If the West does not intervene, then we will be sanctioning Gaddafi\’s slaughter, writes Mary Riddell.

Err, yes Mary.

But what?

We don\’t have any carriers left, we\’ve not got any planes that could fly from them, we simply do not have the sort of military forces which could do anything.

So what you want to do then?

Both the last lot and the current lot have left Britain entirely unable to do the one thing that, as an island nation, we\’ve always needed to be able to do. Land an expeditionary force from the sea, fight, then take that force off again.

And, of course, protect it with air power while all of this is happening (this last of course being a creation of the 20th century).

It\’s not even about Iraq and or Afghanistan. Even if we weren\’t there, we still couldn\’t do anything.

It\’s all very well cutting the military budget but what happens when you actually want to have some deployable military power?

8 thoughts on “If the West does not intervene, then we will be sanctioning Gaddafi\’s slaughter, writes Mary Riddell.”

  1. Cheer up Tim. Our (newish) allies, the French, have got an aircraft carrier. So we could all agree on a no-fly zone to stop the mad dog from bombing his own people, couldn’t we?
    Just one teensy problem. As all this was kicking off, where was the Generale de Gaulle?
    Sailing smartly back to Toulon, that’s where. Now it’s in dock with the bunting out and the sailors on the pastis.
    As Sarko says: squawk loudly and carry a limp stick.

  2. Erm. Didn’t Mary have issues when “The West” went and deposed another middle eastern dictator?

    If she did, it would hardly be consistent for her to now be calling for that same “West” to be deposing another, now would it.

  3. No problem, Remittance – she just says that the Iraq war was ‘unlawful,’ without (as they never do) troubling the reasons (which they can’t because there are none.) I couldn’t be arsed to read her weaselly argument against going into Afghanistan, though I’m sure there was one

    Remember – the West is always wrong. If we intervene, it’s neo-imperialism (or playing cowboys, if America); if we don’t, it’s Little-Englandism (or neo-isolationism, if America). But then, on the left, reality is not an issue, and thinking beautiful thoughts is all that’s needed to demonstrate your moral superiority.

  4. I know economics is your thing, not the military but for goodness sake, we don’t need aircraft carriers to intervene in Libya. Quite why anyone thinks subsonic ground attack Harrier GR9s would be any use in enforcing a no-fly zone if beyond me. Typhoon is exactly the plane you want for that, an air superiority fighter more than capable than taking down anything the Libyians have. We can easily fly them from our soverign bases in Cyprus or indeed direct from the UK with tanker support, assuming that we couldn’t base them in the unsinkable airecraft carrier of Malta or Italy. A simple glance at a map will show carriers are unnecessary here.

  5. Our establishment media insist that we go to war when we have no national interest at stake yet violently oppose going to war when our citizens and those of our military allies are slaughtered.

  6. yet violently oppose going to war when our citizens and those of our military allies are slaughtered

    Erm, cite?

    Unless you’re talking about the media’s opposition to a war on Saudi Arabia after Saudi terrorists killed 2,500 Americans and 300 Brits, which would be a fair point had the UK and US governments not concurred entirely with the media that such a war would be a Bad Idea…

    The UK media was pretty supportive of the war in Afghanistan, certainly in its opening stages. Meanwhile, I can’t think of a better example of “no national interest at stake” than Iraq. At least in Libya there’s billions of pounds worth of British oil deals to protect…

  7. john b-I agree, but brace yourself for the editorials of “no blood for oil” that will follow.

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