Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It was Labour that cancelled the Sea Harrier and made reinvasion impossible

Again we have the selective amnesia of left wing supporting BBC reporters giving a false impression on radio reports this morning.

Lord West ( a govt. minister under Gordon Brown ) is banging on about the scrapping of the remaining ground attach Harriers in the context of our being unable to retake the Falkland Islands again.

What he's not telling you is that the scrapping of the Sea Harrier by Labour removed from UK Carrier operations the only half capable air defence and air superiority fighter available. This decision alone effectively stopped any future operations to retake the Falklands. ( The ground RAF ground attack harriers in the Falklands suffered painful loses as the had to press aggressive attacks against targets that could and did shoot back. )

Remember - if a new Argentine invasion were successful they would have two airfields ( one with full air force facilities and able to operate fast jets with large range ) to operated their recently modernized air force from against our vastly reduced Navy with only the air defence that type 45 destroyers could provide. Frankly we couldn't retake those islands even with ground attack harriers on Invincible class carriers.

Before that point Britain would have suffered its biggest defeat since Singapore and our Govt would have fallen.

This time the Argentines would be properly prepared to strangle our very long and poorly defended supply lines.

In short lose the airbase at Mount Pleasant and recovery by conventional military action would be impossible - with or without ground attack Harriers.

About the only useful role of Harriers slender to be already deployed to the Falklands so that destruction of our runways would not mean complete loss of counter invasion strike capability. ( Remeber this is all about deterrence of attack - on which subject it was unfortunate that the coalition forwent the first use of nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear power as that removes another uncertainty from Argentine military planning. )

Things are, as you see, not even close to as reported by the BBC.

The long and short is, as in Crete, lose the airbase and lose the islands. Everyone understands that which is why its so precarious. The Argentine military will know it needs to have a plan which will lead to the denial of the Mount Pleasant airfield from day one without a warning build up of forces. A special forces attack and stand off missiles would seem to do the trick - and Argentine military equipment is rumoured to have been found on beaches not far from the airbase. Thus one morning the British people will wake up to find the Falklands can't be resupplied or defences bolstered, but the end of the week they will have the surrender of the Falklands and the fall of the UK Govt to cope with.

It will take a lot more than three RAF Typhoons to prevent this and the current Harriers being retired would not impact the invasion unless they were ground based in the Islands ( which would be by far the best use of them ! ).

See also Decision to scrap Sea Harrier comes back to haunt, Threat to the Falklands and Sea Harrier over the Falklands

BBC Admirals urge rethink on Harrier and Ark Royal cuts

Further: My guess is the Admirals real target is the preserve the fast jet capability of the Fleet Air Arm - which whilst the FAA is a very admirable organisation ( indeed one of the UK's best and could teach the RAF a lot about running a tight ship - couldn't resist the pun ) it is a selfish motive that does not serve the country.

It is also possible that this is part of the low level snipping that Labour are trying to carry out to question and take the gloss off every Coalition decision.

( Will edit this latter - no doubt typos etc are over this pda typed post )

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