Only an hour ago I said:
"With people like Williamson in charge, the UK is the rogue state."
60 mins later...
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson is reportedly to say in a speech later today:
"Brexit has brought us to a great moment in our history. A moment when we must strengthen our global presence, enhance our lethality and increase our mass."
"Enhance our lethality"?
The UK is the rogue state.
The source of the Williamson speech:
Defence Secretary Williamson's ludicrous speech is having further serious ramifications.
It is being reported that Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua has cancelled this weekend's trade talks with Chancellor Philip Hammond in protest at Williamson's speech.
Presumably, the Chinese didn't like the bit about sending HMS Queen Elizabeth to the South China Sea.
@fitheach Its just another load of buzzword bollocks.
What does "Increase our mass" even mean? He's been watching the wrestling again, I suppose.
Are you familiar with the German word "Fremdschämen". It seems I can't stop when I read the political news nowadays.
To feel Fremdschämen don't you have to have some empathy with the person concerned? I have none for Williamson.
Of course it is all nonsense, but dangerous nonsense. He is stoking the fires with cans of petrol.
@fitheach well not really, no-one is likely to take him seriously, whether it's the as-yet-non-existant drone squadron “ready to be deployed by the end of this year” or the "Offensive Cyber" nonsense.
Those old War Office records from before 1964 seem to have gone to his head, I hope someone reminds him that it's called the Ministry of _Defence_ nowadays.
Note this from the article:
And he will call for the UK to be more willing to "use hard power to support our interests" in future, as he warns that failing to intervene against aggressive foreign powers "risks our nation being seen as little more than a paper tiger".
No matter that he has "Defence" in his title he is in charge of the armed services. It is this kind of talk that results in the UK bombing some country that has the misfortune to produce oil.
Nice one. I haven't heard that for years.
Jokes aside about aircraft carriers without aircraft the only military purpose of them is as an offensive weapon. They give you a platform from which to launch attacks anywhere in the world. No need to get permission to use landing strips of local "friendly" countries. Just park in international waters and launch an attack.
The article specifically mentions the carrier.
Although the QE is an impressive piece of kit, Britain currently owns less than half its planned operational complement of F35s. Given where they are being sent, I'd guess its just a nod to our USA friends.
I'd be more worried young Gavin was up to a "Wag the Dog" if he was going to park it off Caracas.
possibly to show "solidarity" to former colonies in SE Asia (Singapore, Malaysia etc) which have in recent times made friendlier overtures to Beijing and even Moscow? No oil there, but I think they have aircrafts and less space to put them, could also be a sales pitch for military equipment this part of the world (we already maintain the radar system for South Korea, it is called "Blighter")
@fitheach Is “increasing our mass” a reference to deep-fried snickers bars? 🤪
I have no idea what Williamson is meaning by "mass".
Wikipedia has this to say about "lethality":
"Most often it is used when referring to chemical weapons, biological weapons, or their toxic chemical components."
Even if he doesn't specifically mean those tools of death, lethality is about killing people.
Everything about that man disgusts me.
@fitheach Yeah, he sounds like one of those sociopathic politicians who likes the feel that these words make in his mouth, which is why he uses them a lot, without ever having a single thought about what war means for the people conducting it or the poor victims caught in it.
In the US they often use the classification "doves" or "hawks". Willimson seems to be portraying himself as the latter.
The awful thing is being a hawk often leads Western countries to go and bomb some defenceless people somewhere.
@fitheach I'm sure all of this blather about "lethality" will not help at all in discussions with the EU neighbors.
I'm sure there will be some major side-eye from the French.
I'm not so sure, Macron has been sounding very militaristic recently.
The only part where I would diverge is the requirement to have boots on the ground. Even the US military have probably seen similar reductions in numbers over the same period. Of course, BOTG are needed for Falklands type operations.
Western interventions are more likely to be bombing missions these days. Plus, that sort of thing gives more scope for selling high tech, and therefore expensive, weapons.