The no-fly zone over Libya is finally in place and the French have already been targeting some of Gaddafi’s tanks apparently. The Brits are also providing aircraft ( a few Typhoons and Tornadoes) that have been flown from UK airbases to a Nato base in Italy – no doubt at great expense to the taxpayer! Well, its only right that we do seeing as we were at the forefront of pushing the resolution at the UN.
However, as the Daily Express has pointed out, this could have been logistically easier and less expensive if the Ark Royal was still operational. How easy would it have been to deploy Sea Harriers from the Mediterranean? Aircraft carriers are great tools for power projection in the modern world – that is, if you have any at your disposal (or ones that carry substantive warplanes rather than just helicopters!)
I figured that the present government might live to regret their decision to cut back on Britain’s naval power. I think that time may have arrived very rapidly! But, there’s also the much broader issue of a former colonial power still trying to punch above its weight on the world scene. If Britain is so insistent on taking centre stage, whilst at the same time making stringent cuts to its military capabilities, maybe its time for a reality check!
Read the Express article here.