Mike Vickers' Blog

June 9, 2013

More on an Independent Scotland’s Defence

Filed under: Europe, Politics, Scotland, Scottish Independence — derryvickers @ 8:18 pm

Following on from my blog of Enlightening the Constitutional Debate – No 3 Defence and international Relations there was an interesting article in Friday 7 June Scotsman by Prof Hew Strachan


which is in some measure in agreement with the general views expressed in the  Conversation but there are one or two different nuances

  1. An independent Scotland will need the shelter of NATO as the armed forces it is likely to afford is 15,000
  2. If an independent Scotland is in NATO it will, whether it likes it or not, benefit from being a member of a nuclear alliance
  3. Scotland’s defence  shouldn’t view itself as a cut down version of the UK’s defence forces; but how it can further the common weal – by which I understand the global common weal  eg sending troops to the hot spots as directed by the UN
  4. Bearing in mind Scotland’s enormous coast line and its 800 islands Scotland should focus on air-maritime defence, this aligns with shipbuilding on the Clyde;  and why not drones for air surveillance
  5. I love the bit where Strachan comments on the SNP’s desire to bring fresh life into the old Scottish Regiments, the Seaforths, the Gordons and the Camerons, all created during the Union
  6. But more seriously Strachan reminds us of Norway where conscription remains its embodiment of its national defence.  However I note from Wiki that in 2012, 63,000 were caaled but only 9,300 were chosen (there is a biblical touch here), and even so Norway has the highest defence cost per capita of any European county – US$6.2 pa.
  7. If conscription is too much for the Scots to stomach then why not rely on reservists.  Bring back the old Clan system!


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