The use of the sea remains fundamental to international security. At a time of increasing public spending constraints, what is the significance of naval force – and of the Royal Navy in particular – in supporting national and international defence and security.
With the recent publication of a Ministry of Defence (MoD) Green Paper and an upcoming Strategic Defence Review (SDR), the debate over future UK defence reform has been fierce. The international response to the Haitian disaster has proven to be a case study in how important high-end naval assets can be to a wide range of UK national interests.
Operation Moshtarak is the most important campaign in Afghanistan since the invasion in 2001. Its success, however, will not be measured in military terms but in terms of public opinion, both in Helmand and the rest of Afghanistan and in the Coalition's domestic electorate.