The “principles that Number 10, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Ministry of Defence are guided by” have been branded “progressively obsolete”, by the former Defence and Foreign Secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind.

The stark warning comes in a report, published today by the Henry Jackson Society, which concludes that 15 core assumptions of British foreign policy are outdated and no longer apply to the world we live in.

They are:

  1. Globalisation is an immutable and desirable force;
  2. The West will remain technologically dominant;
  3. Liberalism and democracy will continue to spread;
  4. ‘Zones of chaos’ are the primary threat;
  5. Global governance is replacing geopolitical competition;
  6. The European continent is Britain’s overriding geostrategic concern;
  7. Britain is central to the Euro-Atlantic System;
  8. The Gulf and Middle East is of growing importance to British interests;
  9. The Indo-Pacific zone presents economic opportunities;
  10. Nations will respect globally ‘shared spaces’;
  11. Britain is a pivotal, but declining, power;
  12. The pursuit of national security and economic growth are Britain’s primary national interests;
  13. Britain is best served by working with allies and partners, particularly the US;
  14. National cohesion is becoming less relevant;
  15. Military and diplomatic power have declined in importance.

The report’s assessments – backed by Sir Malcolm – are that the assumptions are either outdated, inaccurate or wholly erroneous.  It warns that each of them of them require urgent re-evaluation.  The proposals come as the Government conducts the “deepest review of Britain’s security, defence, and foreign policy since the end of the Cold War”.

The core assumptions studied are those the author, James Rogers, Director of the Global Britain Programme at the Henry Jackson Society, claims lie at the heart of British foreign policy that have lost relevance or accuracy in the past 20 years.

Sir Malcolm’s remarks are included within the foreword to the report, in which he also says that “unlike Japan or Germany” the UK will remain a “global power” as China continues its rise.

The author blames Britain’s supposed foreign policy drift on the enduring influence of “globalisation” beyond its applicability, which Julian Lewis MP (Former Chairman of the Defence Select Committee) blames in an endorsement to the report for the “weakness of our current posture”.

However, the report warns that a detour to either ‘compensationism’ or ‘isolationism’ is equally inadvisable.

In response to this changing scenario, the report recommends that the Government should:

  • Appoint a National Strategy Council to oversee and coordinate the work of the UK’s overseas facing Departments.
  • Place DFID’s work under the purview of the FCO.
  • Build a royal yacht to boost Britain’s soft-power presence around the world.
  • Restore defence spending, up to pre-1991 relative levels.
  • Reallocate aid spending to research (including through an advanced research projects agency) into green technologies.
  • Accept that Britain is facing increasingly powerful, revisionist states.

The report’s author, James Rogers, commented:

“As Britain leaves the European Union and begins the deepest foreign, security and defence policy review since the end of the Cold War, we need to undertake a thorough re-appraisal of the dominant assumptions that have guided our strategic thinking. If we, as a nation, get those wrong, everything else will be misconstrued. As wider state competition intensifies, Britain needs to re-empower itself to compete with revisionist and expansionist powers.”

Read the report here.

90
Leave a Reply

avatar
14 Comment threads
76 Thread replies
35 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
36 Comment authors
KeefeMikeDaniele Mandelli4thwatchandy reeves Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Levi Goldsteinberg
Guest
Levi Goldsteinberg

Build a royal yacht to boost Britain’s soft-power presence around the world.

This has been floated a few times in the last few years, even by some prominent serving polies. I think its a great idea – allow the public to donate alongside the government to have a world beating UK yacht manufacturer like Sunseeker build the Royals a yacht to demonstrate the capabilities of British industry and provide a platform for diplomatic showboating

pkcasimir
Guest
pkcasimir

Do you really believe that Charles III sailing into a port somewhere in the world on a British yacht, disembarking, and then giving a condescending lecture to people he considers his inferiors in which he tells them how to live their lives even if they weren’t born into privilege advances the interests of the UK?

Levi Goldsteinberg
Guest
Levi Goldsteinberg

I think the optics for having smaller nations of having a British Royal Family yacht in their harbour with all their heads of industry and government meeting the Family and representatives of British industries would mean a lot to them and could advance our interests by winning over the sympathies of small national governments around the world. Exactly what Britannia was used for

pkcasimir
Guest
pkcasimir

One small difference. The UK is now a middle level power with very little to offer. Style over substance doesn’t work.

Barry Larking
Guest
Barry Larking

Not seen the immense amount of new building in London’s Square mile (actually about ten nowadays) and heard the news of all those companies jostling to get space in London to do business? I’d hate to think what the situation would be like if were weren’t so insignificant. Not quite on our toes on this one are we Cas?

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

HOW ABOUT TURNING THE LIGHTS OFF AND BOLTING THE ADMIRALTY DOORS SHUT, NOBODY WOULD NOTICE

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Interesting view but not backed up by actual facts or an understanding of the meaning Of the word “middle” or the use of the term mid level power. No the uk is not a middle level power. Don’t mistake not being the most powerful nation or second ranking nation with being A middle level power. Depending on the method used there are between 196 and about 245 nations and or independent political territories. So a middle level power will be hanging around the 100 wealthiest/influential or military power. A nation like new Zealand could be considered a middle level power.… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Well said Jonathan.

Mike
Guest
Mike

From a distance the continuing strength of Britains armed forces is draw dropping -until one realizes it has no choice as unlike a host of smaller countries there are none that will come to its defence,its only option to becomes a client state of the US

Keefe
Guest
Keefe

I get sick and tired of seeing comments about UK being a ‘small island or a mid level power with no influence etc . You never see such statements bandied around similar sized nations, This defeatist and declinist mind set I believe infests Parliament and is one of the major reasons why UK Governments seem to persist with such feeble foreign and defence policy’s, we play a strong hand poorly as our leaders have no confidence and or interest in pursuing a more robust foreign and defence policy, a legacy entrenched I feel historically by the soporific effects of the… Read more »

HF
Guest
HF

‘Optics’ – more bullshit newspeak

Marc
Guest
Marc

The greater use of a Royal yacht for soft power could be as an informal and formal meeting point for government ministers and companies overseas, not only as a one to one for Britain and the country they are visiting but also for a number countries to meet up with us acting as a host. Even if officially those countries aren’t getting on to well.
Call it a kind of wide ranging mobile (formal and informal) ACAS service provided for free by Britain.
It could aid with general intelligence gathering and act as a mobile business suite for hire.

HF
Guest
HF

hi, my name is Andrew. Have you met my dead child molester friend ? I don’t sweat, btw.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

can you dance? play golf, fly a helicopter? welcome aboard.

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

I take it you haven’t met the Prince?

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

i thought you meant leach.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

try this ahttps://www.facebook.com/JonathanPieReporter/videos/464573854169874/and try not to laugh

Andy Goward
Guest
Andy Goward

Yes.

Barry Larking
Guest
Barry Larking

Yes. Would go down a treat Cas me old friend. It explains why people are swimming with their own children to get to countries run by people such as H.R.H. and way from countries run by people like you. Pip! Pip!

HF
Guest
HF

countries run by people such as H.R.H. – she don’t run the country but she knows who does

Barry Larking
Guest
Barry Larking

H.R.H. in this context refers to an erroneous citation by our friend Casmir of His Royal Highness the Prince Charles (somewhat impertinently referred to as ‘Charles III’, but no matter). Her Majesty the Queen is not H.R.H. but Her Majesty. Her Majesty is Head of State. She gets people in to run her countries and Dominions.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Oh dear someone is a bit grumpy! What happened, Charles bagged of with the missus or something. You continued dislike of anything UK is both expected and amusing. Please continue as we wait wirh aited breath your next nugget. Have a great day old bean.

HF
Guest
HF

You sound like Trump – any sort of dissent is unpatriotic.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Ha ha ha ha! Read his posts, see his agenda and then put your tissues away Hilary.

julian1
Guest
julian1

He has a record for it on this site. Remember the Russian bots who used to post? He is the US equivalent. I can just see him on his RAM truck now, confederate flag waving from the back and MAGA hat on!

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

A Royal yacht is a massive no from me. While it might make some of its guests “ohh and ah” it seems an expensive way to show Britain off.

I’ll confess I’m no fan of the concept of a monarchy so a tad biased.

Callum
Guest
Callum

The thing is, showing off is generally expensive. That’s why it’s showing off. Like them or not, the royals are still the best ambassadors for this country. They’re influential, well educated, apolitical, and instantly known around the world. Part of why the UK is the world leader in soft power is the Commonwealth, which the Queen and most likely her heirs head up. Throw in the ridiculous amount of tourism and business they generate, and they more than pay for themselves. A royal yacht would be a solid investment, people nowadays love anything they can post on Instagram Granted I’m… Read more »

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Callum, I can’t say I agree with all of that but we’ll not change each others mind’s.

HF
Guest
HF

‘ They’re influential, well educated, apolitical, and instantly known around the world’ – if well educated means getting into Cambridge on 2 average a levels I’m Einstein

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Can I be Tesla please

HF
Guest
HF

Eh ?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

He was another very clever guy invented AC electricity.

HF
Guest
HF

I knew who he was – just didn’t get the context of your remark. I do now.

julian1
Guest
julian1

probably best to keep them in a box away from view until it all settles down though – at least for those members younger than 70!

Helions
Guest
Helions

Why not lease a royal yacht? The RN leases warships?

Cheers!

julian1
Guest
julian1

I like the idea but let’s drop the name “Royal”. Funded by the Foreign Office or DTI (or whatever new depts. have been set up, can’t remember.) It’s probably best the Royals don’t go anywhere near it for now – leave it to Captain’s of Industry, Research depts./innovation buffs and perhaps environmentalists to a degree

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

PAINT THE OLD ONE GREY, PUT A PHALANX ON IT AND TELL EVERYONE ITS A NEW KIND OF WARSHIP (A TYPE 27?) DESTROYER SOMEONE WOULD BELIEVE IT.

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Time to increase the defence budget significantly HMG. In short and after Brexit, be able to stand on our own two feet without the help of NATO, or the USA. It really is nieve to think that other countries will come to our aid at the drop of a hat if and when required to do so. Spain was a recent example when they pulled out of supporting a US-led task force heading to the straits of Hormuz only last year. We are heading, sadly, towards yet another cold war “according to the experts” with China building up a huge… Read more »

Levi Goldsteinberg
Guest
Levi Goldsteinberg

>China’s population is growing

I agree with all apart from this. China’s fertility rate is in terminal decline and population will fall through the floor over the next decade. This is an all but insurmountable problem to China

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

It certainly appears to be stalling, but with a population of 1,439,323,774, that’s still a lot of mouths to feed!

https://www.populationpyramid.net/china/2020/

Rokuth
Guest
Rokuth

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has had a strict “One child per family” policy for several decades. Families that violate that policy were severely punished. It was implemented to help curb their rapidly growing population at that time.

Presently, they have reversed that policy due to the declining numbers of the younger generations. Those in power in the PRC have realized that without a large enough youth base they would lose not only their standing in the World community, but will be outstripped by their local rival India, population wise.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

It not even as cynical as political power. It’s about the mixed reality of global economics, life expectancy and the Resource requirements of health and social care. It a problem for almost all leading nations. You need more young people to work and create wealth, but they become old people who need care and the creation of wealth to look after them, including large numbers of young people to look after them( who are not creating wealth), so you need to keep growing your population. The problem is: Most biological organisms go a bit nuts if they are in a… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

This was an interesting piece I found in relation to future conflicts.
Tempest-Loyal wingman is beginning to make a great deal of sense.

If the Navy wants to counter China’s anti-ship cruise missiles and increasing naval capabilities, it must resurrect the Cold War-era “outer-air battle” concept, which focused on longer-range aircraft to counter Russia’s bombers. However, instead of fighting at 200-plus nautical miles, the air wing will have to fight at 1,000 nautical miles, the study found.”

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/12/22/amid-a-heated-aircraft-carrier-debate-the-us-navy-sees-funding-slashed-for-a-next-generation-fighter/

Helions
Guest
Helions
Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

I’ve advocated for the NSM/JSM many times in the past on here Helions that we should invest in them for the UK mainland as you are most probably aware!

Fixed or mobile would be a very useful addition to just purely ship and air-launched, creating a pool of missiles across all services.

Mobile launchers could theoretically be installed on the QEs to further protect our carriers.

If 1,000 nautical miles is the range suggested for future delivery systems, we clearly need something with increased distance.

The suggestion being, future UAVs with a round trip radius of about 3000 miles.

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

Hi Nigel,

I remember back in the Cold War days Sweden developed the concept of coastal defence battalions. These were mixed arms formations with artillery, SAM’s and AshM mounted on trucks along with supporting infantry.

I have wondered whether a similar concept with long range SAM’s and SSM’s would not be a useful additon to UK Homeland defence. Truck mounting the Sea Viper could provide a mobile air / anti ballistic missile defence capability for the UK and major deployed formations.

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

I think it is an area we sometimes overlook ChariotRider.

Improved coastal defences, including additional long-range radar installations, is not a bad thing and relatively cheap in comparison to some of the new equipment that we require.

Aster 30 Block 1 SRBM plus Aster 30 Block 1NT MRBM along with an anti-ship capability would be a very good place to start.

It will certainly help in deterring any future aggressors.

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

Agree, with the outer-air battle concept. The US Navy have often lamented the passing of their F14s, as the F18s simply don’t have the speed or range. The future F/A-XX requirement is aimed to bring back a lot of the F14s capabilities, i.e. an outer CAP screen armed with long range air to air missiles.

There are a lot of similarities between the US Navy’s F/A-XX requirement and those of the Typhoon replacement i.e. Tempest!

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

As I mentioned above DavyB, Tempest/Loyal wingman seems to be the answer to the problem.

With the knowledge gained from earlier test flights of Taranis, plus ongoing studies of Magma, we should find ourselves in a very good position to deliver this future combination.

AlbertStarburst
Guest
AlbertStarburst

yes, yes, yes!

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

What always amazes me about these things is the lack of thought that goes into the benefits to society that a military training provides. Whether that is providing communications expertise into BT etc. Or just ensuring British values do not totally die out only to be replaced by narcissism and selfishness

There is a lot to be said for a wide range of our society to have a military input that can have a positive effect on them personally and the wider society

For me the greatest benefits are those we will see closer to home

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Pacman27, I don’t know how much interaction you’ve had with servicemen and women but

“Or just ensuring British values do not totally die out only to be replaced by narcissism and selfishness”

isn’t my practical experience when I was in, plenty selfish and narcissistic buggers cutting about and whatever the “British values” are they evolve through time anyway. I stopped recommending folk to join up years ago.

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

Unfortunately there are people like that everywhere

But the military does provide opportunities for people that are often overlooked to turn themselves into something and make a contribution to society. I do think the military is a great vehicle for personal growth and opportunity and is important in providing high quality labour into the uk workforce.

4thwatch
Guest
4thwatch

Try to stay positive it helps.

Barry Larking
Guest
Barry Larking

I completely agree Pacman. A sage comment.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Personally I think everyone should be asked to spend some time as a carer. There is nothing like caring for the frail, truly unwell or dying to give you a bit of perspective on what actually matters.

4thwatch
Guest
4thwatch

Agreed, Caring needs to be taught in Schools. Its vital part of life and hugely beneficial to both parties.

Geoffrey Hicking
Guest
Geoffrey Hicking

“Britain is a pivotal, but declining, power;”

One of these days I would like these “experts” to forecast at what point we stop declining.

We have declined in the 15th and 16th centuries, but then we bounced back. The Angevin Empire, the British Empire, what will come next? Simply assuming that we are endlessly declining and that’s it is a historically illiterate position to take.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

I think we have stopped declining. The tide has turned. The discovery and reburial of Richard III ignited the rebirth of the highest point of English identity, Plantagenet England. It reminded the English who we are. We are now seeing the consequences of this rebirth of English nationalism. Brexit and the Duke of Sussex has decided to make his own life representing himself not his grandmother! The monarchy is changing. We will either see NI choose to be united with the South or become independent; like Canada and New Zealand a UK Dominion. The SNP want to take Scotland out… Read more »

Geoffrey Hicking
Guest
Geoffrey Hicking

Long may it stay that way.

ngatimozart
Guest

@Paul.P, for one thing, NZ, Canada and Australia are not Dominions of the UK. That status was dropped decades ago. Whilst we have HM the Queen as our Head of State and are members of the Commonwealth, we are fully independent. In New Zealand’s case we will most likely become a republic upon the death of HM The Queen. That is the current thinking here at the moment. Undoubtedly Australia and Canada will consider the same. In both Australia’s and NZ’s case we are Asia Pacific nations and that’s where our future lies whether we like it or not. We… Read more »

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

@ngatimozart. Thx for the local Pacific knowledge:-)
My point re NI is that there are options other than unification which confer independence while retainIng a link with the Crown for as long as desired, which they might like to consider.

4thwatch
Guest
4thwatch

The 1941 situation was the result of an unrealistic forward defence of Malaya and Singapore. Once Force Z was sunk and the few remaining ships sunk at the Java Sea along with the overinflated 80,000 man garrison at Singapore taken by Japan, the UK had no option but to retreat and retrench. If the UK maintains a Fleet in being it would be able to help deter Chinese and Russian far Eastern adventures but not much more. The UK needs to spend 50% more on the RN and at least double up on SSNs which would be the best way… Read more »

Barry Larking
Guest
Barry Larking

Geoffrey, I have no idea how old you are but I go back a long way. I have listened to this country being consigned tot he dustbin oh so many times. Just won’t lie down. The factor most people who consider these matters is they frequently fail to notice other peoples and societies also have problems, often fatal. In 1960, Blighty was doomed, the U.S.S.R. riding the waves! No one in 1980 would have predicted the U.S.S.R. would barely last out the decade; or that China would be transformed into a centralised quasi-capitalist economy. You would have been ‘placed in… Read more »

AC
Guest
AC

Pre 1991 levels?
I have asked this before many times on different sites without any response
Firstly in pure cash terms what is the amount we would spend today if we adopted “pre 1991” levels

Secondly given that we now include CASD and military pensions etc on our 2% spend on defence through what is sometimes called “creative accounting” how much again in pure cash terms what would we be spending on defence if that was reversed

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

CASD was always in the defence budget, it’s simply not accurate to state otherwise. I’ll agree that pensions shouldn’t be in the defence budget purely though, unless every other department looks after their own employees via their own pensions allocation.
https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8166#fullreport

LongTime
Guest
LongTime

I don’t know what you mean by pure cash as ‘cash’ changes everyday. In terms of GDP check out that link

https://www.statista.com/statistics/298527/defense-spending-as-share-of-gdp-united-kingdom-uk/

Steve Martin
Guest
Steve Martin

£1 in 1990 buys you roughly £2.21 (2018). The chart linked below shows a £23bn spend in 1990. So that makes a £23bn*2.21=50.8bn defence budget. The same page says we had a £47bn spend in 2018, is that correct?

https://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/uk_defence_chart_30.html

Anyways, a £4bn increase? Does that cover the black hole?

Levi Goldsteinberg
Guest
Levi Goldsteinberg

They mean as a percentage share, I.e a roughly 4% spend instead of the current 2%

Steve Martin
Guest
Steve Martin

Ahh yes, obvious really when you stop to think about it :-D. Sorry for prattling on guys n gals!

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

Pre-1991 levels were about 4% of GDP. The current defence budget is 2%, or £40billion per year. So effectively bringing it up to pre-1991 (Cold War) levels would double it to £80billion. Short of a war in which we face an existential threat, that will not happen. Most recommendations are for us to boost to 3%, which would be £60billion. Even that is optimistic. I’d be happy with 2.5%, which would be £50billion. Though realistically even a modest increase of £5billion is probably too optimistic. Shame, as even £5billion a year extra could double our Type 31 fleet, a couple… Read more »

AC
Guest
AC

Thanks guys

I think 60 billion (22/1/2020) is about the correct amount for a nation which is the 5th or 6th largest economy in the world and a p5 member and which relies possibly more heavily on a free world trade environment than many other countries

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

I would say so too. Politicians seem to disagree though. They pay lip service but that’s about it. Best defence can realistically hope for is a lm extra billion here and there just to stave off cuts, rather than any serious investment.

the_marquis
Guest
the_marquis

I can’t believe “Build a royal yacht to boost Britain’s soft-power presence around the world” is above increased defence spending!

Does Rifkind attribute the end of the Cold War to the immense soft power of royal sundowners?

HF
Guest
HF

Nah, but the homeless are people you step over coming out of the opera.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

Well that was complete gibberish. I would encourage James Rogers to get out of his classroom and join the real world.

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

When it comes to dated proposals, I can’t think of many more than a Royal Yacht, to be honest… Don’t get me wrong, I think they served their purpose back in the day, and the Royal family certainly have a soft power punch for the UK. But we’re now moving into an era where largesse and overconsumption are deeply frowned upon, not just in left wing circles but everywhere. This is basically at odds with the idea of a “Royal” yacht. This is reinforced by the growing attitude among developing nations that they don’t want to just be “subjects” of… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Yes, a better compromise there Joe.

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

Thanks, I don’t want to be seen as anti-Royalist because I’m not. But we have to respect the times we live in, without losing our heritage. Keep the pomp and circumstance of the changing of the gurad and trooping the colour, of course. But the traditional idea of the Royal yacht will probably slipp too close to Russian oligarchs and Saudi sheikhs in most peoples’ imagintation these days.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

Can I suggest it should be a carbon free Royal Yacht. Flexible to be a medical ship and easily convertible to many other roles. You would get plenty of transatlantic passengers.

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

Haha, 10 trees planted for every mile sailed!

HF
Guest
HF

‘Royals are generally liked at all levels of society and across cultural boundaries, they embody this attitude far more’

only because of the soft treatment they receive. When the truth is known ‘St Diana’ – they ain’t quite as popular

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

Well, for sure there can be quite a debate about whether they’re really that amazing or not.
But they are broadly popular, in large part because they bridge that gap between the amazing life of Royals and holding certain values in common with us “normal” people. That’s a powerful thing to use for UK Plc, rather than alienate the majority of the world by having them sail around the world on a golden boat…

Rob
Guest
Rob

This is actually a really great and really timely report. Many ex-service personnel, quite rightly, talk about matching the funding to the ambition. Now this can only be done if we understand clearly what the challenges we face are and what we may be asked to do. After the Cold War (the so called end of History) it was widely assumed that all countries would cooperate economically through globalisation and politically (& thus militarily as well) through the rules based system (ie the UN). This has been proved not to be the case. Globalisation has created new social stresses due… Read more »

Barry Larking
Guest
Barry Larking

‘Well Golly Gosh!’ As Lt. George might say. I was only recently wondering why Blighty doesn’t order a Britannia Mk II and here comes this recommendation by a very sharp mind in Malcolm Rifkind. Blighty’s projection of soft power is enormously strengthened by these historic and epoch defining symbols. ‘Worth every damned penny!’ – Gen. Melchett.

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

A very interesting read on the F35 can be found on the Link provided below. Interesting to note the problems associated with the communication between legacy aircraft and carrier. Hope these have been addressed? House of Commons Defence Committee Unclear for take-off? F-35 Procurement Second Report of Session 2017–19 “78. Asked about the MoD’s claim that the project remained on budget, he replied that it was, and “has always been”, very unclear what the MoD actually means by “on budget [ … ] at no point have they said, “we are spending x on this aircraft and y on retrofitting… Read more »

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

Whilst the cost of ownership figures are interesting there are a basic number of planes the the RN and RAF need to achieve their initial objectives. Once this is done the MOD needs to look at the cost of ownership at that point to see if future objectives are affordable compared to alternative options.

Lee H
Guest
Lee H

Good morning all As we can see the race has truly started – think tanks trying to get the ear of the new government, with a former Foreign Secretary to add “weight” to a report. Couple of things, the report states nothing new – it’s giving views that are widely accepted but rarely followed though within the “London political bubble”. It all comes down to where the UK wants to see itself in the world. If Global Britain as a concept is to be believed then the UK wants remain a world power, influencing events and being at the forefront… Read more »

Henry Root
Guest
Henry Root

It’s ironic that we are the only government in the world which still operates and flies biplanes, the weapons of Taranto which heralded the end of the battleship. Here we are years after the Falklands with another Tory and another air defence crisis in hand. “Shields Up” for drone swarms is not there yet. We couldn’t stop a drone at Gatwick. The fact that generals fought previous wars and shareholders dictate what toys you play with, are just two of the issues that led to the battleship losing at Taranto, Pearl Harbour and in the waters of San Carlos and… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

f 35? maybe there was more choice out there, maybe an f22 raptor jump jet? YES THERE IS ONEhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3XFaVKbMcs