10: The Naval Present and Future is no Piece of Cake
Host Iain Ballantyne is joined by two of the UK’s big thinkers on naval strategy, namely Dr Gary Blackburn and Mark Grove, for a wide-ranging and fascinating discussion of hot topics.
The subjects they tackle include who is winning the Ukraine War at sea, plus its implications for navies long and short term, not least a worrying lack of lethality in British warships and the mystifying absence of urgency in doing anything about it.
The chat also looks at the lessons provided by the Falklands War of 1982 and how they remain ultra-relevant to today.
Whether or not the UK is maximising the potential of its new aircraft carriers is discussed. Are split priorities between maritime defence needs and the RAF’s land-based air aims undermining the carriers’ ability to act as a proper deterrent to Russian aggression?
Then there’s the matter of whether or not British politicians who are bogged down in Westminster Village squabbling - over the so-called cakegate, beergate and currygate scandals - are paying attention to threats like the long reach of Russia’s cruise missile-armed submarines.
The expanding fire power of the Chinese Navy is touched upon in the podcast too, while the discussion also weighs up where we are in the new Cold War - and asks if the West has the luxury of time to hang around in bolstering its defences.
• Dr Gary Blackburn is an honorary fellow of the Centre for Security Studies at the University of Hull, which seeks to enhance understanding on the nature of war and strategy while also providing guidance on best practice in war and strategy to professional stakeholders.
Gary has taught Security Studies and Military History at the Universities of Leeds and Hull, respectively. He has written for ‘Defence Studies’ and ‘The Critic’, and for the latter about aspects of the UK’s 2021 Integrated Review of Defence and Security.
He can be found on Twitter @gjb70
• Mark Grove is Senior Lecturer in Strategic Studies specialising in Maritime Strategy, Warfare, and Security at the University of Lincoln’s Maritime Studies Centre at the Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth, where he has taught for 24 years, originally working directly for the Ministry of Defence. Mark has written on amphibious warfare, the naval history of the Second World War and the Falklands War. Over the last decade or more he has spent most of his research time examining the threats posed by the Russian and Chinese navies, on which he has provided briefings for several UK and NATO Headquarters and Government Departments. Mark is also on Twitter @MarkJGrove
• Iain Ballantyne is the Editor of WARSHIPS International Fleet Review magazine and the author of numerous naval history books. These include ‘Hunter Killers’ and ‘The Deadly Trade’, both of which include chapters on the Cold War, Falklands War and naval operations today.
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