Environmental pressure group Greenpeace takes a not-surprising pot shot at UK plans to sustain a nuclear deterrent in its latest report, “In The Firing Line.” In keeping with its maritime theme the Royal Navy’s future carrier program is also heavily criticized – and the report calls for funding for both to be “suspended”.
Both projects are worthy of debate.
While the report, published September 18, bandies about a lot of funding figures on the programs, the nub of its argument on the broader issue of defense, though not necessarily in the foreground, is that: “The government needs to ask whether global security can really be achieved by a Cold War-style projection of so-called ‘hard power’, or whether this kind of overbearing military practice is increasingly counterproductive in today’s interconnected world.”
It goes on to add the government also: “needs to address the role of ‘soft power’, such as diplomacy, strategic communications, foreign assistance, civic action and economic reconstruction and development.”
The group calls for the scope of any defense review following next year’s general election to be widened to: “consider what, in a future marked by climate change and diminishing resources, the real threats to our security are and how they are best addressed. It needs to ask how we ensure the security of our basic needs – such as water, food, shelter and energy – and how we respond to the mass displacement of populations, as climate change makes areas of the planet uninhabitable through drought, flooding or famine.”
One might contend the above is reason to ensure that soft power is backed-up by hard power – otherwise it might be no power at all.
Picture Credit MoD/Crown Copyright