Friday, 11 June 2010

Do We Need the Military?



Simon Jenkins, in yesterday's Guardian, suggests the military should be dissolved as 'We are safer than at any time since the Norman conquest. Yet £45bn is spent defending Britain against fantasy enemies'. He has a point. Do we need such a large military force?

I detect a change in attitude from David Cameron about the war in Afghanistan in the past couple of days. It's not possible to extract a particular speech or action. Perhaps it's his body language - I don't know. What I do think is that he's quickly learned a great deal about why we are in Afghanistan and he may not have been too pleased to hear the fine detail. It's certain that the horrific hanging of a 7 year-old boy, alleged to have been a spy, will have shown him that the culture of Afghanistan will not be changed by military force or any country attempting to force their own culture upon them.

David Cameron and his colleagues will soon participate in a long-overdue Defence Review. John Ward, ex-military and a man possessed with a large dose of common sense, has his thoughts about where he may find advice and it's also worth reading his latest post. Certainly those with an interest in the arms trade will be lobbying hard for the next few months because there is money in war, big money.

As for Britain, we have to stop interfering in countries which are no threat to us and we must kick the habit of saying yes to US orders. Just for starters.

26 comments:

scunnert said...

The UK doesn't need to go to Afghanistan - the enemy is within the gates.

Quiet_Man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quiet_Man said...

Time to leave Labours war folly both in Afghanistan and Iraq. Time to tell BP Barack that if he wants our support he's better stop with the insults and the cosying up to the Argies.
Defence begins at home.

Indyanhat said...

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”

Cicero, Rome (a very long time ago, and we still haven't learned it's truth)

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

Cameron will do what the Americans want and whatever they want.

Its our special relationship

Oldrightie said...

Mr. Mxyzptlk, the evergreen amnesia of socilaism. As for the post, we need an armed force for defense of the realm, not an expensive police force at America's beck and call. Now who was that chap, Bliar? Which Government's PM courted wealth and adulation in America? Hmm.

Joe Public said...

And schools will teach all children to say "we surrender" in 147 different languages.

Also, who'd man the Green Goddesses when the Fire Fighters go on strike?

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

oldrightie

Cameron will kiss Obama's arse just as much as tony Blair,Gordon Brown,John Major,Margaret Thatcher and so on..

Derek said...

Indyanhat - Nice classical crossword clue. Is the answer Nu Liebore?

Oldrightie - Why would we possibly need our military if we have only 'fantasy enemies'?
Of course, Indyanhat's quote addresses why someone would come up with that phrase, and you are right "we need an armed force for defense of the realm", and for influence.

The muddled thinking that believes everything is nicey-nicey between countries is the fantasy. Even when reasonable all other countries and states act in their own interest, and sometimes they go crazy; we need to have the capability to back our own interests.

Probably 'We are safer than at any time since the Norman conquest' because, like the Swiss, we do maintain a competent deterrent. Getting rid of the military would make us less safe, and weaker.

Cutting back the MoD and its Mandarins & their luxury salaries and pensions however...

subrosa said...

Funnily enough scunnert, I was saying that to someone earlier today. Mind you we let them in the gates.

subrosa said...

It's past time QM yet Cameron seems to want to continue in the steps of his predecessors.

Will he stand up to Obama? No.

subrosa said...

Thank you for that Cicero. It ought to be given to every civil servant involved in the policing of our borders.

subrosa said...

Niko, I don't think you're far wrong.

subrosa said...

Don't forget OR, Liam Fox has changed his tune in the past couple of weeks after being reprimanded by his colleague in the US.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=WAL20100611&articleId=19672

A good Canadian site.

The Lincolnshire Poacher said...

Here's a thought.

What about adopting neutrality like the Swiss?

Discuss.

Conan the Librarian™ said...

Unfortunately the Taleban don't think Switzerland is neutral...

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

Subrosa

Cameron reveals his patrician Background the first time he meets his soldiers he offers them more money.

Just like any other new Roman Emperor


Gracchus:

Fear and wonder, a powerful combination.


Falco:

You really think people are going to be seduced by that?



Gracchus:

I think he knows what Rome is. Rome is the mob. Conjure magic for them and they'll be distracted. Take away their freedom and still they'll roar. The beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the senate, it's the sand of the coliseum. He'll bring them death - and they will love him for it.

subrosa said...

Poacher, Conan has answered your comment.

subrosa said...

Except Conan, Switzerland has a competent border force. We don't. That does make a difference.

subrosa said...

Niko, how can I contradict your comment. Isn't that the sign of a typical politican.

Conan the Librarian™ said...

Duggan, Graves and Sutcliff Niko.

And you pick the author of Samus Spadus...:¬)

And every household has an assault rifle too Rosa. A mild deterrant to housebreaking, perhaps.

Shug Niggurath said...

Of course we need a military, what we don't need is a government willing to use that military as a political tool.

Yes the original intent for Afghanistan had merit, those merits were lost when the front was expanded into Iraq for no better reason than they gave a US President leverage.

Labour abused the military for their own ends. Now we have the US, happy for us in their fight in Afghanistan turning on us for Obamas populist instinct domestically, so Cameron should say, fair enough, here's how we work this. Cut the crap, get the culpable US companies in on the deal or else we simply announce a withdrawal date and walk away from Afghanistan and leave you to sort out YOUR mess.

Obama is already a disaster domestically, an international failure will kill his chances of re-election, where do you think the power resides on this debate?

brownlie said...

I think that in life we make our own enemies but the sacrifice of young lives, and civilians, in an ultimately fruitless exercise is bound to end in failure. All the Iraq and Afghan campaigns has done is make us more enemies and no doubt more innocents will reap the whirlwind.

subrosa said...

Anyone breaking into my place during the night Conan has the sight of me to cope with- as effective as a rifle I'd say. :)

subrosa said...

Aye Shug, we're thinking along the same lines.

subrosa said...

That's true Brownlie. I've always said Iraq and Afghanistan will attract more enemies and I'm not changing my opinion.

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