Rumours abound that the Royal Navy is to gut its globally respected Operational Sea Training organisation in order to reallocate cash across defence. It is not simply the UK’s martial reputation that would be at stake; the evidence states that operational sea training is a crucial asset on which the Royal Navy should not skimp.
Officials from the US and China put on brave faces at the recently concluded US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Tensions in the maritime and cyber realms, however, are threatening to send the relationship into a downward spiral.
With news of regular tragedies involving migrants awash on Europe’s shores, the European Union is promising to respond to these through military means. But the political will just does not exist in Europe; neither can the hurdles be overcome easily.
Last week saw governments making statements about their values, intent and national interest through the medium of the sea. Distracted by emergency response in Nepal and elections at home, the United Kingdom was largely absent from this global maritime conversation.