The Great Debate UK
from UK News:
So the world has unfurled a no-fly zone over Libya, apparently undeterred by the lack of Royal Navy aircraft carriers. Judging by the uniforms gracing the steps of 10 Downing Street on Friday and the attacks launched over the weekend, Britain’s military top brass haven’t been put off either.
The Libya crisis has, until now, provided a platform for the “Save our Aircraft Carriers Campaign” to champion its cause but in the process they’ve thrown down some whopping red herrings.
First we were told Britain could have done a better job extracting citizens from Libya if it had an aircraft carrier. In the event nature’s own aircraft carrier, Malta (immune to rough seas and mechanical failure) proved a perfectly good operations centre from which to manage rescue efforts. If Britain’s response was slow, that had more to do with the speed of decision making than the available military hardware.
Even if HMS Ark Royal had been in service, victualled, crewed and ready to put to sea from Portsmouth, she would have taken a good four days to reach Benghazi sailing at full steam the whole way, through still waters. Had she been in the Gulf of Oman supporting operations in Afghanistan, it would have taken closer to five days at best. Once in theatre she would have required defence from air attack and even the threat of submarines should any of Gaddafi’s Soviet-era vessels still be operational.
from UK News:
The "charm" offensive –- held under the auspices of trade body the Defence Industries Council (DIC) –- began with executives from BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and QinetiQ, among others, telling assorted media that the defence industry needs more investment (not less) even during a recession.