A PAPER produced by Britain’s oldest military think tank has concluded that the past 20 years of UK defence policy has been a failure and recommends wholesale changes, according to the convener of SNP CND.

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) paper foresees the UK abandoning its role as a military auxiliary in the USA’s foreign adventures, implicitly points out that the “the independent deterrent” Trident isn’t independent and argues the UK needs to stay closer to Germany and France than the USA.

SNP CND chair Bill Ramsay claims the report’s conclusion is that UK defence policy and related aspects of foreign policy have been a failure.

He said: “The language and the tone is, as one would expect in an academic paper, measured but the takeaways are clear.

“These include stepping back from being a well-trained auxiliary in USA military adventures, particularly in the Middle East.

“The report even puts a huge question mark over the Royal Navy’s jewels in the crown, the two new aircraft carriers.

“It also calls on the UK to shift its position within Nato, concluding that it should cleave closer to the likes of France and Germany and away from the more hawkish states like the USA.

“Personally I am no fan of Nato, given its theoretical reliance on nuclear weapons. Moreover, it should not be forgotten that the decision by the SNP to shift to a pro-Nato position was won by only 15 votes.”

Ramsay added “Nato is made up of many states whose perspectives on important issues differ. Broadly, there is a dividing line in the alliance, what I call the hawks and the moderates.

“The hawks are the US, the UK and some states that border on Russia. The moderates are the likes of Germany, France and some other ‘older’ member states in western Europe.

“The RUSI report calls for a pivot away from the Hawks towards the likes of Germany and France.

“It even hints at the fact that the UK’s “independent nuclear deterrent” is not independent.”

Taking Control: Rediscovering the Centrality of National Interest in UK Foreign and Security Policy was produced by Malcolm Chalmers for the Royal United Service Institute.

Ramsay said: “Ostensibly the report is a first stab at scoping what a post-Brexit UK defence policy should look like.

“However it appears to me to be using the cover of Brexit to outline a critique of UK Deference and foreign policy that heretofore has been promoted by what can broadly be termed the anti-war movement.”

The report makes six conclusions of which Ramsay says the key point is about post-Brexit Britain’s foreign policy “which we were told, was a pivot from Europe to the USA. This report, albeit in diplomatic language, flatly contradicts this assumption”. The Ministry of Defence has been asked for comment.

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