Former US defence secretary Robert Gates, has told the BBC that a significant reduction in the UK’s defence budget has left its former primary partner with diminished capabilities.
Britain’s HMS Ark Royal, the Royal Navy’s last operational aircraft carrier was retired from duty three years ago. Comparatively, the US has 10 aircraft carriers in use, which are frequently used as a symbol of the nation’s military strength.
When asked about his opinion of the current state of Britain’s armed forces in an interview with Justin Webb, presenter of Radio 4’s Today programme, Gates stated:
“What we have always been able to count on, on this side of the Atlantic were British forces that had full spectrum capability, very much along the lines of our own forces, that they could perform a variety of different missions.”
“With the fairly substantial reductions in defence spending in Great Britain, what we’re finding is that it won’t have full spectrum capabilities and the ability to be a full partner as they have been in the past.”
The future of the US-UK partnership
With the retirement of HMS Ark Royal, the UK will not have an operational aircraft carrier for the first time since World War I, a fact that Gates believes is important in the way the rest of world perceives Britain’s military presence. The former defence secretary stated that although the US has been too quick to take military action in the past rather than as a last resort, but the presence of its military capabilities does more to act as a deterrent to those who would consider an attack on the United States.
David Cameron has countered the allegations of Britain’s decline as a military power, deferring attention to the construction of the UK’s new aircraft carrier in the Rosyth shipyard in Fife. The multi-billion pound project has been met with criticism from many in the UK, despite the Royal Navy stating that a large warship is vital in the defence of the nation’s interests.
In response to Robert Gates, Mr Cameron said: He’s got it wrong, we have the fourth largest defence budget anywhere in the world, we’re actually investing in future capabilities, we’re building two new aircraft carriers [and] replacement for our Trident submarines.”
Making partnerships work
The US and UK partnership has often been a fractious one, particularly from a defence stand point, and the strength of that partnership in the future has once again come into question. This is also the case with many partnerships, as it naturally involves more than one person meaning disagreements are likely to occur.
If you are considering entering a business partnership, and are concerned about what could happen if a dispute arises, the experienced partnership solicitors at Ralli can advise you in the protection of both your personal and business assets.
Alternatively, if you feel your business partnership has come to end and wish to dissolve it, our solicitors will provide you with information and legal support throughout the partnership dissolution process. If you would like to contact our team, please call us on 0161 832 6131 for further details.