Tag Archives: British

The Future of British Foreign & Defence Policy: A Case for a Maritime Focus

(L-R) HMS Duncan, HMS Dauntless and HMS Dragon
(L-R) HMS Duncan, HMS Dauntless and HMS Dragon (Source: www.royalnavy.mod.uk)

The 2010 British Strategic Security and Defence Review (SDSR) begun with an unambiguous statement of intent; ‘Our country has always had global responsibilities and global ambitions. We have a proud history of standing up for the values we believe in and we should have no less ambition for our country in the decades to come’. It then goes on to outline how this might be achieved. Britain must be ‘more thoughtful, more strategic and more coordinated in the way we advance our interests and protect our national security’[1]. But since 2010 the record has not reflected these aims. If anything, it seems the British government is becoming less and less clear about what it wishes to achieve in the international arena in service of British national interests. Written in the light of recent adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, the document admits that Britain’s ‘Armed Forces – admired across the world – have been overstretched, deployed too often without appropriate planning, with the wrong equipment, in the wrong numbers and without a clear strategy. In the past, underfunded spending pledges created a fundamental mismatch between aspiration and resources’[2]. The murderous march of Islamic State (previously ISIS) through Iraq, the ever present and resurgent Taliban threat in Afghanistan and the declining civil order in Libya all demonstrate the damaging consequences of ill-conceived and ill-planned military intervention. Professionalism, success and sacrifice at the tactical level have not translated into success at the strategic level, largely due to the simple fact there has been no overarching strategic direction, set at the political level, guiding operational and tactical planning. The consequences of Britain’s twenty-first century interventionist wars are yet to be fully felt, but they are unlikely to lead to the stability and peace in the Middle East, and security at home, that was envisaged.

The key reason for defeat in these campaigns was a failure of British policymakers to fully appreciate the military, political and cultural dimensions of the regions and conflicts in which they were getting involved. This inevitably led to an inability to develop a singular strategic aim and appropriately plan for contingent outcomes, leading to confusion around how to respond both politically or militarily to evolving contexts. Ultimately, this bewilderment was an predictable consequence of fighting the wrong conflicts, conflicts that did not directly serve British or indeed, global interests, or in fighting them in the wrong way (as in Afghanistan where limited intervention led to strategic creep – ‘nation building’ – and a blurring of aims and means, and in Libya where short term kinetic intervention has led to long term instability). For these reasons, Britain and her allies could never secure long-term victory. If London did not set criteria for victory, how could it possibly achieve it? As the British naval thinker Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond once cautioned in his 1946 study ‘Statesmen and Seapower’; ‘If the statesman misinterprets the nature of national defence or the ultimate object of a war, or fails to make the necessary preparations; if, in war, he misdirects the strategy employed for the attainment of the object; the results will be far more injurious than those of errors in minor strategy or tactics: for they are more far-reaching’[3]. These words have acquired fresh resonance.

The campaign in Libya and the lobbying for intervention in Syria still demonstrate that the incumbent UK government, despite the promises made in the SDSR, does not understand what national security means and how the application of force might serve to uphold it. If the UK government seriously decides that it is in the UK’s national interests to involve itself in wars such as have been fought or proposed in recent years, then it must first write a coherent foreign policy to justify this approach, then develop a defence strategy reflecting this approach, providing ample financial and military resources in order to deliver it. If however, it considers such increases in defence spending as impracticable, and prolonged ground wars as impracticable, then a sober refocusing and apposite downsizing of our national ambitions and strategy is required. Based on the recent record the latter is perhaps more palatable; the more a nation engages in conflicts that they do not understand, both in the long and short terms, the more likely they are to lose credibility in the eyes of their potential enemies, emboldening and perhaps multiplying them. Military capability must match the politicians rhetoric. It is in this, that the soft and hard-power capabilities afforded by flexible and numerous maritime forces present themselves. For a nation such as Britain, who wishes to retain global influence but contain defence spending, a well resourced maritime force can offer a cheaper, more effective, less invasive and more flexible means of meeting the basic security requirements demanded of an Western government[4].

Where the SDSR does start to talk sense is in its clear contention that British ‘national security depends on our economic security and vice versa’. Stemming from her island status, Britain’s economic health is dependent on the sea. 90 – 95% of British imports and exports are dependent on the sea and UK based shipping contributes £10bn to GDP and £3bn in tax revenues and after tourism and finance, is the third largest service sector industry in Britain. In 2011 the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) forecasted that globalisation is simply increasing British dependence on maritime trade. After adjustments for inflation, seaborne imports are projected to grow 287% over the next two decades, and exports delivered increasing by 119%. The value of British imports in 2010 stood at £345bn and is expected to reach £1.95tn by 2030. In the same twenty-year period export values are expected to rise from £233bn to £1.63tn[5].The SDSR however fails to grasp such facts. A maritime focus for foreign and defence planning is critical. It has been through shrewd exploitation of the maritime realm for global influence, trade, diplomacy and war fighting, that Britain had forged and refined successful foreign and defence policy postures framed by her seapower status. But such is modern Britain’s general lack of understanding of the role of the Royal & Merchant navies in shaping British history, that the efficacy of this foreign policy posture is poorly understood. Thus it is unsurprising that Britain is now struggling to develop a coherent national strategy that serves her interests and not the whims of vote-winning, short-termism.

As a result of the SDSR of 2010, the UK armed forces are getting smaller, meaning Britain must be more discriminating about its utilization of hard power. To achieve this aim, Britain must develop a coherent and focused national strategy, structured around its reliance on the sea. A strong Royal Navy can deliver defence of trade, conventional deterrence, counter-narcotics operations, counter-piracy, upholding the rule of law at sea, diplomacy (‘showing the flag’ missions), global air-power projection, support of operations ashore[7], and of course maintaining the at-sea nuclear deterrent. There is great utility in such a force that can deliver all these things at proportionally little cost.

However, if Britain continues to fail to appreciate its historic relationship with the sea and how it has been utilised, in war and peace, in the defence of her interests, it will remain ignorant to the potentialities of the maritime realm in the modern day. It is my contention, that if exploitation of the sea for influence, prosperity, security, and military effectiveness, continues to be sidelined as a core strategic function, by continued under-investment in maritime forces, then Britain’s credibility as a global power will atrophy. Herbert Richmond explained that a State’s ability to deliver decisive military action rests on that state’s strength, whether it has appropriate and well-maintained arms to pursue the objective and ‘whether they have been kept sharp or blunted by ill-considered policy, surrender of territory, of interests, or of rights concerning their use’[8]. Britain’s ‘ill-considered policy’ of the past decade has arisen from a misplaced sense of purpose and strength and it has repeatedly ignored the sources of its power and thus failed to deliver lucid thinking on national strategy. The SDSR failed to interpret British interests, and the threats to them, in the longer term. In putting terrorism as a core focus of British defence efforts, the authors have shown a collective failure to understand that terror does not present a long term menace to the prosperity and security at home that Britons have come to expect. Therefore terrorism should not be a phenomenon that shapes a nation’s foreign and defence policy posture. A nation’s armed forces should remain flexible to respond to and prevent acts of terrorism, but should not be focused on them.

To highlight terrorism as a top priority of British defence planning suggests that Britain, despite the lofty rhetoric of the SDSR, is still doing defence, security and indeed strategy, wrong. Britain’s recent failure to fight wars in support of clear foreign policy goals would appear to draw this out. For instance, its reliance on the purported efficacy of foreign aid is perplexing, when in reality the value of its use is far from certain. The money would be better spent on a maritime force capable of delivering tangible security, tried and tested over hundred of years. These views are shared by Dr David Betz of King’s College London, who in a recent unequivocal post on the War Studies Department Blog argued that ‘For three hundred years… a cornerstone of British policy has been the maintenance of a very good, at times world pre-eminent, navy–even through the 20th century during which its relative power progressively diminished… On current trajectory, presently we shall have a not very good navy at all with serious gaps in capability and depth’[9]. Betz’s final point is perhaps the neatest exposition of what this writer believes needs to happen; ‘If it were up to me every damned penny currently earmarked for overseas aid would be redirected to the Royal Navy permanently. There’s nothing better for lifting poverty than trade’[10].

Britain is a de facto seapower. But its failure to appreciate this is the greatest threat to its long-term security. The scrapping of Nimrod Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA), the Harrier fleet and the current aircraft carriers before replacements were in commission and the delivery of only 6 Type-45 Destroyers instead of the proposed 12, all show a lack of appreciation by government officials of what a flexible naval capability requires. Such a high proportion of the future fleet will be required to protect the new carriers that it will be unbalanced and hard choices will have to be made about whether other critical routine operations can be maintained. Either that or more time will be spent at sea with implications for moral (another focus of the SDSR), retention and maintenance. When reading the SDSR document, it fails to account for the unpredictability of the world and the lessons of history. For instance, it stated ‘in the short term, there are few circumstances we can envisage where the ability to deploy airpower from the sea will be essential. That is why we have, reluctantly, taken the decision to retire the Harrier aircraft, which has served our country so well’[11]. Within the succeeding 4 years, air strikes were launched against Libya from bases in the UK and Italy – even the Italians flew their missions from the Giuseppe Garibaldi – at exorbitant cost and prominent officials were lobbying for a similar intervention in Syria. Only in the last fortnight America has begun launching airstrikes against IS in Iraq. The UK may provide similar support but only enabled by the fortuitous location of her base in Cyprus. Future events will undoubtedly once again throw the gap in Britain’s maritime capabilities into sharp relief. But until this elusive moment of clarity, London must begin to refocus foreign policy aims to directly service the nations interests and do this by beginning to acknowledge the nations historic and tested credentials as an effective seapower.

The world is becoming more fractious, unstable and to boot more nations with bright economic futures – some with values divergent from those of the West – are pursuing naval programmes. It is not good for a nation such as Britain, so dependent on the security of the world’s seas, to realign its defence focus to terrorism (and the sources of it), put so much faith in dubious international aid payments whilst neglecting its duty to upholding the security of the world’s oceans. Despite the dreadful consequences of individual terrorist acts, they will regrettably never be eliminated and the threat they pose to the wider security of Britain remains disputed. The defeat of terrorism and the instability that feeds it, through foreign aid and armed intervention, is an illusory aim and the pursuit of it will inevitably continue to lead to future embroilment in costly and ineffectual foreign adventures that do not safeguard Britain’s interests, or its security. Instead, the upcoming SDSR of 2015 must refine Britain’s global ambitions and be selfishly realistic in what it can and cannot achieve vis-à-vis defence and security, instead of pursuing nebulous and discredited aims such as the defeat of terrorism. This post, in addition to the last 400 years of British history, has demonstrated that the UK should pay proportionally more attention to events in the maritime realm and must invest to maintain a strong, flexible maritime armed force (this means numbers not just technologically advanced platforms). The Royal Navy has proven through history to be adaptable, delivering security, prosperity and influence through business-as-usual global operations; able to respond to a broad array of contingencies with finesse or force. London must re-engage with the history of the Service that facilitated its rise to world power status and focus not just on what its armed forces can deliver in war but also what they can deliver in peace. Only in doing this will it truly re-learn the importance of the Royal Navy and the utility of seapower.

Simon Williams received a BA Hons in Contemporary History from the University of Leicester in 2008. In early 2011 he was awarded an MA in War Studies from King’s College London. His postgraduate dissertation was entitled The Second Boer War 1899-­1902: A Triumph of British Sea Power. He continues to write on naval history and strategy and in 2012 he hosted the Navy is the Nation Conference, in Portsmouth, UK. The aim of this event was to explore the impact of the Royal Navy on British culture and national identity. His is organising a second event entitled Statesmen and Seapower, being held in partnership with the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth on 17 & 18 April 2015.

 

[1] ‘Securing Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The Strategic Defence and Security Review’ https://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/documents/digitalasset/dg_191634.pdf accessed 13/08/14

[2] ‘Securing Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The Strategic Defence and Security Review’ https://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/documents/digitalasset/dg_191634.pdf accessed 13/08/14

[3] Richmond, H. ‘Statesmen and Seapower’ (OUP, 1947) p.vii

[4] Discussion of the cost-effectiveness of warships was discussed in an earlier post.for this blog http://cimsec.org/learning-from-history-british-global-trade-and-the-royal-navy/7145

[5] Osborne, A. (2011) ‘Britain’s reliance on sea trade ‘set to soar’’ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/8696607/Britains-reliance-on-sea-trade-set-to-soar.html accessed on 19/08/13

[7] It must however be stressed that a strong tri-service arrangement is a pre-requisite for effectiveness ashore and must be nurtured in tandem.

[8] Richmond, H. ‘Statesmen and Seapower’ (OUP, 1947) pv.iii

[9] D. Betz, ‘Britain’s Naval Moment’ http://kingsofwar.org.uk accessed 13/08/14

[10] D. Betz, ‘Britain’s Naval Moment’ http://kingsofwar.org.uk accessed 13/08/14

[11] ‘Securing Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The Strategic Defence and Security Review’ https://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/documents/digitalasset/dg_191634.pdf accessed 13/08/14

 

Learning from History: British Global Trade and the Royal Navy

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                      Doggy treats for the wolf pack.

Earlier this year, Britain marked the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic (BOA 70), to commemorate those sailors and airmen who lost their lives in serving and defending the vital trade routes into British ports throughout the Second World War. The Battle of the Atlantic was not a unique struggle; it was instead only the latest historical incident where an enemy of Britain had taken to the seas to harass British shipping with the aim of bringing the country under submission. The Germans had attempted it before in 1917, and the French numerous times throughout history, even developing an entire naval mindset around the idea, the Jeune E’cole. But as with many national commemorations, BOA 70, appears to have failed to engender a greater political and public understanding of the patent fact of Britain’s geo-strategic position as an island nation and the vulnerability inherent in such a position. Whilst reflection and contemplation on lives lost is apposite, it has a tendency to appeal to national sentiment and myth instead of to a rational appreciation of the historical lessons it can offer. One of the fundamental problems of our day is that the maritime realm resides on the fringes of the British psyche, resulting in a lack of awareness and understanding of the nation’s maritime heritage and continued reliance on the sea.

Britain is a ‘just enough, just in time’ economy. Around 90 – 95% of British economic activity is dependent of the sea. UK based shipping contributes £10bn to GDP and £3bn in tax revenues and is placed as the third largest service sector industry in Britain after tourism and finance. In 2011 the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) forecasted that the march of globalisation is forcing a dramatic rise in British dependence on maritime trade. British seaborne imports are projected, after adjustments for inflation, to grow 287% over the next two decades, and exports delivered increasing by 119%. The value of British imports in 2010 stood at £345bn and is expected to reach £1.95tn by 2030. In the same twenty-year period export values are expected to rise from £233bn to £1.63tn[1]. These figure are unsurprising as globalisation continues to drive up the level of international trade and sea transport remains the cheapest option for serving this trade. But what these figures do is underline the perennial fact that Britain remains heavily dependent on the sea for its prosperity and economic stability. However, perversely, the global commons lack the levels of policing required to guard against disruption to the global Sea Lines of Communication (SLoC)[2] which would inevitably have a palpable and dramatic impact on the daily life of British citizens; from the latest ‘Apple’ products not appearing on the shelves to more concerning shortages in food, gas and oil. But what is the likelihood of this? What actors would be in a position to be able to mount a credible threat to the free flow of goods around the globe.

The answer is, nobody can be sure. Nevertheless the possibilities are multifarious. Piracy, interstate confrontation, terrorism, civil war, resource competition, natural disasters, climate change and cyber warfare could all pose future risks to international shipping. The future is inherently unpredictable. Any suggestion in 2000 that NATO would be fighting a 12 year war in Afghanistan would have been dismissed as fanciful; 9/11 serves to demonstrate the destructive potentialities of terrorism; recent confrontations in the South China Sea reveal an interstate conflict which has taken on a distinctly maritime dimension and recent events in Egypt raise the threat to the free movement of international shipping through the Suez Canal. ‘Today, the assumption is that good order is a natural condition and can be taken for granted because ‘nothing happens’. But that ‘nothing happens’ is no accident, but is rather because of pre-emption and deterrence’[3]. This writer would strongly contend that the Royal Navy currently has insufficient numbers to deal with the low level threats posed by piracy and terrorism in addition to its other commitments. However the challenge is trying to convince taxpayers and the political establishment to make provisions for all eventualities, not just asymmetric. There is a tendency to assume that the interconnected nature of the international trade system means it is unlikely any nation state, with the capability to do so, would seriously consider disruption of the SLoCs or the key trading choke points as a way of advancing its national interests. Additionally, faith in international institutions and their role in diffusing crises is undermining public and political desire for increased expenditure on armed forces. Admiral Sir Jeremy Blackham and Gwyn Prins, writing in 2010 urged that ‘defenders of the status quo base their arguments on two strong assumptions. The first is that in a globalised and increasingly interdependent world, the powers of multilateral institutions and of supranational jurisdictions will and should wax, as those of the nation state wane. The second premise is that the utility of ‘hard power’ is being swiftly eclipsed by that of ‘soft power’, such as development aid. This stance has been given material expression in consistent year-on-year real money increases in the budget of the Department for International Development, at the expense of the chronic underfunding of the Ministry of Defence (MoD)’[4]. But as more nations with divergent national interests look to exploit the sea for their national advantage or to generate strategic leverage over regional rivals, the likelihood of confrontation can only increase. As Dr Lee Willett of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) wrote ‘[Globalisation] increases the perception of the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ and can fuel radicalisation and conflict, in particular with regard to resources such as energy, food and water. Globalisation also enhances the impact of events overseas on the UK’[5]. Should a crisis emerge where a state actor mounts a sustained and determined attack on the international trade routes, protracted procurement timelines would preclude any rapid generation of the forces required to counter such a threat.

It is, or at least it should be, a simple assumption, that any government has a fundamental responsibility to take every possible action to protect its people from threats to their way of life, both through diplomatic means and military preparedness. In the case of Britain, maritime trade protection should be a key focus, or at the very least a constant consideration in defence planning, due to its critical contribution to the nation’s prosperity. The present size of the Royal Navy is dictated by current challenges as opposed to the full spectrum of future threats. The Royal Navy currently has 19 frigates and destroyers supporting a British commercial fleet of some 900 vessels. Once the new Aircraft Carriers are launched escort duties will further reduce the number of ships available for dedicated trade protection and counter-piracy operations[6]. The SDSR had promised catapults and arrestor gear for the new carriers to ensure interoperability and greater opportunity for the formation of Joint Maritime Task Groups that would ‘reduce the overall carrier protection requirements on the rest of the fleet’, freeing up RN vessels for trade protection[7] but a recent government u-turn means a reversion to the STOVL variant of the Joint Strike Fight and the abandonment of ‘cats and traps’ has inevitably made this more problematic. ‘Use of the sea demands presence along the sea routes. Presence is the prerequisite for the silent deterrent messages that naval force alone can articulate’[8] and a credible presence requires numbers and therefore greater investment in frigates and destroyers. It is mystifying that the Royal Navy is struggling to garner a greater share of the public purse, but a key reason for this is a lack of public appreciation of the increasing levels of maritime trade entering British ports delivering the goods, both vital and luxury, that they take for granted. A clearer definition of national strategy could clarify military force structures and diffuse tri-service infighting through sober appraisals of long-term national strategy, of which the Royal Navy, as the guardian of trade, is the key component.

British sea power on the drawing board.
                                                                   British sea power on the drawing board.

In a recent article in the Naval Review entitled ‘Affordability in a Wider Context’, Paul Fegan investigated defence inflation and the impact this has had on the costs of warship procurement programmes. He concludes that, if this subject is examined through the lens of GDP as opposed to money spent in real terms, it is clear there has been ‘little change in the amount of national income needed to buy a new ship, even a ship which is technologically advanced and matched to contemporary threats…It is perhaps reassuring that we are asking no greater a national commitment to buying a warship than we were 50 years ago’[9]. One example he cites is that in cash terms HMS Daring (launched in 2006) cost 4,509 per cent more than HMS Devonshire (launched in 1960) yet the latter required 0.049 per cent of GDP against Daring’s 0.047. Paul Fegan rightly concludes that it is then not a question of defence inflation and the notion that we simply can’t afford to sustain a large fleet but it is instead an issue of priorities, and when it comes to prioritising those election-winning strategies, welfare and health among other immediacies will almost always trump defence. But it would seem appropriate to recognise that in order to sustain health and welfare, defence must deliver with respect to global trade protection and therefore should be treated as an equal partner rather than as an aged relation, no longer needed in this modern world. Such short-termism is dangerous and failing to acknowledge the prospective threats to shipping and taking measure to counter these threats, borders on the negligent.

Britain is an island. It is a Sea Power in the truest sense; its history and its future will be to a great extent shaped by its interaction with the world’s oceans. The sea has for centuries been a source of strength, providing her with a barrier against invasion and a source of economic prosperity and in so doing forging a resilient national character. However the sea, if under appreciated as a key strength has the potential to become a key vulnerability. The continued reduction in the Royal Navy’s size has, without doubt, dramatically hit its capability and flexibility. This has been the inevitable consequence of government policy, authored by policymakers with little grasp of strategy, more concerned with securing international kudos by focusing on high profile ‘kinetic’ conflicts as opposed to supporting the mundane but critical tasks performed by the Royal Navy on a daily basis.  Having a flexible maritime force to counteract potential threats to international SLoCs, no matter how remote they may seem at the present time, is common sense for an island nation and a duty of its government. It must be cautioned that reliance on the support of other navies is a risky approach; any action has to assume political agreement and interoperability questions remain with regards to the new Royal Navy carriers after the removal of the proposed ‘cats and traps’. The decline of the Royal Navy, reflects political and other military priorities and from this we can only assume there is either ignorance as to the significance of the maritime trade sector or an arrogant disregard of the threats posed to it. The days of lobbying on behalf of the Royal Navy; ‘we want eight, we wont wait’, are regrettably long gone, and with the government’s short term horizon and a public ignorant of our maritime dependency there is a need for the key stakeholders both in the forces and in the maritime shipping and insurance industries, to work together to engender a greater understanding amongst the public and politicians.

It would not be an exaggeration to claim that Britain owes its existence, as a free and democratic nation, to its merchant marine and its Royal Navy, as the recent Battle of the Atlantic celebrations highlighted. But the memory of that struggle, if it is to have a lasting legacy, must be transposed into tangible lessons and sensible policy planning for the future. Britain’s strength derives from her island status, but it is this that is also her greatest weakness. She risks being hostage to events until there is a realisation in Whitehall that ships are relatively inexpensive and ignoring the threats to prosperity they guard against could come at an intolerable price.

Simon Williams received a BA Hons in Contemporary History from the University of Leicester in 2008. In early 2011 he was awarded an MA in War Studies from King’s College London. His postgraduate dissertation was entitled The Second Boer War 1899-­1902: A Triumph of British Sea Power. He continues to write on naval history and strategy and in 2012 he hosted the Navy is the Nation Conference, in Portsmouth, UK. The aim of this event was to explore the impact of the Royal Navy on British culture and national identity. His second event on Navies and National Strategy is due to be held in early 2015.


[1] Osborne, A. (2011) ‘Britain’s reliance on sea trade ‘set to soar’’ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/8696607/Britains-reliance-on-sea-trade-set-to-soar.html accessed on 19/08/13
[2] Despite the commendable efforts of Operation Atalanta, the European Union Naval Force’s (EUNAVFOR) efforts to curtail piracy off the Horn of Africa.
[3] Prins, G. & Blackham, Sir, J. (2010) ‘Britain’s trade depends on the sea. In the coming public expenditure cuts we cannot afford to ‘sign off’ from maritime security and naval defence’ http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/archives/3871 accessed 18/08/13
[4] Ibid.
[5] Dr Lee Willett (2008) ‘BRITISH DEFENCE AND SECURITY POLICY: THE MARITIME CONTRIBUTION’ p.2 http://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets/BDSP_MaritimeContribution.pdf accessed 12/08/13
[6] I discuss the question of numbers in another of my Next War entries on the Type 26 Frigate http://cimsec.org/the-royal-navys-type-26/
[7] HM Government ‘Securing Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The Strategic Defence and Security Review’ (October, 2010) p.23 http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/documents/digitalasset/dg_191634.pdf accessed on 20/08/13
[8] Prins, G. & Blackham, Sir, J. (2010) ‘Britain’s trade depends on the sea. In the coming public expenditure cuts we cannot afford to ‘sign off’ from maritime security and naval defence’ http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/archives/3871 accessed 18/08/13
[9] Fegan, Lt. P. (RNR) ‘Affordability in the Wider Context’ Naval Review Vol 101, No. 3, p.235