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UK security is best served kept in our own hands. The EU would only increase risk to itself by burning the bridges between us when they benefit disproportionately from what we already give

November 29, 2018 Leave a comment

To hear Theresa May and her coterie of die-hard Remainist Ministers speak, you would think that the UK is backward in just about every respect and incapable of making its way in the World without the stewardship and direction of a load of unelected bureaucrats shouting demands at us from an office across the English Channel and somewhere in the EU.

With the history we have – some of which will still be within the living memory of the Politicians who surround her – it is as amazing as it is sickening that people elected to the highest positions of power in the UK, could have not only adopted, but are hell bent on convincing everyone else of the validity of this view.

Yet this is where we are, and for as long as people who can only prioritise themselves are able to influence our destiny as a Nation, there remains a risk that they will take the UK and our people to places that we never belonged.

Security is once again a multifaceted and complex issue relating to Brexit which many of us do not understand.

In reality, we should never need to do so as we should be able to trust our decision makers to have a complete and objective view of everything which has happened, is happening and of course, that which either wont be or simply hasn’t yet come into view.

Regrettably they don’t.

This means that we are yet again being sold a story of our place in the World which is thoroughly demeaning. One that is only ever intended to convince us wrongly, that the UK risks finding itself out in the cold and that we have a dependence on the EU which has never ever had any reason to exist.

Defence & The Armed Forces

The EU now has very ambitious and documented designs on developing a Euro-Army of its own. A clear sign that the plan for a United States of Europe is clearly manifesting itself and one which makes clear that it would be foolish to believe that the phyrric freedoms that Theresa May is trying to tell us she has won, would continue to exist for very long.

Militarily, the World is an increasingly dangerous place. The Russians are already testing borders around Eastern Europe itself, but are also parked on our doorstep, even testing the airspace which is above the UK itself.

Meanwhile the USA and China are on a competitive journey both in trade and in places like the South China Sea which in less than a decade could escalate to a level which leaves military action the only way it can be resolved.

With the seemingly limitless level of chutzpa that the EU leadership already employs, it is clear that their own ambition for power and control and to be seen as a de facto world player will soon get them into significant trouble if they are ceded power over so much military power.

If we were to be tied in on the Terms of any form of Remain or May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, it is almost certain that we would be dragged in and inevitably involved in anything that the unelected bureaucrats with power over 28 different Countries decide that they we and other Member States would be required to do.

The only way that we can guarantee complete control over the use of our Armed Forces and the choice over what future wars we may or may not wish to become involved with is to Leave the EU without an unnecessary and avoidable deal. We must take back control of everything with the first step being the reestablishment of trade with everyone – i.e. Leaving on WTO Terms.

Intelligence

On the gathering and use of security intelligence, Theresa May and her Remain-bent supporters are selling the UK very short too.

We have one of the best security and intelligence services in the World. We were at the forefront of intelligence service development and many Countries – not least of all the USA – have developed their own abilities based on the ground breaking and innovative work that we have done historically here in the UK.

There is and has never been any need for the UK to operate in any way other than alone.

We have always shared data with our allies and we survived very well indeed before the EU and its fearful disciples came along.

It is ridiculous to believe that we can improve the security of the UK by removing borders and harmonising everything that we do and have with foreign powers.

Those Remainers who read this and suggest that simply remaining would have meant that everything would stay the same as it is now are being either ignorant or disingenuous at best.

The evolution of the EU is and has only ever been one way. That is the centralisation of power of all kinds in Brussels and the removal of localised – ergo Nationally identifiable structures which could be used to initiate a democratic claw back by Nation States or in any other way get in their way.

Remember that it is not we the UK who are threatening to withdraw cooperation with the EU once we have finally rescinded our Membership.

It is the EU that is creating the problems.

It is the EU’s desire for overall control which is overriding the continuing benefits of working together sensibly.

It is the EU that has so much more to loose.

Cyber Security

Whilst the topic still remains without great attention from the media, it is the area of cyber security where the benefits of our continuing to work alone and without the dilution of other misleading interests that tell us the UK must continue to steer its ship and be happy standing out in the World alone.

We face threats of a technological kind, leveled at us from World players who in conventional military terms are not even on the risk list. Yet in terms of their current and developing abilities to access and potentially disrupt vital infrastructure at the touch of a button, they may already have the power to affect this and other Western Countries in ways which could only be more severe if we were to experience the fallout of a full scale nuclear war.

Joking aside, countering such threats is not something to be all communal about and leave to people who have no interest in the people and businesses of the UK.

We simply cannot trust the EU to protect us from the threats that we are already working against in the UK and have been for a considerably long time.

Terrorism

Terrorism is the final thing that we hear scare stories about that are used as a basis for our Independence to be denied. Yet returning our own borders is a much safer option for us to ensure that both malevolent would-be terrorists, foreign actors and arms shipments will be continually denied and not made more likely by the mission creep of the EU to abolish any form of meaningful self-government, its policy and rule.

Yes, we must continue to collaborate with our friends wherever possible. But giving them control over our future security is foolishness in the extreme. We must take back all power that has already been granted to foreign powers and share whatever we can when it is possible, whilst accepting that it will always be best to keep security as a key policy for our own Government to determine and decide.

 

Image thanks to unknown source (From the Film ‘War Games’)

 

 

Trident-tongued Theresa……..Maybe?

January 23, 2017 4 comments

may-marr-tridentLeading the UK right now is a role that few would be envious of if they took the responsibilities of being our Prime Minister seriously. Even within lucid non-partisan moments, many of us would struggle with the implications of a juggling act which can at its worst require the incumbant to knowingly sacrifice the lives of others in order to deliver a result which is focused upon a much greater good.

As a people, we are culturally and unwittingly trusting of our political leaders. There being some kind of unwritten understanding or expectation that those who have been elevated to the greatest office in the land will have the integrity, set of values and robustness of character to fulfil a role which has been occupied by titans of history such as Winston Churchill.

However, we have also become deeply suspicious of the political elite and quietly look for that moment when the true colours of any new occupant of 10 Downing Street are shown in the open, perhaps confirming our hope-against-hope based fears.

We should make no mistake that leadership does require information to be held back from a wider audience, and sometimes in ways with which we might not automatically agree. But whilst good strategic management might require a government not to tell us everything – even because it might give credence to a counterproductive argument which could have serious implications as a result, it doesn’t necessarily follow that when challenged about such an event, it is ok for a Prime Minister to lie as a result.

The Trident question does indeed have all the hallmarks of Theresa May’s watershed moment. Not because she kept quiet about the June misfire of a £17 Million weapon. But because she has now deliberately ducked the question about the incident when challenged by a respected journalist on National TV.

Some will be jumping up and down, demanding to know why the story didn’t surface in June. But others will appreciate that the vote on Trident renewal which followed soon afterwards in the Commons, would almost certainly have suffered the same fate as the missile had it done so.

Yes, it may well sound like a suitable conclusion in the circumstances. But it would not account for the many successful previous tests of Trident Missiles from our Nuclear Submarine Fleet, the excessive costs of testing them each time we do, nor the fact that as everyone knows, machines of every kind break down or ‘go wrong’ at the most inconvenient times.

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but on balance, the Prime Minister was indeed right to sit that incident out, purely on the basis that renewal of the Nuclear Deterrent had been delayed already for far too long, and hollow arguments do not account for the true responsibilities of government – even if they make exceptionally good headlines.

That as they say, should really have been that. Theresa May was fortunate that the story didn’t leak before now and the Government – quite rightly – achieved a good majority vote in Parliament to drive the Trident Renewal Policy forward and ensure that our would-be enemies will continue to have to be minded of our existential threat.

Politics is however a game, and it does as such have rules. Sooner or later, the Trident story was always going to break, and it was inevitable that the way which the Prime Minister handled it would shine a clear light upon the quality of leadership therein.

When Theresa May was challenged not just once, but four times by Andrew Marr on Sunday, an honest and comprehensive response could have easily justified the action of not publicising this now historic event.

Members of the public are much more attuned to the credibility of the baseless arguments that many politicians employ than those MP’s grandstanding to the media might like to think. Yet the public would also have valued an honest and genuine response which demonstrates that the Government and the Politicians who are part of it, thoughtfully but nonetheless respectfully take the burden of quiet responsibility when needed, in order to prevent stupidity and political point-scoring from becoming a tangible risk to the safety of us all.

Instead, Mrs May has now brought the whole process into question and will have to accept that she will be responsible for any whirlwind that comes from the seeds which not in June, but on Sunday morning were almost certainly sewn.

image thanks to standard.co.uk

ISIS will not be beaten with token gesture warfare, just as sure as feckless political policy could destroy Western Democracy as we know it…

winston_churchill_quote_2

However we might look at the Liberal Democrats or how we might feel about their policies, the recent and untimely passing of Charles Kennedy should perhaps draw useful attention to the fact that at least some of our politicians said no to the war in Iraq.

Had the decision been reliably black and white without the mix of political dogma and skilfully crafted grey areas – painted by Blair at his truly allegorical best onto a canvas not unlike the image of the dulux dog that everyone attention is focused on, rather than the paint itself – the words of the leader of what was then the UK’s third largest Political Party may have perhaps resonated a whole lot more.

War will always be dangerous. But when based only upon principles and political principles or ideals at that, the results are almost always going to be catastrophic, and may never be as apparent nor likely to manifest themselves as quickly in the immediate term as we might optimistically think.

Today, much of the uncertainty in the Middle East can be viewed in terms of the consequences or effects of the Iraq War, and there is perhaps a frightening irony that the threat to our own Country that was used to justify that particular invasion is now – as a result – comparatively very real indeed.

The brutality of ISIS is motivating fear-based responses on a world-wide scale which eclipse anything that New Labour spin doctors were able to use to take the UK to war.

It has gifted an insignificantly sized force with a weaponry which is delivering disproportionate results and threatens the UK directly in terms of the risk of further terrorist attacks, but also indirectly through the impact of factors such as immigration via the North African area.

With even Iraqis who fought us now asking for the British Military to return, it is becoming easier for politicians to ‘see’ an increasingly compelling, and arguably safer time to commit further military resource. But should they really even be considering doing so when we must surely be practical enough to accept that it would serve as little more than a token gesture for us to do so?

With our Armed Services having finally withdrawn from Afghanistan in 2014, some of the inconvenient truths of what really happened in just that theatre of war alone have found their way into the mainstream media.

Whether you read the news or watch some of the more insightful documentaries which have been produced, it is very clear that there are two resounding failures on the part of overall strategy. The first, that there simply was not enough resource – or boots on the ground. The second, that winning the peace – or ‘hearts and minds’ as the spin doctors these days prefer to call it, simply didn’t happen in any kind of meaningful and dare I say it ‘informed’ way.

The real tragedy of this wasn’t just what might otherwise have been the less than inevitable death and injury of so many of our fantastic service men and women. It was the fact that the whole project was doomed to fail, leaving us and our partners caricatured and projected as the true villains of the peace, when in fact, if we really had to be there fighting a foreign war at all, we could have done so and walked away being anything but.

Looking back at the last 100 years of our history, we may soon begin to see the elephant trap which is the wide-held perception of British Military invincibility.

With both the First and Second World War and perhaps the Falklands too, all-too-often portrayed as the benchmark images of our military capability and reference point at which we sit upon the World stage, it is easy to understand why many people, and perhaps far too many of our politicians too, have been patriotically misled into the idea that we, at war, simply cannot fail.

Regrettably, of course we can. And the way that everything is now spun as a win by government, when it is actually nothing of the sort, is only putting us, and the dwindling number of our austerity-ridden armed forces members at an even greater risk.

Spending any reasonable amount of time in study of the Second World War will quickly demonstrate how far from certain the whole episode actually was, and that chance, good fortune and shear obstinacy on the part of our then leaders was in the early years often key.

Ultimately, we realise that it was only the assembly, use and logistical support of forces of such overwhelming size and magnitude, shoe-horned surge-by-surge into the European Theatre of Operations by leaders who truly understood the level of ruthlessness and sacrifice required that made the difference in defeating the technically and at times strategically superior German Army.

Whilst smaller than the 1940’s, our military capability was much more substantial than it is now at the time of the Falklands crisis in 1982. Yet even then, the use of commercial resources and the hasty re-introduction of equipment that had already become museum pieces played its part in keeping war machine GB afloat. The realities of how very hard it was for those who did their bit to get just one ageing Cold War bomber to Port Stanley in order to win the propaganda war, using the RAF’s entire mid-air refuelling fleet in the process, perhaps illustrates the point only too well.

Yet with these lessons only too easy to pick up and read, Government Ministers would have us believe that we can really make a difference by sending just a few hundred soldiers to try and teach people to fight an enemy obsessed with the medieval vogue of lopping-off heads at whim, and with no resource in place that will be there and capable of rescuing those soldiers who have been trained, should they be unfortunate enough to get caught.

The harsh reality of the ISIS problem, and in fact most of the militant-based problems around the World, is that in terms of the physical military capability that these uncontrolled forces have, they will only be fully defeated by the use of disproportionate and overwhelming military force, which then has to be backed by the immediate introduction of local governance and support structures which are aligned with the general population in those countries and not just those who seem easiest to approach and often have the most to gain by befriending an occupying force which doesn’t understand local culture.

Today, the UK is not capable of winning a conventional offensive war alone against an organised and hostile enemy, and nobody should be fooled into thinking that we can use defensive resources to do so.

Our political establishment has become far too used to being able to manipulate the truth for the purposes of little more than political expediency. However, the cold hard facts of military intervention will be ignored at our peril and pretending that we can solve a whole problem with a mere fraction of the solution is going to help nobody, and least of all the UK at all.

We should not be choosing to fight battles that we simply cannot win. Its time that the politicians accept that our big military presence is actually quite small, and that some words actually need to be backed up by real action too – and that isn’t quite as simple as begrudgingly keeping up with a peacetime spending commitment the politicians have made to their buddies in club NATO.

If a time does indeed come when this war reaches beyond the pictures on our TV screens as ISIS have threatened, the feckless politicians who treat this terror as a game today will have many more innocent people paying for their irresponsibility tomorrow.

Money may indeed be tight. But there is no price that cannot be justified in the fight for any one particular man’s ‘true freedom’.

ISIS understand this all too well and herein lies perhaps the greatest threat facing Western Democracy today.

 

 

 

 

 

Using Drones operated in the UK to attack on ‘battlefields’ far away may be putting a safe distance between those doing the fighting. But it is also a major step away from achieving any kind of meaningful solution to extremist-led 21st Century Terrorism

December 18, 2013 Leave a comment

An RAF Reaper drone

News Reports demonstrating the RAF piloting Drone Aircraft from behind computer screens in the UK will of course upset many.

It will also frighten others who will realise that in the eyes of Terrorists, this very fact will potentially make RAF Waddington some kind of ‘legitimate’ target and focus for the attention of what perhaps may be home-grown, radicalised young Muslims whose desire for retaliation will be borne from what they understand to be happening at the other end of a satellite signal in Afghanistan.

There is some irony in the fact that the UK is now using the distance which remote technology affords us to protect our military personnel, when the results are ultimately creating even greater distance between us and the militant groups and their potential converts who we as a society have now come to fear so greatly.

If cultural misunderstandings are the basis of the problems between the Western World and extremists, violent acts of any kind are surely the quickest route to polarising those feelings even further. Especially so when those acts are perceived to be random and without regard to innocent human life, just as with 9/11 for the USA, 7/7 and Woolwich for us, and now these markedly remote-operated drone strikes for those living in Afghanistan.

The most frightening truth in all of this is the very real scenario that allows a violent act against just one person can be used as such an extremely effective marketing tool by those who perceive themselves as being the same as those injured – perhaps just for as outwardly simple a reason as sharing a Religion – to provide that essential hint of a genuine truth which is needed to legitimise the sharing of obscure views against the ‘perpetrators’ which might otherwise carry so little weight.

Those who preach to the young and vulnerable on our streets know this all too well. When teaching that the injustice of innocent deaths in a faraway land can be closely identified with the day-to-day injustices of living in and experiencing a money-obsessed Western world, we soon find brainwashing being carried out on a level that only our worst nightmares could ever possibly allow.

The regrettable reality of all this is that it necessitates the use of force by those who would protect us, simply because those who have learned that their own life has no value, will seldom hesitate in taking away the lives of others who appear to disagree with their ‘doctrine’ – perhaps just as simply as being because they do not share the same Faith.

However, using violence against terrorism is itself just a means of dealing with the effects of a massive problem which whilst manifested as violence, must be dealt with both intelligently and considerately at its root cause if any lasting understanding is ever really to be achieved.

It is this fact alone that Government must now face if there is any deep desire to genuinely future proof us against militant terrorism in the years to come, and talk of the mission being accomplished in Afghanistan by the Prime Minister is positive window dressing heaped upon one pyrrhic victory indeed.

Image  – thanks to http://www.theguardian.com  

Marine A: Battlefields are not today’s UK’s streets and we must accept that civilian rules and understanding inflicted upon the work and actions of military personnel will be little more than a pathway to disarmament, making us all the same

December 14, 2013 Leave a comment

download (16)Scant attention is being paid to the seismic consequences for UK Defence that may now follow the conviction and subsequent imprisonment of Royal Marine Sgt. Alexander Blackman.

Found guilty of Murder in a battlefield situation, there is little question that to all of us who have read the publicised details of this saga, it does indeed sound like a barbaric and cold blooded execution.

Indeed very few of us like to think of any situation where a human being is apparently dispatched in such a seemingly brutal way and certainly not by the hand of a Member of our Armed Services, whom we are still led to believe sit at the forefront of military professionalism, despite the continuing cuts which at some point will make such notions entirely mythical.

Very few of us have actually experienced the trauma of battle first hand and it would be my sincerest hope that this will always remain the case for as many of us as will ever be possible. But, one thing that is certain is that the environment created by warfare of any kind is very different to that which we as a majority have today ever experienced in our civilian lives.

We must therefore ask the question of whether we are now allowing the values and expectations of our peacetime, ‘civilised’ and liberally enlightened society to be projected and therefore inflicted upon the very environments in which our Service Personnel operate and who by the very nature of the warfare they are exposed to daily are experiencing something entirely different?

It is of course ironic that if the insurgents, terrorists or fighters that our troops are facing were themselves operating under a like-for-like code of conduct as we expect of those sent to the front line to protect us, this would in itself indicate the existence of a set of values and consideration for others on their part which would probably have meant there was never a need for violent conflict between any of us in the first place.

But this is what we and our ‘allies’ are up against; Itinerant warfare which recognises honour in killing, maiming and the installation of maximum fear in its enemies, whilst celebrating glory from martyrdom and death.

It is beyond foolish for any of us to expect that combat personnel will always ‘get it right’ when exposed to acts of violence and terror which run contrary to everything we have ourselves been taught. It is potentially disastrous when those making such a judgement are unlikely to have any meaningful appreciation of the very personal and specific way that individuals can be affected by these experiences and the effects that these emotional explosions will surely have.

Failure to recognise the steps that we have already taken on this slippery slope to considering combat or service related roles as being a normal or an everyday job are already seeing ambulance-chasing payouts to those who see the opportunity for personal gain. We can only wonder if the emergence of battlefield lawyers who judge whether every single act undertaken by troops are indeed righteous is just a matter of time away.

One thing is for certain and that is that if our armed service personnel are increasingly likely to be faced with criminal charges for actions which are taken completely out of context, it wont just be budget cuts and white elephant spending on the part of the Government and the Ministry of Defence that keep reducing the numbers of those who are willing to put their lives on the line and fight.

Image thanks to Reuters/www.dailymail.co.uk

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