Friday, January 5, 2007

newsflash:royal navy just turned into royal coast guard.

Once upon a time, the Royal Navy ruled the seven seas. From the days of Elizabeth I, when they beat up the Spanish Armada, to the outbreak of World War II, the Royal Navy was the most powerful and experienced naval force on the planet.

Times have changed.

Since World War II, the United States Navy has claimed the title of varsity team. (In fact, the U.S. Navy is bigger than the world's 17 next largest navies combined.) There have really only been two true blue-water navies in the world since WWII, and one of them just mothballed half its fleet.

"What this means is that we are now no better than a coastal defence force or a fleet of dug-out canoes. The Dutch now have a better navy than us."

Let's hope world events don't force our British brethren to regret saving on the wrong end in the future. As Germany found out the hard way in World Wars I and II, a nation's force projection power hinges on the size and capabilities of its navy. It gives your diplomatic efforts a great deal of credibility when you can park a bird farm off a nation's coast on short notice, especially when that flattop carries more air power than most countries have in their air forces.

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