Naval Forces Overstretched – The First Sea Lord Speaks Out
First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas, (recently parachuted in) replacing, (the publicly humiliated Sir Mark Stanhope) has been trotted out, (on the orders of David Cameron & the Westminster Mafia) to publicly add negative comment that Scots independence would leave the Royal Navy less efficient and weaken defence.
But the measure is of course a nonsense. We need to be mindful of the views of vastly experienced and therefore more credible military figures speaking out against the future size and shape of British forces, to be implemented regardless of the outcome of the referendum:
America’s former Defence Secretary, (Robert Gates) recently warned that naval cuts, (forming part of a significant reduction in the size of British armed forces) would mean the UK would no longer be a full military partner to the United States. He went on to say that, for the first time since the First World War Britain does not have an operational aircraft carrier and the carrier being built, (due to be introduced into service in 2020) will not be fully operational for some time after since it will not be capable of launching any of the aircraft presently in service. A new carrier launched airplane is being developed by the USA but it will not be operational for some time. He concluded: ‘With substantial reductions in defence spending in Great Britain, what we’re finding is that it won’t have full spectrum capabilities and the ability to be a full partner as they have been in the past.
His concerns echoed those of senior military staff in the UK. General Sir Nicholas Houghton, “Chief of the Defence Staff” told the Royal United Services Institute military think-tank that the Royal Navy was ‘perilously close’ to its ‘critical mass’ in terms of manpower.
Cameron humiliates First Sea Lord over Libya, in Commons;
Britain’s chief naval officer, “First Sea Lord Sir Mark Stanhope” has been left humiliated after David Cameron said he had summoned him to Downing Street to challenge his claims that the fleet could not continue the Libya campaign indefinitely without affecting other naval operations. The meeting was the culmination of a turbulent 24 hours for Stanhope, who infuriated No 10 by talking about the strains on the navy, which is heavily involved in the Afghanistan mission as well as in Libya. In a briefing on Monday, Stanhope said ministers would have to “make challenging decisions” once the Libya campaign ended. “Beyond that we might have to request the government make some challenging decisions about priorities,” he said. “a ship might need to be diverted away from British home waters”, “It’s not simply about giving up standing commitments. We will have to re-balance.” His remarks provoked the displeasure of Downing Street but serving and former officers provided public support, saying Stanhope was only stating the obvious, especially now the navy has axed ships and thousands of personnel as part of the government’s strategic defence and security review (SDSR).
Secretary of Defence Statement;
“The Ministry of Defence has issued an order to stop officers briefing the press to try to prevent the government being embarrassed further, but a Whitehall insider said: “The first sea lord is a senior official and he deserves to be treated with respect. He shouldn’t be dragged into politics in this way.” The truth has many faces eh!!