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Naval might for a global warmonger

At long last, the secretive story of Britain's plans to construct two supercarriers is out. Only two countries in the world are committed to plans of this sort, the USA and the UK.

Only five countries anywhere in the world are building aircraft-carriers of any sort whatsoever.

All parties are complicit, again, in this policy. Even though the plan was announced in 1998, it must have been in preparation long before that. These carriers are not simply replacements of previous ones. They far exceed in size and capacity anything this country has had before.

Now it is being argued that we have spent too much on it to abandon it, and jobs will be lost in thousands. But investment in armaments produces fewer jobs than in many other key sectors of the economy, such as education, health and construction.

The argument about job-creation weakens further when we remember that the most expensive part of this project, the aircraft that the carriers will be equipped with, are going to come from the USA, F-35s, currently estimated at around £100m per plane, with more than 100 on order.

What kind of defence strategy would such equipment fit into? Obviously one in which Britain can still be seen to wish to rule the waves. Add this to Trident and the UK's willingness to play a leading role in wars of aggression in far-flung places, and you begin to see that we must have an image of warmonger rather than peacemaker in the eyes of much of the globe.

Is this really what we want to bequeath to our grandchildren?

Paul McGowan, Coventry

Belfast Telegraph


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