WARNING! cut the defence budget at your peril! Sometimes the defence of the realm should come first. A Russian submarine was spotted close to the UK submarine base at Faslane in Scotland , home to the British nuclear deterrent. Now during the days of the Cold war this was quite a normal state of affairs and a Royal Air Force patrol aircraft would be dispatched at speed to investigate the foreign intruder. Game over. But fast forward a decade and the Royal Air Force no longer has any maritime patrol aircraft so Britain is forced to rather embarrassingly call in NATOallies to investigate the submarine contact. I know it sounds amazing but the coalition government decided to scrap the RAF´s maritime patrol aircraft and Britain is probably the only NATO member which does not have an aircraft suited to patrol the sea-lanes. And it gets worse. If a Royal Navy frigate or destroyer was needed to shadow a Russian submarine it would probably take at least 24 hours to reach the patrol area because all of the bigger Royal Navy surface ships are based in the south of England. Aprevious administration, also in their wisdom, decided to close the naval base at Rosyth in Scotland and there are no large surface warships based in Scottish waters. This has left the submarine base at Faslane badly exposed.  The defence cuts of 2010 were not only savage they were rather shortsighted. So, Mr. Putin you can send your submarines to Scottish waters to spy on the British submarines at your will. You will only be discovered if you want to be discovered.

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