By Lex, on October 19, 2010
The decision to scrap HMS Ark Royal has even alarmed contributors to the left wing Guardian in the UK:
Today the Royal Navy is in danger of losing its main capability: that of being able to project such national power and authority that we have left to us – which is still considerable – wherever and whenever we chose to do so. “Talk softly, but have a big stick.” For centuries the navy has been the “big stick” that won us the greatest empire the world has ever seen – or ever will see again. This country is avowedly the seventh richest in the world, and is still greatly respected by many nations. However, we have sat on our laurels and for half a century since the end of the second world war we have been steadily disarming. By its end this country was spending 60% of its gross national product on the war which, Winston Churchill always maintained, could have been avoided had he been listened to in the early 1930s – the time of the great depression. We are now in almost precisely the same situation, and we should learn from history. For more than 20 years we have cut the budget for our armed forces year on year and poured the savings into the now bloated budgets of health, education and welfare that have seen increases of anything from 150% to 400%. At the same time the defence budget has been the sacrificial cow reduced by the same amount. We now invest barely 2p in every £1 of the nation’s GNP. We have a massive deficit (depression) yet we are still disarming. Our plea is stop it before we are weakened beyond redemption.
Even the Deity is invoked, for Gaia’s sake!
Posted by Lex, on October 8, 2010
In AfPak, “intelligence” agencies are increasingly concerned that the Pakistani ISI is supporting cross-border terror attacks into Afghanistan to destabilize the situation there, ostensibly to preserve Afghanistan’s value as strategic depth against generational enemy India. The result has been a very great deal of bug hunting by the CIA, and an unfortunate incident against Pakistan’s frontier guards (NJ subscription required):
Posted by Lex, on May 24, 2010
A rising China is inevitable. What that will mean to the world is still open to debate. The sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan by the odious Kim Chong Il regime has given China the opportunity to reassure its neighbors that it intends to be a stabilizing force in a critical region, and a reliable partner in world affairs.
So far, the signs are mixed:
Posted by lex, on November 29th, 2011
That’s the optimistic take from the WSJ on the latest deadly clash on Pakistan’s border:
Posted by lex, on November 20th, 2011
Walter Russell Mead congratulates President Obama and his team on the real success of their diplomacy in Asia:
The US acted, received strikingly widespread support, and China backed down.
Posted by lex, on November 1st, 2011
Writing in the WSJ yesterday, Max Boot bewails our president’s insufficient engagement with the Iraqi government on the status of US forces remaining in theater after the 2011 draw-down deadline negotiated by his predecessor:
Posted by lex, on July 17th, 2011
The Economist takes a dismal view of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program: