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Pesley

The shrinking Royal Navy is a good sign.

We are moving beyond the days of petty naval feuds and nuclear stand-off into an era of peace. What we should remember is the untold death and destruction that war brings to everybody.

The day we all rid ourselves of these horrific weapons will be the greatest day in the history of mankind. It will be the day we as a species finally grow out of our infancy and start to progress.

To remember the fallen and then call to expand our naval killing machine is a contradiction in terms.

We have wasted enough of our nations resources on war over the last 400 years,

NavyLookout

Thanks @Pesley for your comments. All viewpoints are valued however much we disagree!
In one sense you are right, conflicts and money spent on weapons are a tragic waste. Unfortunately it is utter fantasy to think we are moving into an ‘era of peace’. There will always be conflict and we must stand ready to defend ourselves. In fact the stronger our we keep our defences, and if we are wise, then conflict becomes less likely (one of the benefits of nuclear weapons which undoubtedly prevented World War III during the cold war period).

One of the benefits of our democracy, won by the sacrifice generations of servicemen, is that it allows wet, western liberals such as yourself the luxury of this fantasy. The bullies, dictators and even the well-meaning pragmatists that run most countries see this kind of thinking is a sign of weakness and will take every opportunity to exploit the situation.

In the past we have invaded and dominated other nations and there is much for Britain to be ashamed of, however we are no longer imperialists. We must at least stand up for ourselves and our interests and aim to be a force for good, rather than retreat into a dangerous fantasy that if we disarm it will bring peace and stability.

As an island nation totally dependent on the sea, 95% of our trade arrives in ships from all over the world. Our economy and survival depends on the timely arrival of these vulnerable ships and we should take their defense far more seriously – therein lies the call for a stronger Royal Navy.

Jiesheng

In some sense, the reduction in the military is being tackled b “soft power”–the focus on diplomacy and aid. Ok, you’re going to criticise DFID for being ringfenced. Only the aid disbursements are ringfenced not the adminstrative budget. Second, DFID’s annual spending is far far less than MOD or even FCO spending and reaches as far as the military can also be projected. Third, unlike nuclear missiles which will never be fired first or used against the large range of threats today, DFID’s spending helps to avert conflict to some degree and thus reduce the need for costly military intervention. And if you want to criticise DFID, you would be saying the same to the military which works with DFID and FCO in peacekeeping and nation building (a la Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo)