Ed. The author gives his state of play on the current socioeconomic conditions impacting British seapower, and proposes a possible RN force structure financially tailored for a ‘regional’ rather than a ‘global’ Britain.
Ed. To everyone who contributed to the Naval Review over the last 12 months, from our regulars to our first time authors and correspondents, our band of dedicated book reviewers and contributors on the Forum, along with those who have taken the trouble to pass feedback, both good and bad, along to those who help me deliver the Naval Review, especially the Trustees, Secretary Treasurer in particular, and the Editorial team, may I offer a heartfelt thank you and wish all our readership a Happy and prosperous New Year.
Ed. The author argues that the expense of Astute and delays in Dreadnought development threaten success of the AUKUS plan for a next generation SSN. Both the RAN and RN should consider buying future USN Virginia-class submarines to quickly fulfill the SSN-AUKUS mandate. A 10 minute read.
Ed. The author continues his contentious analysis of the Russia-Ukraine War [110/4, p. 482], with particular attention to the perceived failure of British grand strategy vis-à-vis the geopolitical consequences of Russia’s energy superpower status. A 30 minute read.
Ed. Monday 15 Jan 24 – In a media round before a Lancaster House speech on today’s threats and a rose tinted view of the state of our Armed Forces’, https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/defending-britain-from-a-more-dangerous-world the new Secretary of State for Defence managed to get a Nation of Naval Officers shouting at the Radio. If only our own government could address the flashing red lights on the dashboard of their Armed Forces in the same vein as our adversaries are! He rightly suggest the peace dividend no longer exists and that “An age of idealism has been replaced by a period of hard-headed realism.” If that is the case he will also realise that by any indicator he chooses to pick to measure ‘hard-headed realism’ the Defence of the UK is no longer fit for purpose. An illustrious former Editor has also kindly put pen to paper! For those who missed Mr Shapps’ interview and would like another opportunity to choke on their wheaties it is available on BBC Sounds at 2:15:20 – 2:19:50 (Mon 15 Jan) https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m001vc9p
Ed. The author, a Hudson Fellow at Oxford, answers the Chairman’s call from NR 111/4 to engage with the defence review process, contextualizing here over 70 years of history and lighting the way for the debate on Integrated Review 2025 looming ahead. A 15 minute read.
Ed. The Battle of Taranto of 11-12 November 1940 was an epoch defining event in the history of naval aviation and a decisive moment for the Fleet Air Arm. With the 83rd anniversary of the battle in mind, we reproduce here an American perspective on the Royal Navy’s pioneering development of aircraft carriers and the lessons for naval doctrine this history demonstrates. Originally published in July 1994 [82/3, p. 260]. A 30 minute read.
Ed. An investigation into the procurement history of Canada’s troubled F-35 programme, focusing on the prevalence of political intervention and unclear commitments over more than a decade to demonstrate a systemic failure of the Defence procurement process, transcending government administrations. A 20 minute read.
Ed. The clarity and unity of purpose of state-on-state conflict over the centuries is a panacea that modern leaders must marvel at – in how relatively simple the world once was. Today’s interconnected, complex, and ambiguous global wicked problems present too many challenges to accommodate the security aspirations of the medium powers. We British wish to remain a global player yet our security options remain over-stretched and under-resourced. I suspect the new Secretary of State for Defence was given clear riding instructions to maintain a steady course and speed as well as under no circumstances rock the boat. As transparent as that is ‘events, dear boy, events’ are the greatest threat to his direction.