By Andrew M. Dorman (auth.)

ISBN-10: 1349426539

ISBN-13: 9781349426539

ISBN-10: 1403932859

ISBN-13: 9781403932853

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The idea had been tried in the 1950s with the building of the second rate Type 14 and Defence under Pym, May 1979–January 1981 35 Type 81 frigates, but it had proved unsatisfactory and production shifted to the general purpose Leander-class frigates. Moreover, less capable ships were implicitly more expendable in wartime, which had significant implications for the morale of their crews and the matter remained unresolved. The Army’s High Command placed its emphasis upon the defence of the Central Front in wartime and its peacetime internal security role in Northern Ireland.

It was doubtful whether the US Air Force had any F-15s spare. 201 The Air Force Board reiterated its preferred option of accelerating and enlarging the Tornado F2 programme while accepting a period of risk. It recognized that any increase in front-line squadron strength, albeit temporary, was perfectly acceptable as long as it was not at the expense of an existing programme. Their reasoning was that once inaugurated the government would find it politically difficult subsequently to abandon this measure without a considerable loss of face at home and abroad.

The other determinant underlying defence policy was Britain’s wider world role. In 1945 Britain was one of the three leading world powers and considered itself as such. 79 Between 1945 and 1979 this assumption was undermined and led to the withdrawal from the Empire. 80 The time-cycles For this chapter only, the short-term cycle has been excluded because the political environment in which the current defence team finds itself, together with the immediate fiscal realities of the current and subsequent years, inevitably dictates it.

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Defence under Thatcher by Andrew M. Dorman (auth.)


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