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The British Strategy III: Defence & Security Strategy (the SDSR Debate)

First and foremost, I would like to thank all of you, who have contributed extensively and privately to the debate on the British Strategy, a three-part analysis (Parts I & II, we looked at the socio-political doctrine that guides, and there should be a rethink by the British state).

Secondly, today, we will attempt a brief discussion on the issue of defence and security for Britain, within and without the Union. Which is not much, hence, we will concentrate on examining and limiting our focus around the recent government policy on the subject, the SDSR Paper (Strategic Defence and Security Review, which can be located at the end of this post for your convenience).

I have already written and discussed extensively on the issues of defence and security matters of British Concern. These can be located within the respective categories on the site; for example, the security page, military analysis, national politics and so forth. However, for the benefit of ease and casual-link to this post the various arguments, we will outline these previous points here, and briefly examine each.

The SDSR and My Recommendations;

First, let me say this, I have always supported the SDSR findings and recommendations, and even demanded for more deep cuts and revisions to the paper to go beyond the original recommendations. As it is, in its official recommendation, the paper, fails to really accept the need for in-depth and extensive ‘realist changes’, in terms of the country’s role in the world, in Europe, and with its own armed forces. (see the two-parts of the British Strategy Papers et al).

1. Air Force: I have called for a complete disbandment of the Air Force.

The air forces, so I believe, it has never demanded a separate independent existence, in theory (theoreticians argue it does), in practise (realities shows that it can not operate on its own, and play second-attached role to either the army or the naval operations).

Recommendation: My argument, as such, is for the assets of the air power to be shared as required and necessitated by the campaigns engaged, either within the land forces or naval branch.

2. The Security Services:
The Intelligence is valueless arm for the national security.

Especially as it is at the present, or has ever been instituted, i.e. separated from ‘leadership bodies’, for example, the police forces (however, the experiment at the West Midlands, is encouraging, and I fully support this, as the local county police force has implemented its own intelligence unit, though limited to ”counter-terrorism” only).

Recommendation: The point here, MI5/6 are not-valuable-assets, and these can be incorporated into ‘main bodies’ for example, the foreign office, or MI5, relocated to ‘strategic national police forces’ (see past posts).

3. The cyber-war-Mania: when I hear this, I hear the sounds of ”ka-ching’.

The security industry realising that, terrorism can’t go on forever as ‘the star product or service’ offered to the states paranoia, have created and promoted the new nightmare, with, of course, the support from ‘research-funded’ academics (the Neo-Marxists correct assumption, that academia and science used to ‘legitimise’, ‘suppress’, ‘indoctrinate’ and so forth). Anyway the point is, this is a problem, yes it is a problem, that is easily ‘manageable’, and over-investment should be curb.

Recommendation: Do Not Over pre-occupy ones-selves with such trivialities. They are more ways to prudently overcome the issue without over-spending.

4. The Navy: when I heard, we the Brits, just ordered two new minty aircraft carriers, I laughed my ass (sorry for my french) off, and remember, remarking, ‘what in Lucifer-name, do we need two massive, money-draining carriers?’;

(a) We don’t have an empire any more!
(b) We can not even in reality do anything with these, when operational, either supporting allies or independently!
(c) We have no capable sea resources, for either maintenance and other logistics, to administrative (perhaps we do, as we seem to have more admirals than ships), nor personnel-wise, and so forth!

Recommendation: I would rather recommend a sea-control doctrine rather than illusionary sea command one, etc.

5. The Special Forces: the greatest myth of the day.

Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, even attempted to have a look at the marvel and attraction of specially trained young men, who are able to be deployed during campaigns for that desired strategic paralysis, to go after the head of the enemies’ commanders, and bring an end to wars, cheaply, in short times and without much destructions. Our preoccupation with these skilled young men, have led us, to funds-misuse.

Recommendation: We do not need to expand, that in itself will weaken the concept of special forces (will lead, somehow, to a specialised armies, just like economics theories of specialisation led to specialised states, workforce and so forth, what an American sociologist, Harold Braverman, refer to as Deskilling came with these). What I mean, we will rather create more chaos than new order.

I once wrote a paper on this subject, the special forces, and how, the quest for the ever illusionary holy-grail of strategic paralysis in warfare is restructuring and reorganising the armies into fighting non-existent wars (only in the heads of the western states) to that of preparing for real wars; e.g. we were once caught with our trousers down during the highly mechanised, highly manoeuvrable mobile forces of the Reich (Panzers), so too, during the horrors of Thermonuclear wars, or the realities of the limited wars, to the recent nightmares of the asymmetric wars, and what next?

6. The Nuclear: Please. I am not even going to examine this.

Recommendation: Voluntary-Proliferation a la South Africa. We have no need for a nuclear defence.

In Sum:

The SDSR is a dialectical doctrine, emphasising and not divorcing from the traditions, and that of the realised necessity for adaptation to the changing world, with the former, traditionalism, still weighs more dominant than the latter, Reforms. Hence, I argue, its shortcomings and the need for deep commitment to changes, moving from traditionalism to reformism.

However, one can still argue and appreciate that, it is a doctrine on the right track, and should never bulge under the fierce and powerful ‘Militarists & Traditionalists’ who seek to overthrow its ‘radicalism’ (see my post on the response to the despicable Mr Con Coughlin, a contributor on the Daily Telegraph, and a pipe-hole for the security services, a traitor amidst the fleet street).

In short, Britain needs to integrate her defence and security affairs into a collective umbrella of Europe, as it can no longer, as a union or a disbanded union, independently sustain herself military or security wise. SDSR is a start, and it is on a right direction, and we should not accept any pressure to change it or go back to the old days. And if we are going to claim the need for ”Britannia First”, then lets approach the subject with realism and prudence, in spending and in focus.




About s.s.salim: Geopolitical Analyst

Political & Strategy Defence & Security Intelligence & Communications


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