February 1, 2010

To Stay a World Power, UK Needs France

Malcom Rifkind, The Times

AP Photo

Our Armed Forces are not, and never have been, an end in themselves. They have several distinct purposes.

The prime one is, of course, to defend the country and its people if we are subject to actual or threatened invasion. But our Army, Navy and Air Force are also the means by which we can implement our foreign policy, and advance and protect our national interests.

They are not the only means by which we do this. Diplomacy, economic sanctions, trade and cultural activity can, in the right circumstances, have a profound effect. But for Britain, as for other countries, Frederick the Great’s dictum is still persuasive. “Diplomacy without arms is like music without instruments.”

These considerations are highly relevant to the current enthusiasm for a ...

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TAGGED: Britain, Air Force, army