept we had/have nothing but good intentions trying to help people but we’ve been at it 80 years and who has it helped rise up? Thomas Sowell (if you don’t know him, economist. Check him out. You Tube has some good interviews with him) discusses Welfare Programs and other Socialist… Read more »

WillDbeest
WillDbeest
11 months ago
Reply to  George Parker

I’d be interested to hear your views on why mild socialism is fundamentally flawed in practice.

George
George
11 months ago
Reply to  Stu

We are obviously on the same anti-globalist page Stu. Fiercely nationalist, rewarding hard work and enterprise. Limiting state involvement to the minimum while defending British heritage and standards of freedom. Seriously supportive of monarchy but still wanting a written constitution.
Am I close.

Stu
Stu
11 months ago
Reply to  George

Lose the last sentence and we’re very close. It’s why I’m so bored of people moaning “tories did this” or “labour did that”. Two sided of same coin for 30 years. It’s all theatre.

Apologies if I insulted you, but I was reacting to being called ‘comrade’ which is worse than being called Nazi (commies have murdered more of their own people).

Regards constitution, there are pros and cons & I’m not convinced.

George Parker
George Parker
11 months ago
Reply to  Stu

No apology needed as no insult was taken! As a life long contrarian, I press peoples buttons to see how they respond and have developed thick skin as a consequence. Contrarianism has proven to be a very useful trait over the past 60 ++ years. On the subject of a constitution, I actually envy the US constitution and admire much of their society. But even that is being attacked by woke liberalism, we call it socialism or marxism. It would be nice to have something written that cannot be contradicted by government or by the law lords. Rights set in… Read more »

Stu
Stu
11 months ago
Reply to  George Parker

I too have been know to play the contrarian once or twice 😊. Written Constitution; there are many pros to a concrete document free from the perils of Parliamentary Supremacy to rewrite or ignore it at will. But Parliamentary Supremacy has its benefits, especially in times of national crisis (though there seems to be a newly minted crisis to take advantage of every month at present!). Part of the beauty of the UK is that since the 1600’s, we’ve slowly evolved our laws in line with changes in society. For example, we didn’t need a 2/3 of both houses to… Read more »

George
George
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Defence is the primary duty of HM.Gov. We need to stop giving billions away each year to undeserving potential enemies. Our needs must come first and defence should be number one in the que with a ringfenced budget. Closely followed by law and order, then national health.

George
George
11 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

You make very valid points but Robert has the high ground here. It would be the end of the UK defence industry, which is already on it’s knees compared to what it used to be. The Poland approach of licenced production (from Korea in their case.) would be a better halfway house. But of course that would depend on a case by case assessment.

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
11 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Permit the Govts either Tory or Labour to march headlong into oblivion with their failed views for the British military. Only a defeat will revive any interest of a proper funded British military. Indeed, the apathy for this country, shown hereabout this land, by half the nation, is nothing short of a tragedy. Anyone that calls for more Britishness, more patriotism or more self determination is branded a racist. I fear this is the beginning of the end for this great country.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

👍

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
11 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Would be nice if that were possible but it is China that is threatening its neighbours. It is China that is spending vast sums on modernising it’s military so that it can challenge the US and it’s allies and defeat them. At least locally. I agree a sound defence of the UK and it’s territorial waters is the government’s number 1 duty. Failure to do so is treasonous. I think once we have adequate numbers of SSNrs, type 26, 31/32 and the type 45s upgraded then we can think about deploying forces to support US, Japan and Australia. In other… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I don’t know enough about what China is doing to neighbours outside of Taiwan and South China Sea islands. Hopefully the U.K and like minded nations can work together. What I’m not sure of is what is China wanting to accomplish with its large navy? Shut down trade with the navy and it effects All including China. Patrol the high seas as a world policeman? Invade other countries? Excluding Taiwan as that’s been the plan for a long time. Used to be Taiwan’s plan but now it’s switched. Hopefully xi Jin ping’s successor is less of a knob, tough nut,… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
11 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Unfortunately I don’t think a change of leader will change the road china is on. This is a nation with a very firm belief in Han exceptionalism. It a nation that sees itself as becoming the hegemonic power of the 21c and Han exceptionalism feeds this. The other issue is Taiwan, I don’t think people really understand the profound important the Taiwan question has to Chinese national identity…it’s an even more toxic brew that the question of Palestine. To the Chinese Taiwan is an open sore from a civil war that never ended. From our point of view it would… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I have to agree that Taiwan is on there own. Does the west want to get dragged into a war with China and friends to protect an island that’s very hard to protect once an attack happens? If Taiwan is serious about stopping an inasion it needs to be prepared. Lots more defences, sea mines, shore based anti ship missiles, mobile SAMs etc etc to make a landing as difficult as possible. Would Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and any other nation close by jump to Taiwan’s defence? The west can’t even recognise Taiwan as a country ffs. Lots could be… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
11 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I don’t think the West can afford for the CCP to invade Taiwan. It would be a massive geopolitical & moral mistake to accomodate CCP aggression & expansion. The USA probably wouldn’t stand back, nor would most far eastern allies including Australia. Fortunately/sadly many Taiwanese who were warm towards joining the PRC have wised up to their future if that happened after seeing how the CCP cracked down on HK & threw out the treaties guarenteeing freedoms early. We usually get a well-spun, sanatised version of the CCP when we engage with the PRC, but they are often blatently offensive… Read more »

DJ
DJ
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Something often overlooked in addition to Taiwan & the SCS 9 dash line problem, is there is also an ongoing dispute in the ECS between PRC & Japan. If Taiwan falls this dispute is likely to shift from from the background to the foreground. Japan is a major power, unlike those directly involved in the SCS dispute. This region of the world could get very ugly very fast. Note that Russia is also a North Pacific / East Asian power.

Frank62
Frank62
11 months ago
Reply to  DJ

Indeed, good point, but USA, Japan, S Korea, Australia are quite likely to all take major exception if the PRC attacked Taiwan & that’s a hell of a lot of power, in naval terms alone, to counter the PLAN & CCP. It will not end well for China. The world is being shaken up.

Last edited 11 months ago by Frank62
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

A weapons stockpile and asymmetric warfare: how Taiwan could thwart an invasion by China – with America’s help
April 2023

LINK

Last edited 11 months ago by Nigel Collins
Paul.P
Paul.P
11 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

How dependent is Taiwan on imports and exports of industrial goods and food by sea? The PRC navy will soon be able to mount an effective blockade. Cuba….what goes around comes around?

Tams
Tams
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

And how exactly will the PRC enforce that blockade?

The ones caused by their recent exercises have only been ‘tolerated’ because a few days here and there is of no consequence. Should they attempt a long-term one, are the PRC really going to fire on an RoC skip it even civilian one?

I don’t think so.

Paul.P
Paul.P
11 months ago
Reply to  Tams

I don’t think China will mount an invasion; Taiwan is too well armed and the straits which separate the island from mainland China is too wide. I think they have learned from Ukraine. Neither do I think they mount an old fashioned naval blockade because as you point out it would risk escalation into a conflict which would spread. But there are ways they could weave naval and air harassment into a more subtle strategy.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/503ffdb4-dae4-11ed-b1e2-4c4ae98cfe2f?shareToken=7318d6f6fc2703a02352ca3209627a72

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

At one time, a hypothetical ChiCom amphib assault across the strait was derisively termed the “Million Man Swim,” among certain defense commentators. 😉 No longer; the scum-sucking, slimeball ChiComs have upped their game. Massively. Hopefully, the West no longer collectively underestimates ChiCom military capability 🤔😳

George
George
11 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Not only is the million man swim a past joke. But given the rate of ChiCom ship building and antiship missile development. Soon it will be impossible to stop them. Short of turning Taiwan into one huge missile launchpad. Any allied surface vessel approaching within 200 miles of Taiwan will be sunk by the PLA navy/air force/missile forces.

Their ocean floor seismic detection grid and nuclear depth charges, will take care of any submarines we choose to throw at them. Regardless of which anglosphere navy crews them.

Jonathan
Jonathan
11 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

To be honest I would say that on balance I would give the RN on its own good odds against the the Russian Northern fleet…Russia has nothing that could really counter an Astute or counter a carrier battle groups with T45, T23 and and a couple of F35 squadrons. Yes it has a submarine force but it has only 2 subs that are even close to parity with an astute, the rest are true 25-30 year old relics of the Cold War. When you add in the la royale, the Italian navy and the other European European frigate and electric… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
11 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I think we’re looking at considerable PLAN ability to forward base & directly disrupt the North Atlantic & European waters if they desired. Some still claim the PLAN is still the brown water force of decades ago, but their growing number of overseas bases, burgeoning fleet & coercion of states worldwide is spreading their reach drastically. With Xi in charge it seems when, not if Taiwan will be assaulted & then where next? We seem to be pottering on hoping for the best while we starve or cut further terribly inadequate forces as the world dangerously lurches in favour of… Read more »

Ron
Ron
11 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Mr Bell, I will stick to the navy to start with. If the RN could get 24+ DDGs/FFGs, an extra 2-3 SSNs and 2 LHDs we could with our European naval partners take care of the Atlantic and Med almost ourselves without any major US Navy involvment. We as a European Navy could put to sea three fleet carrier groups, two or three escort carrier groups, six LHD groups, another eight LPD groups, about 100 FFGs/DDGs, 12 SSNs and about 30 SSKs. That would be more than enough to take care of the Russian surface fleet and cause real damage… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I detect an element of sarcasm? I think we would need to roughly double the size of our navy to be able to run a seperate Mediterranean fleet and create a China station.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
11 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Diplomacy should always be the first layer of any nations defence, to go up against such a large power as China would be foolish. We could build 100 warships overnight and still be absolutely outnumbered but what’s the point we’d only be stabbing ourselves in the back with the absolute reliance on Chinese industry, not that we could afford it mind you. Let the USA deal with them if that’s what they want we need to rightly concentrate on our own areas.

Chris
Chris
11 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Focus on your “own areas” and China will soon own your area! Sticking your head in the sand and acting like you don’t have the second coming of the Imperial Japanese Empire (mainland Asia edition) is crazy.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
11 months ago
Reply to  Chris

What are we to do about it? Where’s the massive increase in budget coming from to double/triple the navy in the short term? The British army hasn’t got anything to spare might be able to muster a battalion or maybe couple dozen tanks that’s it, no air defence, no long range artillery, nothing. The navy’s is desperately short of tankers and everything else, the air force no better. Nothing is going to change that unless the money increases which it isn’t. Best piece of advice, don’t bite the hand that feeds you

Paul.P
Paul.P
11 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Whoa! Agree the army is in a mess but a bit negative I think on the navy and RAF. Worth taking stock of the RN / RFA short / medium term plan / trajectory. 2 CVF 4 fleet tankers ( + 2 mothballed) 3 new solid support ships in build ( 1 active) 4 littoral ships ( 3 LSDs and Argus) 4 Point Class 6 AAW destroyers 8 ASW frigates 3 (soon to become 5 again) GP frigates 5 ocean going OPVs 3 batch 1 Rivers 2 undersea assets survey/ protection ( ex oil industry) 4 ( on order) mine… Read more »

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Impressive fleet yes but I’m not being negative just realistic, we have enough commitments to deal with ATM why everyone wants to see the fleet galavanting around the South China sea is beyond me-yes keep up the odd overseas visits but lining us up to slot alongside the usn when we can’t sustain that level of combat is foolhardy.

Paul.P
Paul.P
11 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Agree we need to cut our coat according to our cloth. But we need to have a presence ‘East of Suez’. The River 2’s are a start in building back relationships, influence, intelligence. The AUKUS deal will likely see a routine UK SSN presence. Beyond that the occasional joint exercise and enforcement of passage rights through the South China Sea. In practice the Littoral ‘Strike’ Group will be a humanitarian aid group. China is very active in Africa and South America. They need to feed their population. There’s only so much you can do in the face of what will… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
11 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

We’re hoping we have until the mid 2030s-40s to prepare, but we may have only a few years at most. Saturday night I was combing BBC news site as BBC news channel had an item I only picked up reading subtitles whuile otherwise engaged, saying something about Taiwanese airspace being closed by the PRC. Sounded like a preperation for war. But nothing at all was added to the website all night to explain or even repeat the story. (I was scanning BBC world news website -China for hours). It was only the next day that I caught the story again… Read more »

Sean
Sean
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Taiwan rightly advised aircraft to alid the area, the Chinese don’t take as much care with spent rockets stages and where they fall as other nations do.
https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/china-launches-weather-satellite-flights-avoid-no-fly-zone-north-taiwan-2023-04-16/

Jonathan
Jonathan
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

I think the majority of analysts agrees that china will invade Taiwan as soon as it feels it has the forces in place to force a landing and win. What is not clear is when exactly China will decide it is ready…as it’s outbuilding everyone else at present it’s is definitely within the foreseeable future (within a 10 year period). The only real question is will the US intervene, if they do it will be world war 3 with the contagion will be pretty much instant. As china and the US are both to big to lose a war easily… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
11 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I’d be surprised if China doesn’t try it in the next 5 years, unless the USA & others make it quite clear they will be opposed & retribution will be severe. No more comercial ties or western markets. I don’t think it’ll go to MAD, there’s no need if powerful players back Taiwan. Fence sitting trying to please everyone is running out of milage to the point of obsalesence. Time to be unambiguous or aquiesce & appease as millions become slaves or extinct & the world a far darker place. I think your points 2 & 3 most likely &… Read more »

grizzler
grizzler
11 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Good luck with options i) & ii) there is no way the neo-liberalists will allow that.
There were mumuringa immediateky after COVID of course bu they seem to have been swept away again by the pigs at the trough.

Jonathan
Jonathan
11 months ago
Reply to  grizzler

Grizzled neo liberal “ market before everything” economic model is what has got us to this problem…..I’m just hoping the behaviour of Russia and china can show that sometime the greater good and national interests should be the drivers.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
11 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Probably an odds on proposition that a Sino-US conflict ultimately progresses into a WW IiI style nuclear exchange, after a variable length conventional conflict. Marginally better for West if this occurs sooner rather than later (350-400 ChiCom nuke warheads currently, vs.1500 projected by 2035). Uncertain whether this prediction qualifies as the optimistic scenario. 🤔😳😱

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
11 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

…WW IiI…🙄

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
11 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Son of a b****,…WW III ..🙄🙃

Jonathan
Jonathan
11 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

To honest I don’t think it has a great potential to go nuclear after all it’s likely going to become a long term slog and very much a navel war. Neither side will be able to effectively undertake a full scale invasion and subjugation, so it will be a slog to who’s exhausted first. The big worry is that it’s a U.S. sino war will be insanely contagious, the west is going to pile In behind the US and china will drag its allies and client states in as well so you are likely to see conflict in the gulf… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

The army could deploy a brigade on an enduring operation, if bolstered by some members of the Army Reserve and ‘the Royals’.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
11 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Chris,
Excellent post! 👍 Believe the metaphor characterizing/comparing current events w/in SCS to the pre WW II developments of rhe Japanese Imperial Empire”s “Southeast Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere,” reveals an historical account which could prove to be quite valuable in analysis of events/trends. Had not considered the parallels previously. 🤔😳

Frank62
Frank62
11 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Diplomacy only works where there is genuine trust & honour between nations(not that we’re perfect!). What should be clear by now is neither Russia or China can be trusted. They’ve been aggresively attacking us for decades with grey/asymetric warfare & actively seek to become dominant & destroy free democracies. The longer we leave our head in the sand, the stronger they become, giving them more space to expand their power. We urgently need to decouple our reliance on Chinese manufacturing, as we have tried to engage, thus hoping to effect change through engagement, but have just fed the beast that… Read more »

Sean
Sean
11 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

I’m sure people said the same about going up against Nazi Germany too.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
11 months ago
Reply to  Sean

It was a lot easier back then when we had the world’s largest navy, the biggest mistake Hitler ever made was invade the low contries and expect us to just sit back instead of taking out the Soviets first. The China question is a very difficult one to solve because no matter what we do about it we’d only land up destroying our own very fragile economy in the process. The best course of action would be to form a very powerful group of nations to try and wean ourselves off them to excerpt some form of political leverage instead… Read more »

Jim
Jim
11 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Will be interesting to see what Norway does when the UK tries to join EEA again. I’m hoping they will be a true friend unlike some when it comes to trade deals ( I’m looking at you Joe) and not attempt to extract a price.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

The UK won’t be allowed back into the EEA. I can guarantee you the French will not let us.

Jim
Jim
11 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I don’t think France is particularly pleased with the current brexit settlement. France wants friends and it’s rapidly finding out Germany is not necessarily one of them. The French are paranoid in a way we can’t understand about German hegemony.

Coll
Coll
11 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Charles de Gaulle vetoed us in 1967 from joining the EEC. So it wouldn’t be the first time.

grizzler
grizzler
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

I for one hope we do not join the EEA or any aspect of EU controlled hegemony anytime soon …or ever again.

David
David
11 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Unfortunately that amounts to appeasement. China’s goals and values are not the same as ours. They don’t care what we say nor take us seriously and unfortunately for us, they carry the big stick – and they know it. In my opinion, China is spoiling for a fight and within the next five years, they just might get it. The clock is ticking for HMG to get our forces into some sort of proper shape. Make no mistake, when the South China Sea blows up, we will be dragged in and short of our attack boats as few as they… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 months ago
Reply to  David

The RN couldn’t say into the South China Sea and expect to come out with many ships left. It’s china’s back yard. It would be foolish to do so.
Even the US simulations have them losing a lot ships and some carriers.
It’s unlikely much of the European navies would come along for the ride.
It will take a team effort from the regional navies and nato forces to sail into the South China Sea in a war.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

We are probably the only western country to know about losing a lot of ships in serious combat; the US just has its simulations.
Our fleet is intended to have a global role, not to just protect approaches to the UK, so it is understandable that the RN could sail into the SCS, of course with allies and especially the US.
You make a good point about how reliable our European allies will be in committing naval fores to the Far East to combat China if the need arose.

expat
expat
11 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

For our own back yard we don’t need carries or even Astutes, we can cover the NA with longer range aircraft with IFR and something a kin to the gotland-class submarine. Its a major shift in capabilities and we know that once that happens we’re not getting the them back.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 months ago
Reply to  expat

I think U.K. should still expand the navy and maintain a world policeman, junior officer with USA and any other nations that are like minded. The U.K. needs to be able to back up Australia, New Zealand etc. It also needs to be able to have presence in nearer home waters. China could start deploying ships world wide like the US navy and the RN needs to show we are here. If defending Taiwan is to be a serious consideration forces should be on the island. Some half arsed response is pointless after it’s started. Put the RAF there, some… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Interesting that the US has a strong military presence in S. Korea to send a deterrent message to N. Korea – but has never done similar in the case of Taiwan.
Is the US scared of upsetting China or is there some other reason?

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

The Chinese ships are coming out the yards fast the last few years. One hope is that there availability and training is low.

Jonathan
Jonathan
11 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Yes and although you Cannot be sure of the systems and how well the ships and navy will perform china is not a nation that has a backward tec base and no money. It funds its armed forces well and has no problems with recruitment. I does have an odd system in which legally universal conscription exists and everyone does receive some military training and is placed in the reserves, but the full time forces are all volunteers.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
11 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

“Trying to work with them not against them can hopefully work out.”
Haha?

JohnG
JohnG
11 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Not a hope in hell of working with the Chinese. They hate us and want to see us down and beat. The sooner people fully appreciate that the better position we will all be in

grizzler
grizzler
11 months ago
Reply to  JohnG

I hope you are preaching to the choir on here at least …
I really hope there no one of any credibility on here that really believes otherwise.
Down in Westiminster on the otherhand where palms are greasy…and policy (and politicians) dupliticous …well thats a slightly different matter…

Defence thoughts
Defence thoughts
11 months ago

Like it or not, we will be in the Indo-Pacific. The U.S wants us there.

Balancing the Atlantic and the I-P will be very difficult, but we will have to find a way.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
11 months ago

Yes. One eye on Russia and one on China so to speak and working with our alliances. Like to see escorts and sub numbers upped so we can spread and keep our presence spread.

Defence thoughts
Defence thoughts
11 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Thisthisthisthisthis

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
11 months ago

Exactly!?… Lol 😁

Defence thoughts
Defence thoughts
11 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

In some parts of the internet, “this ^” means I agree with you.

Frank62
Frank62
11 months ago

That’s new to me, not heard that before.

simon
simon
11 months ago

the situation is we have 2 ocean going carriers with top jets, skills and expertise why not exercise and support democratic allies when & where we can, but in the knowledge the primary role is defending northern europe. having the Rivers as ears and eyes and knowledge that carriers can be deployed will keep china guessing, great.

Paul42
Paul42
11 months ago
Reply to  simon

We have two carriers, but not enough jets for one airwing as yet,indeed not enough helicopters either. We would need to speed up deliveries of F35B Block 4, and look to acquire more merlins in order to operate both.

Jacko
Jacko
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Hence the cross training with the USMC! If we did go to the Pacific you can bet that that they will want a couple of Squadrons on our carriers.

Esteban
Esteban
11 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

The US Marines have plenty to do by themselves other than carry your water. We need to just stop with that silly idea that has been propagated on this site. All of those US Marine f-35 b have roles all over the world and covering the UK’s ass is not one of them.

Jacko
Jacko
11 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

You are really a silly little boy aren’t you🙄We would not need our arse covered it would be a joint deployment with our allies nob head! Now be a good boy and sod off to bed.

Sean
Sean
11 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

Trust you to get this the wrong way round. It would be the U.K. providing extra flight-deck for the USMC, in addition to our jets to assist.

You must lead a sad life for you to be filled with such hatred all the time.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
11 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Entirely agree, it is a virtual certainty that USMC would provide 2-4 squadrons of F-35B for RN carrier(s) and additionally, USN escort vessels (including SSNs), during any significant crisis, either in Atlantic or I-P theater. Open source reports state USN fleet commanders will be counting on 1-2 additional big deck carriers for myriad reasons and purposes. That is precisely the reason USMC participated in CSG 21, and will again in the future. Train the way you intend to fight. It should take neither rocket science nor an exaggerated sense of altruism to understand this, merely an understanding of enlightened self-interest… Read more »

Louis
Louis
11 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

353 F35B on order for the USMC but only 12 LHA/LHD planned. Plenty to share around.

Airborne
Airborne
11 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

Ah here he is, back again now he has cleaned up the tissue from his room and put away the crusty US wank flag he has. Fanboy…..

DH
DH
11 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Hehe
👍😂

Louis
Louis
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

RAF Gibraltar has quite limited capabilities compared to Akrotiri or UK mainland bases like Coningsby and doesn’t really cover anywhere important that those two bases don’t.
Quite a short runway, shared with the international airport, limited RAF infrastructure and a main road cutting the runway in two.
Great place for a radar and for SSN to stop off though.

Last edited 11 months ago by Louis
Jim
Jim
11 months ago
Reply to  Louis

That’s primarily because it’s an an area of limited strategic use compared to Cyprus.

Louis
Louis
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Precisely my point. It has limited capabilities because it doesn’t need to. Typhoons and Voyagers from Akrotiri and the UK can cover most of the airspace.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Exactly. Gibs greatest assets are for it’s underground areas, it’s location for intelligence gathering, and for the RN, not so much air power.

I recall FRADU had some Hunters there but that’s about it in the later Cold War era regards fast jets.

Klonkie
Klonkie
11 months ago

and RAF Buccaneers used to forward deploy to Gibs on training .

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Did they, missed that mate.

NorthernAlly
NorthernAlly
11 months ago
Reply to  Louis

I thought they had got rid of the road running through the runway and replaced it with a tunnel?

Louis
Louis
11 months ago
Reply to  NorthernAlly

Yeah you’re right it was opened a few weeks ago. Runway is still less than 6,000 feet when all 4 of the RAFs fast jet bases have 9,000+ foot runways and half have an additional 6,000+ foot runway.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Louis

And other infrastructure that goes with a FJ station, like the HAS and other hardened areas.

Louis
Louis
11 months ago

And I assume it has a very limited if at all any ammunition storage.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Assume that would be within the rock itself amongst the varied UG assets, not all of which have been discarded. Will check, but I recall that there is an Ammunition Storage facility within, though it would be organised for naval or army ammunition not RAF. Fuel wise, I think the POL storage depot is Kings Lines. I doubt the UG connects directly to RAF Gibraltar though as civilian areas are inbetween the rock and the RAF area and Devils Rock Camp. I guess it would be doable if you threw money at it, but given Gibs location there’s little point… Read more »

Louis
Louis
11 months ago
Reply to  Louis

As stated above by Daniele and others, Gibraltar lacks the infrastructure to support a fighter squadron.

Louis
Louis
11 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Galaxy and Jumbo Jets wouldn’t be able to operate from Gibraltar airport.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  NorthernAlly

Ah, interesting, I wasn’t aware of that. Crossed a couple of times myself. Must be a FOD nightmare.

Jim
Jim
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Yes but Italy, Japan, Singapore and the USA are all operating F35B. Soon we will all have more F35B than carriers they can operate from. This is the great strength of CVF. Any Allie can operate from it with minimal training.

Paul42
Paul42
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

It’ll be a long time before the UK has enough F35Bs to put a full airgroup of 36 x F35B on one carrier, and god knows how many years before we can do it with two carriers, indeed, if we ever get there at all, plus as already said, we don’t have anywhere near enough helicopters..
Now we could embark USMC F35Bs as we did for CSG21, but would still need many more rotary assets.

Jim
Jim
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

36 F35B on a carrier would make it the most powerful warship on the planet.

It’s kind of overkill for almost any situation save a war with china at which means we will be fighting with four Allie’s with F35B.

Louis
Louis
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Very true, nearly 200 F35B planned not including the USMC.

Last edited 11 months ago by Louis
Jim
Jim
11 months ago
Reply to  Louis

200 F35B’s would ruin anyone’s day 😀

Esteban
Esteban
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Not even close…. And as has been stated repeatedly those aircraft do not exist for the UK at the moment and it’s all the other ancillary items that really make the difference.

Jacko
Jacko
11 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

You have actually read the discussion haven’t you? Instead of just making stupid comment’s actually read what’s been said and then perhaps you just might understand what the grown ups are talking about!

Sean
Sean
11 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

How are you able to be wrong with everything you ever post? The really requires amazing levels of incompetence.

Jacko
Jacko
11 months ago
Reply to  Sean

It’s because he is an absolute idiot who can’t see beyond his weird view of the world🙄

Sean
Sean
11 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

Yeah that explains it too 😆

Airborne
Airborne
11 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

Here he goes again, consistently wrong and sad.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

It has never been the intention to put 36 F35B’s on both carriers at the same time. We have 2 vessels, so one is available 365 to work around refits.

grizzler
grizzler
11 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

or leaks …or propeller damage…or …err thats about it so far

Jon
Jon
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

You don’t need to upgun the Rivers for more effective eyes and ears. You need improved ELINT and better sensors all around, including remote drone-borne sensors.

Frank62
Frank62
11 months ago
Reply to  simon

We have been tasking an Astute & I think a T23 to the far East recently. The world is far too dangerous ATM for us to not have some presence alongside our allies & sober up the CCP. The CCP spat feathers at the AUKUS agreement, which is what it exists for-to make it clear to the PRC that it will not be able to project power & destabalise the Indo Pacific unchallanged.

Last edited 11 months ago by Frank62
Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
11 months ago

It is doable because to some extent there different disciplines involved. Very much the R.N. in the Pacific and more the RAF/Army in the north. Not exclusively of course but can be done.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 months ago

I don’t know about the Indians. They Indians that post on the internet comments seem to hate the U.K, Europe, USA with a huge passion.
They are large enough to do what’s good for them only.
A whole lot of backing Pakistan instead of India. U.K trade talks off with India because the U.K. doesn’t deal with Khalistani’s (which I didn’t even know what it was until I looked) and a bunch of other we hate the U.K. stuff.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago

We really need a Euro-Atlantic fleet and an Indo-Pacific fleet. More ships and S/M required and a naval base in the I-P area. Expensive but very necessary.
The ‘I-P tilt’ was declared by politicians some time ago – time now for HMG to ‘write the cheque’.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago

I’m always proud of the fact Norway gifts the UK a tree every Christmas as a thank you for our role helping them in WW2.

An important reliable ally we must never stray far from.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
11 months ago

I don’t know if you’ve visited Norway but they are really friendly people.. My wife’s cousin then worked for B.P. One day we stopped in a car park for a nearby restaurant and a man of about sixty came across and asked if he could shake my hand and said ” I am delighted to meet you, you helped to save my family and my country in the war. I know we will always be friends” Not something you get much of.🙂

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
11 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Norway is indeed a beautiful country, and a very important military ally. Oslo is also a great run ashore if you get lucky with the weather. Expensive beer though 😄

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
11 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

When we excepted the invitation to come and visit we were asked to bring teabags and coffee and I think ketchup and pick up a couple of bottles of Scotch on the ferry. Prices were mind boggling apart from Herring of course! Herring with everything.🐟

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Yes Geoff, I have, on a 1 week cruise. Beautiful country.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
11 months ago

Funny you should say. we’ve been thinking of a Fyord cruise, any good?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Awesome, Geoffrey. Went on P & Os Britannia for 7 nights. Stavenger, Bergen, and 2 small Fjordy places, I forget their names. We like Cruises, very civilised way to go on holiday.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
11 months ago

Thank you. might well give it a go.🚢

Sean
Sean
11 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

The Norwegian government runs ship up the west coast to deliver mail, goods, etc to small communities. It also offers a passenger service which is apparently a bargain compared to commercial cruises. Afraid I don’t have any further details than that.

JohninMK
JohninMK
11 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Hurtigruten

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Is that ur code word for your handler 😂😂😂😂😂
Only joking it seems like a nice way to see rural norway. Could spent months exploring at each stop.

Jim
Jim
11 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

It’s actually his ‘safe’ word when it’s hurting 😅😅

DH
DH
11 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Hmm 🤔 ‘sure there’s a cream for that, bless you. 😴

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
11 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Cheers Sean. Worth a look certainly.

Jim
Jim
11 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Plus we gave them all that oil in the North Sea 😀

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

They have been kindly giving the U.K. gas back🙈🤣

Defence thoughts
Defence thoughts
11 months ago

Hopefully we can now revive our old links with Sweden, now that armed neutrality has been thrown by the wayside.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
11 months ago

I would certainly like the Nordic Countries and to a degree we are part of that, unite in a north European sub alliance east to west we have very distinct and united aims and threats that logically demand our primary focus. Within Europe this should indeed be our priority but that said in the end the future of this planet is increasingly focused in the Pacific so whatever we can do we should, we can’t simply ignore it

Jon
Jon
11 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Do you mean something like the UK’s Joint Expeditionary Force, that stretches from Iceland to the Baltics?

The JEF is sometimes called the alliance of beer-drinking nations, or the alliance of those who show up. I’d like to see Poland involved too, but the ten current members seem to work together very well.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago

Agreed, if Turkey gives way!

Sean
Sean
11 months ago

Hungary too 🤷🏻‍♂️

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Yes, I’d forgotten them. Concerning crit of their HR laws I think?

Sean
Sean
11 months ago

Just Viktor Orban being a pompous dickhead as usual.

Last edited 11 months ago by Sean
Mr Bell
Mr Bell
11 months ago

They are nice people for sure. But they are one of the richest nations in the world (didn’t privatise their North sea oil and gas and sell it off to the cheapest bidder) they could easily afford a more muscular armed forces. 4 remaining frigates and <6 conventionally powered subs is not going to scare Mad Vlad or his hordes of soviet era warships, subs and crappy aircraft.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Maybe not. But as part of NATO, a contribution, and their MPA are at the fore in the Kola and Barents areas.

Jim
Jim
11 months ago

We get it in Edinburgh ever year, is there anywhere else gets one?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Trafalgar Sq was the one I had in mind.

NorthernAlly
NorthernAlly
11 months ago

Doesn’t the Queen now King get one as well? Or do they get one from there own estate I can’t remember.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  NorthernAlly

No idea, though as I said to Jim I was unaware of the Edinburgh one too. Only knew of Trafalgar Squares Tree.

Jim
Jim
11 months ago

Ah, I did not know that, must be for both capitals then, in fairness they are not short on pine trees 😀

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Funnily enough, i had no idea Edinburgh gets one, thought it was only London!

JohninMK
JohninMK
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

The Edinburgh tree is a gift from the county in Norway centered around Bergen, but is a Scottish tree paid for by the Norwegians. Whereas the Trafalgar Sq tree is Norwegian and is supplied by Oslo city. After Narvik the major support by us to the Norwegians was to the RNAF based in Leuchars (Mosquito) and Woodhaven (Catalina) on the south side of the Dee estuary and Oban with Sunderlands later. My late father in law was a PBY-5 pilot there after he escaped on a ‘Shetland Express’ fishing boat and learnt to fly at ‘Little Norway’ near Toronto. He… Read more »

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
11 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

How ironic then that you find yourself here spreading noxious lies, propaganda and misinformation on behalf of nazis in the Kremlin.

Airborne
Airborne
11 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

So in respect to your “father in law”, who I’m sure would object and be horrified by the current illegal invasion of Ukraine, having operated as a pilot in the war, having “escaped” from Norway after the German invasion, would you like to condemn this ongoing and illegal war, brought about by Putins illegal invasion of a sovereign nation, namely Ukraine, and call for the full and complete withdrawal from all Ukrainian lands, currently illegally occupied by Russia?……..tumbleweed…..tumbleweed…….that’s a NO yet pal.

Klonkie
Klonkie
11 months ago

Excellent stuff DM, that makes me happy.

jason
jason
11 months ago

That’s great, if only the British government felt the same.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
11 months ago

You are the leading military and intelligence power in northern Europe”

Feels like selling us short a little bit

Jim
Jim
11 months ago

On intelligence I think we are a bit bigger, the cousins are having a few issues on that front 😀

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Yes, on that front we are one of the leading global, never mind Europe. But being joined at the hip with NSA has a big part in that. The SIS is more independent with long standing links through the ME and Africa the US lack.

Jim
Jim
11 months ago

Yes for sure but many of the leaks coming from the US indicate that GCHQ more that pulls it’s wait, certainly in innovation, under sea cables and cyber domain.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Correct. It has been said many times GCHQ has the brains, NSA the funding. Crypt is one of GCHQs jewels too. Undersea cables is due to the UKs unique geograohic position and also legacy of empire has given several useful bases, Cyprus as you mentioned the most vital of all. Snowden confirmed in some areas the GCHQ has greater access in certain areas than NSA, metadata as one example. I’m proud of all the separate Intelligence services, to me they’re as vital a part of this nations defences than the military. And people often overlook, in the case of GCHQ… Read more »

Stu
Stu
11 months ago

‘People overlook’ or they’d rather we don’t talk about it whilst they quietly go about their critical business 🤫
😉

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Stu

Absolutely. But it’s no state secret, and this is a defence site, so….
But yes, I agree.

Stu
Stu
11 months ago

Oh wasn’t having a pop. Just a joke. It’s amazing what they do & more so since most haven’t even heard of GCHQ.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Stu

I knew you weren’t mate by the winky emoji, still thought I’d clarify any way. 👍

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
11 months ago

Well said 👏

Rob Young
Rob Young
11 months ago

At the moment, America’s main priority is China. Ours, however, is Russia. To that extent we need to make sure that the North Atlantic area, including the Baltic and Scandanavian states, are given priority on support.

David Steeper
David Steeper
11 months ago
Reply to  Rob Young

What impact will moving 2 OPV’s from the indo – pacific to the north atlantic have ?

Rob Young
Rob Young
11 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Not a lot. Except for escort duties.

David Steeper
David Steeper
11 months ago
Reply to  Rob Young

What impact will moving the same have on our relationships with our friends and allies in the indo – pacific ?

Rob Young
Rob Young
11 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Perhaps I should point out what I actually said – ‘are given priority on support’ – so in the case of ‘not a lot’, leave them where they are.

Deep32
Deep32
11 months ago
Reply to  Rob Young

Which is why the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) came into being. Think you will find that it covers some 9 odd nations across those very areas.

David Steeper
David Steeper
11 months ago

Ok i’m obviously losing my mind here. The war in Ukraine has been happening right ? In my reality the Russian Army, Airforce and Navy have conclusively demonstrated the utter incompetence of their leadership at all levels. The absolute absence of even the most basic training of their personnel and the complete obsolescence of their equipment. This has all happened right ? I haven’t imagined it ? So to Norway and some of you I ask. Why do we need to pull 2 OPV’s out of the fastest growing region on earth of with whom we have just signed a… Read more »

Jim
Jim
11 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Finland joining NATO is game over for Russia, NATO could grab the entire Northern fleet base in a couple of hours. It’s like if the Warsaw pact had a base in Stirling and we had our entire fleet at Faslane.

David Steeper
David Steeper
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Yep plus Poland on it’s own would beat the absolute crap out of them if they even thought about pushing their luck.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Ask The Shadow DS and Labour…

David Steeper
David Steeper
11 months ago

Plus the Army brass.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

They’ll blame anyone for their own chaos, primarily the RN.
And it’s an easy one for Labour to jump on too. As the effectiveness of the army is not the headline 73k or 80k figure, but how it’s organised and equipped, and how many deployable brigades it can commit.

expat
expat
11 months ago

Its strange people quote Ukraine/Russia war as the reason why we need a big army. However, Russia is the bigger army and massively underperformed, so it shows its far from a numbers game and therefore we shouldn’t be obsessed with numbers. The far bigger lesson is having the supply chain and logistics to sustain your forces.

Stu
Stu
11 months ago
Reply to  expat

Professionals talk logistics, it’s true. The numbers do matter though and one of the many lessons we should be alert to is that modern war chews through men and material at a ferocious rate. That General that talked of ‘modern dynamic, evolving technologies’ or whatever seemed to be obsessing over one aspect. Another aspect is logistics or lack of. Another is numbers. We can all laugh at obsolete equipment and poor training but they’ve still inflicted horrendous casualties to Ukraine. US/UK estimates 110-120k Ukrainian soldiers. God only knows how much kit but if it’s in proportion to Russia, we’re looking… Read more »

Expat
Expat
11 months ago
Reply to  Stu

Russia thought the numbers game worked and it hasn’t. Ukraine is forced to use what it has, but its clear what a force multipler HIMARS was for them, enabling them to cut supply lines, the bigger your army and the more you go for volume over quality the more vulnerable you supply lines are. The Iraqi army was huge but securing the skies saw them suffer massively. Its not a reasonable comparison NATO and the UK, in fact Ukrainian and Russian loss of life demonstrates that more that trying to go man to man the worse the out come. Multipliers… Read more »

Stu
Stu
11 months ago
Reply to  Expat

All very fine points. But you missed mine. As you rightly point out, Russia thought war = numbers. Only numbers. Nothing more. They were/are wrong. Possibly a victim of their own propaganda that ignores the thousands of trucks, boots and bombs the allies sent them during WW2? ‘Force multipliers’ is just newspeak for ‘we have better stuff’. Not a new concept. Cortez had better stuff than the Incans, cowboys than Native Americans, Belgians than Congolese. But The Spartans at Thermopylae had bronze armour against wicker shields of the Persians, still eventually got crushed though. Natives still spanked Custer, Afghans beat… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  expat

You are right that size isn’t everything – however a large and unprofessional army can still wreak havoc and both prosecute and endure an attritional war. Russia has caused immense pain and suffering for Ukraine and the war is now in its second year with no sign at all of ending. The amount of death and destruction they have wrought on the Ukrainian people, their homes and their infrastructure is massive. They still hold 15-20% of Ukraine. Their armed forces size has enabled this amount of damage to be generaated for this amount of time. Russia remains the largest threat… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago

Well said Daniele.
As we have said before the army could not deploy a single brigade on an enduring operation without recourse to ‘the Royals’ and/or army reservists.
For a one-shot short duration operation, the army could not presently field a modernised/digitised warfighting division of three brigades.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

It’s a bit less of a tilt to the pacific and more a weak lean. 2 OPV should stay where they are along with the other forward deployed units.

David Barry
David Barry
11 months ago

We should be aligned with the Baltic and Scandic States, however, our defence against China is to stop buying their goods, now if the USA and EU joined in, China would implode.

Game over.

Mark B
Mark B
11 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Probably wouldn’t be quite as simple as that but you make a good point. China’s economy is based upon trade and loaning everyone money however the danger would be that the disruption surgically cutting China out of the world enconomy would be damaging to everyone. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

David Barry
David Barry
11 months ago
Reply to  Mark B

and yet the counterpoint are that China surgically removing Taiwanese chip production would give Russia and China huge technological leaps and embolden both of them to become more expansionist.

Prevention is better than the cure and cutting money off to China would dry up the seepious poison they are spreading. Thoughts?

Jim
Jim
11 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

China is probably more dependent than anyone on Taiwan for chip manufacturing, more so now that they have been cut off from ASML.

ASML make the machines that make the chips and the the US and UK supply most of the designs. Taiwan basically just combines the two. TSMC have historically been very good at that and that’s why Taiwan dominates the space currently but it’s not likely to last.

Russia relies on getting chips from old washing machines so as long as the supply of those continues they will be fine 😀

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

You mean the Russians are all getting washed up?

David Barry
David Barry
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Point of order.

Washed out!

David Barry
David Barry
11 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Damn. That was for supportive bloke.

JohninMK
JohninMK
11 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

The US is moving as fast as it can to seriously upgrade facilities on mainland US to give itself some strategic semi conductor protection, funded under the $53B incentive-filled CHIPS and Science Act
.
As a result, TMSC has announced that it is increasing its investment to up to $40B in 2 fabs in Arizona rather than pumping it into their Taiwanese plants.

David Barry
David Barry
11 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

John, that’s the mildest I have ever read from you!

“Incentive filled” utterly Bluffer Johnson, it’s pork barrel politics, which thet Americans are past masters at.

Have you changed?
Knock to the head?
Or different handler?

Anyway, thank you for that snippet.

JohninMK
JohninMK
11 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Thanks, no nothing has changed, just got tired of the constant abuse. Still, yes, the US have ‘politician funding’ down to a very fine art having legislated themselves into a position where they can legally accept contributions that most of the rest of the World would regard as corruption. The key was as simple as to alter the status of corporations to being treated as persons. The Act I mentioned is just one of a few recent or about to be enacted Laws pouring money that they don’t have out to business in ways that provide, shall we call it… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
11 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Thank you John.

Airborne
Airborne
11 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

No one gives you abuse Johny boy, we are still surprised at your total lack of condemnation in regards to Putins illegal invasion of Ukraine and your often overt support for Russian actions. That, coupled with the anti -Ukraine propaganda and misinformation you post, and your lack of response when taken to task and shown your taking nonsense just amused us all nowadays!

Jim
Jim
11 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Thanks for the insight

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
11 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

All of which sounds very sensible to me. I think the UK should be offering up a few billion to bring chip manufacturing even on just a small scale to the UK. We need enough manufacturing to produce upto a billion chips a year. Not huge quantities Vs Taiwan but enough to cover UK requirements.

Jim
Jim
11 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

It’s all a myth of reshoring, even the US as vast as it is can’t domestically onshore the entire production process. TMSC is basing in Arizona do they can source components in Mexico and even then they will still rely on half a dozen other countries. The average semi conductor plant cost $20 billion and will run at a loss as there is now major over supply. Control of ARM gives the UK leverage. We should focus on retaining and enhancing that if we want security of supply.we could buy a majority stake in ARM for the price of one… Read more »

grizzler
grizzler
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Wasn’t ARM a wholey UK owned company – I thought it was sold off after Brexit to “show the UK was still open for business”…

JohninMK
JohninMK
11 months ago
Reply to  grizzler

ARM was bought by Japenese Softbank in 2016, so well before Brexit. They will be listing it in NY later this year.

grizzler
grizzler
11 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Sorry I shoud have explained myself correctly. The Brexit vote was 23rd June 2016 Arm Holding was sold 1th July 2016 .
I knew it was shortly afterwards as I found the Government statement regarding Brtian being “open for business” hilarious, but sadly indicative of their attitude towards selling leading UK firms.

Jim
Jim
11 months ago
Reply to  grizzler

It’s still a UK company under UK competition law. It’s owned by a Japanese company but will list on the US market. Just because shares are listed on the US market does not stop it being a British company. If the UK imposed sanctions ARM must comply.

grizzler
grizzler
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Thats a subtlety I’m not afraid to admit I don’t quite get.
How can it be a UK company if its wholey owned by a Japanese Company? What if they decide to sell it (for the sake of arguement) to a Chinese Company or (more likely) an American one…is it still a UK company then?
And what difference will where it is floated make…it must make some with something..somehow?

Last edited 11 months ago by grizzler
FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

The real key is to ensure the supply chain does not include PRC or Russia (for sake of completeness also Iran and NK, however other than Iranian oil, who would care?). Free trade, as long as w/in commonly understood and respected bounds, is a net positive.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
11 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Agree in principle w/ statements in your text, but all should realize that it is a ten year proposition to reestablish competitive manufacturing position. Ten years will seem to be very long timeframe indeed w/ daily provocations by scum-sucking, slimeball ChiComs.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
11 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

…*TSMC…

Mark B
Mark B
11 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

It is likely that China wish simply to pivot the taiwanese economy toward China along with it’s loyalty.. Intimidation seems to be the ploy – actual war would probably be a last resort. China now see themselves as a big player who need to control the region and have a greater and greater control over the world as a whole. China see the West’s dependence upon them as a weakness and looks to exploit that weakness.

David Barry
David Barry
11 months ago
Reply to  Mark B

I think there is a Chinese proverb about understated strength – China needs to embargoed by the West, effectively we destroy whatever social cohesiveness they still retain.

Now, that probably won’t happen and my Chinese lessons start in September.

Mark B
Mark B
11 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

😂 Plan for the worst & hope for the best 😀

With the benefit of hindsight the UK would not have been reliant on China during the pandemic. We need to start by being more cautious with what we buy and avoiding Chinese made products especially when alternatives are available. Avoid going on holiday to countries which borrow too much from China etc. etc.

David Barry
David Barry
11 months ago
Reply to  Mark B

I’m meant to visit Sri Lanka next year so my daughter can meet her Grand Mother and Lankan family. Oh bugger.

JohninMK
JohninMK
11 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

The lack of success with the pretty thorough sanctions on countries like Iran and Russia shows that your suggestion would probably not have much chance of success. Especially as much of of US/UK/EU industry is dependent on Chinese parts and sub-assemblies, like for example the UK car industry. Just how dependent Europe is is shown in part by this statistic showing the move of container traffic (TEU) from ships to rail (via sanctioned Russia) much of which ends up for distribution out of Duisburg. “The Sirius Report @thesiriusreport 1h In Q1 of 2023, China-Europe Express operated a total of 4,186… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

David,
We are aligned with a number of states (including all Baltic and Scandinavian countries) by means of the JEF:

“The JEF is based on a political-military agreement—signed in 2015 by the original seven members and updated last year—between 10 northern European nations: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom”.

David Barry
David Barry
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

My bad. Yes, thank you, I do know about JEF, I was referencing our orientation.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

I like the Baltic/Scandi orientation as by contrast we can only field a modest contribution (a single warfighting div) to the central front – and that div is not looking too good at the moment (only 2 true manouevre armoured brigades; old and unmodernised AFVs etc).

Esteban
Esteban
11 months ago

Interesting how we could turn that conversation from the Norwegian into that clickbait headline.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

Is that not the actual words the Norwegian used in his speech?

Jacko
Jacko
11 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

FFS just go away and boil your bloody head!

Airborne
Airborne
11 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

Boring as ever US fanboy.

geoff
geoff
11 months ago

Good Morning from Durban. A few things-with regard to the problem of small runs producing unaffordable unit costs-the answer of necessity is to co-operate with our friends and allies in joint ventures a-la-T26. The UK has to maintain a strong profile in both design and manufacturing.If one examines the history of the international Defence industry it is self evident that in terms of design and innovation skills, Brits are there on the top table. If we buy off the shelf elsewhere then the migration of British talent to greener pastures, especially the USA will continue and acellerate. It is about… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by geoff
David Steeper
David Steeper
11 months ago
Reply to  geoff

In what way have we cut ourselves off from ‘our main market’ Every European defence/ aerospace company that had operations here still has those operations. In terms of defence equipment sales EU states bought little or nothing from us before 2016.

Last edited 11 months ago by David Steeper
geoff
geoff
11 months ago