By Jason Moore

Cut the defence budget at your peril, is what all new governments should be told. The coalition government took the axe to the British defence budget and now there are concerns that Britain won't have enough sailors, tanks and aircraft to do their job. The government of Gibraltar want a permanent Royal Navy presence at the “Rock” in the form of a frigate or large patrol boat while the situation in Egypt and Syria must be causing concern for defence chiefs. In fact it has been reported that the Royal Navy Task Force which has been “involved” in the spat over Gibraltar, has been placed on alert to evacuate British citizens from Egypt. Then there is the growing tensions in the Gulf involving Iran and the anti-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia. Then there is the Falklands. Britain at the moment has a force of 19 frigates and destroyers, of which at least a third are in refit or undergoing training. HMS Illustrious has deployed to the Mediterranean and the Gulf but as the Sea Harrier has been scrapped she doesn't really have a credible role because she can only embark helicopters. Times are very hard in Britain and obviously money is tight but cutting the Royal Navy to the bone has been shown to be a major mistake. Admiral Nelson was always calling for more frigates, Prime Minister David Cameron may find himself doing the same because the sad truth is that the Royal Navy can't be in two places at the same time and Britain simply doesn't have the ships.


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