As the Charles de Gaulle moved out of Toulon last week and the contributing force list was published by NATO for Operation Unified Protector there is a lot of talk about the UK’s paltry contribution, especially when compared to France, evidence of just how far we have declined.
Hold on just a cotton pickin’ minute.
Lets get a few things straight before the doom mongers start doing down the UK’s contribution.
Afghanistan and Elsewhere
Whilst Libya has been hogging the newspaper columns let’s not forget the scale of contribution to Afghanistan, anti piracy operations, the Falkland Islands and plenty of other deployments.
The Libya deployments have been in addition to these.
Its Not About Numbers
Of course the main news point has been about a lack of carriers and Harriers, especially when compared to the French and Italians but instead of concentrating on what we haven’t got, how about a look at what we have, then compare that with the French and Italians.
Submarine launched Tomahawk, ASTOR/Sentinel, RAPTOR, significant tanker, intelligence and command and control support.
This in addition to combat air patrols and strike missions, whilst Afghanistan and other operations haven’t skipped a beat.
Not too shabby I think, concentrate on effect, not headline numbers and you will see a different story. Of course, having CVS and the GR9’s would have been a useful additional capability, no doubt about that.
Rumours of our demise are greatly exaggerated so lets stop with the doom mongering (me included!) and tip our hats to all three services.