The armchair generals could be proved right and the major British defence cuts could prove to be short-sighted and dangerous. Argentina is sabre rattling over the Falklands as we approach the 30th anniversary of the war.
While I sincerely doubt that Argentina will actually invade once again there have been calls from MPs for a show of force. Unfortunately, the Royal Navy has little force to show. The most dangerous thing about the defence review was the decision to scrap the Royal Navy´s force of Harrier jump-jets. Britain has an aircraft carrier, the Illustrious (sister ship of the Ark Royal and Invincible) is still in commission but unfortunately it doesn´t have any planes. If a small number of Harriers had been retained then at least Britain would have some punch on the ocean waves. I am sure that soon a show of force will also be called for in the Gulf as Iran threatens to block the all important oil routes. Once again Britain will only be able to muster a destroyer. Now, it is never easy to cut the defence budget especially when you are fighting a costly land war in Afghanistan but by cutting the Harrier force the cuts rendered the Royal Navy toothless. It is too late to reverse the decision. The Navy and Royal Air Force Harriers have been sold to the U.S. Marine Corps. A sad state of affairs. Ministry of Defence officials failed to plan for the unexpected and this could cost them very dear especially if a show of force is really called for.