Britain’s Navy at Half Strength

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Britain now has fewer than half of the naval vessels it had in 1990, the Telegraph reported on June 21. In that time, there has been a 60 percent decrease in the number of submarines, frigates and destroyers in the Royal Navy, according to a 2013 Ministry of Defense report. The service had two aircraft carriers in 1990: It currently has zero.

Britain’s defense budget has decreased dramatically. Today, Britain’s military spending is a little over half of what it was 25 years ago. Its defense spending has decreased from a Cold War high of 3.8 percent of its gross domestic product to only 2.2 percent, just above the nato minimum.

Despite keeping its nato commitment, Britain has lost its naval supremacy and is “at a historic ebb in firepower,” according to National Interest.

Britain does not recognize the need to maintain its defenses against military threats. Instead, it prioritized funding for foreign aid, the National Health Service and other domestic welfare programs. In the past, health, education and defense spending were equal. But expenditures in these non-defense areas have roughly doubled since 1990. Today, Britain spends almost six times more taxpayer cash on welfare than it does on defense. Continue reading

China needs 3rd runway in Spratly Islands to break US grip in South China Sea if tensions escalate, experts say

Comments come after US think tank says satellite imagery indicates preparatory work on third airstrip in Spratly Islands, on Mischief Reef

Beijing needs to build a third airstrip in the South China Sea’s Spratly Islands to meet its long-term strategic goal of being a true blue-water navy, Chinese military experts say.

Their remarks came after the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank in the United States said satellite imagery taken on September 8 showed China appeared to be carrying out preparatory work for a third runway, this time on Mischief Reef. Continue reading