As I suggested in a previous post, the Libya operation makes comments like this even more on point:
Amongst the most desperately short-sighted decisions of the SDSR was the frankly inexplicable decision to jettison the country’s maritime air capabilities in favour of retaining RAF Tornados. I welcome the letter published in the Daily Telegraph today ‘Military experts warning over defence spending review‘ from a group of distinguished officers and academics, including my colleague Professor Andrew Lambert, urging the Minister to reconsider the decision and suggesting a more strategically sound and cost-effective alternative
It’s not just the Harriers and HMS Ark Royal. The loss of the Nimrod R1 patrol aircraft and the cancellation of the Nimrod MRA4 maritime patrol aircraft will make British participation in operations like the Libya NFZ much more difficult. That wouldn’t be such a problem were it not clear that the UK was very interested in participating in such operations.