Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Worst Defence

Swarms of drones and driverless tanks - this is apparently what now passes for defence policy in the UK.  The idea of a drone swarm to overwhelm enemy air defences, or robot tanks, for that matter, sound like the sort of thing an eight year old might come up with after watching a Gerry Anderson series.  Sadly, however, they are ;ideas' recently touted by our alleged Defence Sceretary, Gavin Williamson, as part of his future UK defence concept.  Just when you thought this government and its ministers couldn't get any more embarrassing, Williamson opens his mouth again.  This is the man, let's not forget, who has also supposedly suggested fitting expensive guns' onto tractors and disguising missile launchers as Coca Cola lorries as part of his 'vision' to enhance the UK's defence capabilities.  According to Williamson's latest speech (if we can dignify his ramblings with such a description) Brexit represents a huge opportunity for the UK in defence terms, although I still don't understand how.  After all, an inevitable consequence of leaving the EU will be a further squeeze on public spending which, in turn, will mean further defence cuts.  But hey, since when did logic and Gavin Williamson go together?

But his recent ramblings reminded me of something: many, many years ago, when I worked for the Ministry of Defence, I recall a request being made for contributions to a departmental study of 'The Future of Warfare'.  A colleague and myself decided to submit some of our ideas - which, I recall, included propeller driven aircraft without wings which could be used to chase enemy soldiers along the ground.  We argued that they would be terrified of those whirling propellers.  Another suggetion was that future wars should be fought underwater by armies of frogmen - like in a James Bond film - as this would reduce the risks of collateral damage to the civilian population and infrastructure, (but not fish).  Unfortunately, as we quickly found, the great and the good of the department didn't have a sense of humour with regard to such things and really didn't like the hired help taking the piss out of their initiatives.  Hearing the reports of Williamson's recent speech, though, has left me wondering if he hadn't somehow stumbled over our suggestions and used them as inspiration for his 'initiative.'  Ah well, let's hope he isn't watching the repeats of Gerry Anderson's UFO currently running on Forces TV, otherwise his next speech will include calls for the contruction of a moonbase and a fleet of submarines which launch jet fighters...

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