The British have decided who they want to be

(To Julian Carax)
29/03/21

In the darkest hour, English courage found in Winston Churchill an inimitable interpreter, a politician and, above all, a man certainly not exempt from faults or faults; but who, in those moments, would have had the courage to say stentorally: "We will never give up"? That the United Kingdom did not give up its arms is a fact, just as it is a fact that the king's voice and will, along with those of his prime minister, have helped push London towards a victory that has in fact changed history.

By Churchill, a geopolitician of race who said “We have our dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not with Europe. We are connected but not mixed. We are interested and associated, but not absorbed " Kennedy, years later, said that "Had sent the English language into battle"; Boris Johnson, with the necessary distinctions, and without aedi ready to sing its praises, has taken on the responsibility of restoring luster to the Armed Forces that are honest with glory, but dramatically poor in resources, giving wings to a rhetoric that, net of nationalism conservative, highlighted that the point of no return was now near. In the background, the stormy exit from the EU proscenium, as a preventive retaliation long banned by de Gaulle and British characterized by an abrasive pragmatism contrasted with formal feelings devoid of pathos.

The anglosphere is a conceptualization that has little of relative, and that requires the leadership American, committed not to compromise balances that are difficult to recompose. Ideally, the Union Jack evokes oceanic maritime power, and is based on geopolitical foundations that cannot fail to take into account the evolutions which they themselves underlie. The agreement signed on the wool thread in December 2020, which seems to make British access to the EU market difficult, and which will be approved by 2021 by the European Parliament, partially protecting merchant flows but not financial services, and trying to contain a further chaos due to the absence of more pervasive rules, leaves many questions unresolved, given the intensity and complexity of the economic relationships that have taken place and have passed, as in the Italian case1, and given the Community's inability to shape foreign and military policies; a compromise that, acceptable on both sides of the Channel, extends the possibilities of maneuvering with Washington, however once, with theIrish Biden, to the preservation of the so-called Good Friday agreement2.

At the moment the City is in trouble, overtaken by Amsterdam as the largest European financial exchange center after Brussels refused to grant British financial companies autonomy in terms of supervision and control, and is pressed by France, which has benefited financially from a significant list of activities sailed from London following the good bye English, and militarily destined to assume a central role in the European defense scenario. The convergence on shared rules of level playing field3, both to avoid a downward competition aimed at promoting national competitiveness, and to control the use of state aid.

Meanwhile, the exit from the community forum has allowed the British withdrawal from the sanctions against the American Boeing, courtesy which prompted the US to suspend duties on numerous British products4. In short, many questions remain open, and many others are about to emerge, such as the one concerning the European anti-covid vaccination difficulties that have seen a Union bound by the ties of diplomatic and legal processes, and placed in comparison with the fastest action British government, however in the political crosshairs of the internal opposition, ready to stigmatize anyone failure.

While it is still not completely clear how Brexit will change international relations, beyond the desired recovery of sovereignty, attested by the free trade agreement with Japan and 29 other countries, according to James Barr.5 it is fundamental to understand the friction between the United Kingdom and the USA in the post-45 Middle East, that is a dispute conducted by the British not only against the USSR, but also against the historical ally, especially on the occasion of both the Suez affair of the ' 56, both of the war in Iraq, when London realized that it could not exercise any diplomatic influence on Washington, however, now opposed by the 5G affair, which has undermined the unity of Five Eyes6, after the decision to exclude Huawei from the development of the network, but only after having granted 7 years to completely remove the presence of the Chinese company; it is evident that London does not intend to break the liaison with the USA, which have long considered it - with the anti-diplomat Obama - as indispensable passe-partout for Europe, but it is equally palpable as it wants to return to exercise greater influence especially to the east of Suez, for the maintenance of relations with Oman, fundamental for the control of Hormuz, to guarantee diplomatic presence both in relations between Arabia Saudi and Tehran, both in those between Asia and Middle East.

From a Brexit perspective, European political events bring attention back to the unfinished realization of community FAs, an unavoidable intermediate step towards the even more chimerical objective of a political community, a project inevitably destined to compete with the Atlantic one, strong in a charm that has never failed to captivate London, skeptical and unwilling to deploy its forces on the continent.

As regards the security aspect, unlike the commercial one animated by conflicting interests, collaboration is in the general interest, given the British industrial and intelligence resources, so much so as to hypothesize an institutionalized form of partnership that would leave ample cooperative spaces, but that would find the veto of several partners who would not grant any kind of privileged status, opting for collaborative forms in small and extra groups acquis communautaire, with France and Germany who hypothesized the formation of a Consiglio (circumscribed) European security however open to British participation in the European context of international relations.

A resolution that could lead the Member States excluded from the CSE to consider the move as an attempt to make Europe more independent from the USA, without forgetting the British political will that intends to position the Kingdom, also due to the lack of valid alternatives, most intimate ally of the USA, hegemonically inclined to bilateral relations. The post-Brexit therefore presents superimposable security and defense models, to which the nuclear component must be added, over which the Union exercises no authority; the fact that France remains the only EU country with an atomic deterrent does not change the equilibrium, given that, in the case of common interest, British competition would not be excluded.

We have mentioned sovereignty to be understood in a positive sense; therefore we cannot fail to dwell on the bet that the Johnson Cabinet has launched on the FAs, never more than now in need of halting the decline that began at the beginning of the 2000s. In these days, the largest war investment plan since the end of the Cold War is being formalized. with the focus on space, artificial intelligence, drones, 400th generation fighters, containment of the threat of hypersonic weapons, increase of the nuclear arsenal, reconfiguration of the Army, the most reduced in the last XNUMX years - in expeditionary terms and with new regiments Cleaning, despite the reminders of the gen. Milley7 - and especially on the Royal Navy, the Weapon of the Crown; Downing Street took the'commitment to spend £ 188 billion on defense over the next four years, an increase of £ 24 billion8, an investment based on the vision projected to 2030; the FFAA will receive four-year increases, in addition to those already calculated based on the percentage of inflation plus 0,5%; a plan that is part of those undertaken by the allies Poland, France, Greece, as well as those of Australia and Sweden, according to a perspective that intends to warn the Russians in the east, the Chinese in the Indo Pacific, the Turks in the eastern Mediterranean .

London wants to count again, confirming itself as the first European defense investor, and second in NATO, also aiming at strong economic and employment returns; just think of the R&D sector9, which will see an annual increase of 1,5 billion pounds, in addition to the expected 5,8 billion, and the increase in jobs created in the 4 nations of the Kingdom, an initiative that has received the acclaim of the new American Defense Secretary , Christopher Miller.

In line with the Skynet 6 satellite program and with the project to create a Space Command, London intends to launch its first rocket by 2022; similarly, the creation of an agency dedicated to AI and the establishment of one National Cyber ​​Force with the Strategic Command aimed at constituting the digital backbone against cyber attacks.

As part of the RAF reorganization, more than £ 1 billion will be dedicated to the XNUMXth generation stealth fighter Tempest10, developed in synergy with Sweden and Italy, an aircraft which, however, unlike the French-German FCAS, does not include naval versions.

Now the thalassocracy. Johnson intends to restore Britain to the position of Europe's leading naval power, with "New generations of ships to be built across the UK". If, in addition to the arrival of the fifth generation of Carrier Strike Groups with HMS Queen Elizabeth and the HMS Prince of Wales  Royal Navy will receive the eight scheduled frigates Type 26, five o'clock Type 31, as well as the new generation frigates Type 32, the new logistic ships (Fleet Solid Support Ship), the new multi-role ocean surveillance ship to protect underwater infrastructures, and the new destroyer is planned Type 83, the Navy will once again be the first continental navy, ahead of the French and Italian with oceanic projective capabilities, albeit in the face of significant reductions in the number of F 35s embarked; the Royal Marines will use an investment of approximately £ 200 million over the next ten years to form the Future Command Force, intended to conduct maritime security operations. However, betting everything on new technologies does not appear risk-free, given the precedent of Strategic Defense Review of 1998 by Lord Robertson, and given that alongside investments it will be necessary to evaluate, for each operational domain, the character of the war of the future11, compatibly with the actual resources available, a possible gap which, at the time, led to the failure or delay of various programs, including that of aircraft carriers, and which could now compromise the efficiency of the ground forces.

Last but not the least, the planned investment of approximately 1,3 billion for the improvement of Single Living Accommodation as part of an accommodation strategy, and £ 1,4 billion for assistance to military families.

In conclusion, net of the rhetorical tricks, on the path of this long and winding road, the two main levels, the political and the military, must be split, where theusefulness English for the USA must continue to make privileged agreements indispensable.

The risk of remaining isolated at the tables that matter, leads us to provide a useful key to understanding the reason for the proposed increase in nuclear warheads, which leads to raising the specific weight of strategic importance.

The UK market remains a relatively small market, which requires strategic choices with necessary repercussions in house, given that being released from the currency obligations of the euro does not exempt from finding a compensation between war expenses and internal social dynamics. The FA are no strangers to these dynamics, so much so that the strengthening of the Navy is indispensable, in terms of associated naval groups, in light of the entry into line of the last 2 aircraft carriers, however destined for a period of operational suffering given the reduction of the F35 .

The British have decided who they want to be, allocating funds to an extraordinary extent, but after more than a decade of cuts it will be necessary to wait at least an equivalent time to see the results of this turnaround. While the program Tempest demanding cuts on other projects, British industry is in need of revitalization, with France pushing to fill the empty British slot; in fact, Great Britain could find itself in the same conditions as in the 60s / 70s, forced to look at the relative growth of other competitors, with a political blanket corta and with the need to have concrete substance, the lack of which was highlighted by the Iraqi shock.

Taking into account that the English national character does not lead to fashionable pacifisms, the field decisions taken highlight the sometimes wavering policies of the other actors; Germany is at a standstill, France is biting the brake, Spain is leaning on Germans and transalpines, Greece is relying on the US in an anti-Turkish key, Italy is pursuing the impossible international ecumenism.

The United Kingdom has revealed a precise strategic orientation by turning to the west, and forbidding any type of union on its internal political menage to anyone. Indulging in a joke, despite multiple and heavy difficulties, it is possible to say that Great Britain, at the pub, has decided with whom to share its pint.

1 Trade of over £ 30 billion in 2019 and over £ 26 billion in 2020; a positive balance for Italy in the last twelve months of 8,8 billion, after that of 10,3 recorded in 2019, to which must be added the presence of over 700 thousand Italian citizens in the British social and productive fabric.

2 Also called the Belfast Agreement, signed in 1998, it represents one of the most important developments in the Northern Ireland peace process, putting an end to the violence of Irish and Northern Irish nationalist political and para-military organizations.

3 fair competition

4 The Biden administration has ruled the elimination of tariffs on a range of goods (£ 11m cashmere imports; pork products (38m) and cheese (45m); whiskey, so estimates published previously indicated that the duties had led to a £ 500 million drop in scotch sales.

5 A Line in the Sand: Britain, France and the Struggle that Shaped the Middle East on Anglo-French rivalry after the Sykes-Picot treaty (2011); Lords of the Desert: Britain's Struggle with America to Dominate the Middle East (2018)

6 intelligence alliance that includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries are party to the UKUSA Agreement, a joint cooperation treaty on signal intelligence

7 Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff - USA

8 Boris Johnson

9 Research and development

10 According to AS Dario Giacomin, Deputy Secretary General of Defense, if TEMPEST AND FCAS were to converge, the Euromale model would be an example, given that the UK remains a member of the OCCAR.

11 Peter Roberts, Director military sciences of the Royal United Service Institute (RUSI)

Photo: UK MoD / web / Royal Air Force / Royal Navy