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NAVY NEWS, JANUARY 2010 7
Main effort – but not only effort
FIRST Sea Lord Admiral Sir reassure friends.
Picture: LA(Phot) Simmo Simpson
Mark Stanhope has warned
And a balanced maritime force
that Britain’s future defence
provides the cost-effective military
strategy should not be driven
muscle a Government might have
by the conflict in Afghanistan.
to call upon, he observed.
Speaking at Chatham House,
“So, while Afghanistan is rightly
the home of the Royal Institute
the Main Effort, it should not be
of International Affairs, on
regarded as the Only Effort,” said
the theme of The Royal Navy:
the Admiral.
Afghanistan and Beyond, Admiral
“The range of threats to UK
Stanhope acknowledged that “the
interests is greater than that.
Navy’s immediate, unquestionable
“In these challenging times, we
focus remains its long-standing
will need to retain armed forces
commitment to supporting the
that are versatile and adaptable,
joint campaign in Afghanistan.
flexible and resilient across the
“From October [2008] to April
full spectrum of operations, from
[2009], around 3,000 members of
conflict prevention to high-end
the Naval Service provided over
war-fighting and back again, at
30 per cent of the UK forces
range, from the UK.
● Watching the sea lanes – HMS Iron Duke, sailing from Nassau in the Bahamas, during her recent patrols in the Caribbean
deployed to Helmand, including
“Forces that possess these
not only the Royal Marines of
Service has been responsible for interventionism.” Afghanistan is not the only game more Afghanistans.” attributes will best equip Defence
3 Commando Brigade and the
40 years. Admiral Stanhope argued that in town, either now or in the Britain, as an island nation, for its vital role in supporting
Harrier jets of the Naval Strike
“Given that context, and the “resource challenges” should future,” said the Admiral. relied on the free movement of Government in the future.
Wing, but also Naval Air Squadron
imminent Defence Review, my prompt a “focus on values” – “As a member of the Defence maritime trade and it was also “Such forces can offer real
helicopters and significant
responsibility as a Defence Board there was a need for “a common Board, I am duty-bound to take responsible for 14 overseas policy choice to the Government
numbers of logistic, engineering,
member is to argue the case that understanding... of what the a longer-term, strategic view of territories, he reminded his in deciding whether and how to
medical and HQ staff, he said.”
the MoD’s current prioritisation UK stands for and how the the challenges to the security and audience. engage with others, how to respond
He said that current and
on the fight in Afghanistan should country’s Armed Forces can and defence of our nation. A firm believer in the fact that to developing threats and crises
future deployments maintained
not lead to UK Armed Forces will be used to promote those “I am obliged to think beyond “prevention of conflict is always while minimising entanglement
the Navy’s support for operations
structured predominantly for a values while also protecting our Afghanistan.” better than cure”, the Admiral and how best to protect the UK’s
in Afghanistan, but he also cast
relatively narrow spectrum of interests. He continued: “We have to guard said that a military capability national interests and promote its
his eye wider over the elements
land-locked, counter-insurgency “An articulation of our national against Afghanistan becoming the was always necessary to back values in the wider world, beyond
of the Navy “providing the
operations and which lack the values can find its expression template for a future UK Defence up diplomatic and economic Afghanistan.”
security needed to cover the UK’s
ability to conduct high-end war- in foreign and security policy structure that can do nothing but measures, to deter aggressors and Comment – p26marina
back while Defence focuses on
fighting or indeed any of the vast ambitions.
Afghanistan.”
array of operations in which the “These should in turn drive
He listed anti-narcotics patrols
country’s Armed Forces may be the strategy which shapes the
‘Hard workers – not cowards’
in the Caribbean, off West
engaged in the future,” he said. Armed Forces’ contribution to the
Africa and in the Indian Ocean,
“Yet some have tried to argue defence and security of the nation,
FOLLOWING his speech at Chatham House, success, all over the world, in everything from high-
maritime security operations in
that this is exactly the route we at an affordable scale, in the most
Admiral Stanhope made a statement on the capture end war fighting in Afghanistan to search and rescue
the Mediterranean, the Arabian
should be taking in Defence – cost-effective and agile manner.
by pirates of Paul and Rachel Chandler from their in Ayrshire.
Sea and off the Horn of Africa,
that all future conflict will involve “This suggests that economic
yacht Lynn Rival. “Our sailors and marines are working hard, very
protecting the sea lanes “along lengthy stabilisation operations, policy should take its place “This was and is a hostage situation, and for this hard, working well, and are a constant source of pride
which logistic support to the fight measured in years, with an alongside foreign and security reason it is not appropriate to discuss the specific to me, I hope to you and the nation they serve.
in Afghanistan is supplied, and emphasis on land forces fighting policy as a driver of the UK’s details of this case any further,” said the Admiral. “They do not appreciate, and I do not like them,
along which this island nation’s low-tech enemy insurgents.” strategy for Defence.” “Wave Knight did exactly the right things. She being branded cowards in certain quarters of the
food, energy and goods are The Admiral said that approach The First Sea Lord said he acted professionally and in accordance with her press.”
imported and exported.” ignored the potential for future welcomed the Defence Secretary’s primary purpose, which was to assure the safety of He said he was grateful for the role the media has
To that list he added the inter-state conflict – which statement in September espousing the Chandlers. in raising awareness of what the RN and RM do.
protection of UK waters and could either directly affect the a policy of Afghanistan First, “I take real issue with some of the emotional “But it does a disservice to my sailors and marines
airspace, ports and offshore UK or perhaps UK interests – making it the “main effort for and scurrilous language being used to describe the to suggest, as some in the press have, that they should
energy platforms, and the nuclear and the “declining appetite defence”. actions of my sailors. be doing more, especially where counter piracy is
deterrent for which the Senior politically, and within society, for “However, as I have stated, “The Naval Service is delivering operational concerned,” he concluded.
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