NEUTRAL COUNTRY: THE WAY FORWARD

This project was started some years ago and has remained a core policy for Veterans for Peace UK, but has stalled for the last few years. It is time that this was reinvigorated, especially at this time of global unrest. For too many years the UK has followed a policy of aggression around the globe, protecting our so called “interests”, and prolonging the history of the Empire, whilst all the time our influence has been declining. A new way forward is called for, but what can that be, and how do we achieve it. Neutrality.

In the coming months I will post articles here pointing a way forward, using the work of my predecessors as a framework, and building with my own research and thoughts. I will gladly receive constructive advice and comments, but remember this is a work in progress with a long way to go. It cannot happen overnight.

A DEFENCE STRATEGY FOR THE 21st CENTURY

AGGRESSION IS NOT DEFENCE

When you review the makeup of our Armed Forces it is easy to see that they are designed not to defend these shores, but to project military power all over the globe. You do not defend these shores with two of the largest Aircraft Carriers in the world, even if they have to borrow aircraft and pilots from the USA. These are to threaten an overseas Nation with extreme firepower if they act in their own interests but against ours. And we have a history, a very long one at that, of using our military might as if we ruled the world. There are only 18 countries in the world that we have not invaded or fought wars against over the last few hundred years. Would you believe 31 wars since 1945, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was more.

Then take a look at our standing as a Nuclear armed Nation. We have continually maintained the ability to destroy the world by ourselves, even though we have reduced our arsenal by 50% over the past 20 or so years as part of the Strategic Weapons Reduction Treaty, but still retain over 200 warheads for our Vanguard fleet of 4 submarines. One of these is at a constant state of readiness in the world’s oceans, and ready to fire at a moment’s notice. Every Prime Minister since we acquired the capability has threatened to launch a first strike against a perceived enemy, and has used this knowing that the response from them could be even larger. It is time to call a halt to this posturing threat of Mutually Assured Destruction. And they are not independent as they would have you believe, but are maintained, and deployed only with the help of the USA. The only part that is British is the boat and its crew.

On top of all this extreme weaponry, we maintain military bases in 14 countries and have personnel deployed in at least 80 countries around the world. This is not a defence policy, it is a war policy where Britain acts to bully the world and has poorly served us especially in the last 20 years. It does not have to be like this.

Declaring the UK as Permanently Neutral is the answer. Why? Because we would have to get rid of all of these terrible weapons to be considered for neutrality. And we have a great chance right now to make a start. The Total Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Treaty entered into force on the 22nd of January 2021. For the last 4 years the world has finally said enough is enough, and it is time to rid the world once and for all of the threat of global catastrophe. The UK of course did not take part in the negotiation of this treaty, and has stated that it will Never, Ever, sign or comply. Now is the time for us all to act, by pressuring the Government into signing, by writing to MPs, by debating with friends to do the same, by mass protest or local action when allowed again. By keeping up this pressure for as long as it takes, we can start our way to Neutrality, for without it we can never achieve this goal.

Once achieved, we can then move forward to redesign the capability of our forces into defence not attack. The money saved will be huge, nuclear renewal is expected to cost £210 billion at least over the system lifetime, and they are working on it now. Just think what could be done with that money and how, if we do it, how the other 8 nuclear Nations will feel they have to follow. We start now, today, for a peaceful future for the whole planet.

We would not be alone in Neutrality, Ireland, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Finland, Liechtenstein, Malta, Serbia, are already there.


Michael Elstub served in the British Army, he is currently Chairman of the VFP UK Policy Group.

 

1 Comment

  1. Michael McCarthy says:

    Read the article, Buntings map and Israel on China’s new silk road, from the Times of Israel and understand why western civilization needs to be collapsed. The City of London has changed its business model. Don’t fall for the plot.

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