The Royal Navy in the Twenty-First Century: does it Have a Role Beyond the Defence of British Seas?
Since the 1960s the Royal Navy has struggled to maintain its global capacity in the face of pressures for economies. The focus of this pressure has been the carrier fleet and the assets needed to allow it to operate effectively. John Nott’s often misunderstood review maintained a maritime expeditionary capability. Cuts prompted the Argentine invasion of the Falklands, requiring a long range response from the Royal Navy. Even the end of the Cold War did not end a global strategy. Only direct intervention by Ian King of BAE, however, prevented disaster by saving the two vessel carrier building programme from the coalition government’s review. That programme has, however, left a serious gap in Britain’s capacity to protect the British seas.