Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Why aircraft carriers?

We read today that the Ark Royal is to be scrapped, but two new aircraft carriers will still be commissioned.

What I want to know is this: Why does Britain need any aircraft carriers at all? I have looked into this, and I find that most countries do not have any aircraft carriers. What most countries have are enough soldiers to defend their territory and enough aircraft to defend their airspace. Only nine countries in the whole world have aircraft carriers. As one would expect, by far the largest fleet of these phenomenally expensive vessels belongs to the USA.

The Prime Minister is quoted today as saying: "Britain has punched above its weight in the world and we should have no less ambition for our country in the decades to come". But why should Britain punch above its weight? What's the point? This idea seems to be a silly post-imperial hangover. Why can't we just be like Scandinavia or Holland?

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