First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope and Admiral Sir John ‘Sandy’ Woodward clearly know what they're on about, if the Government won't listen to them there's little chance that they'll listen to anyone else:
In an unprecedented attack, Sir Mark also made it clear that the decision to axe the Harrier jump jet and Britain’s last aircraft carrier has undermined the war effort against Colonel Gaddafi. He said it would have been far cheaper and more effective militarily to fly from HMS Ark Royal, rather than launching air attacks from bases in Italy. Sir Mark said the loss of the combination that won the Falklands War has had a ‘corrosive’ effect on morale.
Embarrassingly for ministers, Admiral Stanhope believes the Navy is almost stretched to its limit even though it has only four warships involved in the Libyan conflict. These are the destroyer HMS Liverpool, the mine clearance vessel HMS Bangor, a Trafalgar class submarine and the helicopter carrier HMS Ocean off the coast. HMS Cumberland, which played a key role evacuating scores of Britons from Libya, recently returned to Britain to be decommissioned on June 23 because of cuts to the defence budget.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Admiral Sir John ‘Sandy’ Woodward says the Falklands ‘are now perilously close to being indefensible’...
"... what the politicians won’t tell you is that Mount Pleasant was, until recently, equipped with only four ageing and ineffective Tornados – the same attack aircraft that have made such heavy weather recently of providing air support in Libya. When they were needed at short notice, only three of the RAF’s 135 aircraft were ready for action. Apparently these Tornadoes have now been replaced by four Typhoons, about which there have been many rumours of too few trained pilots, inadequate spares and poor ability in aerial combat. Neither type of aircraft has any anti-ship weapons systems, which would be vital against any invasion by sea."
Pretty soon, HMS Liverpool will be gone too.
I keep thinking of Private Frost's words in Aliens...
"What the hell are we supposed to use, man, harsh language?"