Anyone who's keeping an eye on the news or is alive/conscious in any way will be aware of the UN's air operations over Libya. This morning the RAF were giddy over their 3000 mile round trip bombing run over Libya, however, I can't help but feel that their celebration is just the teensiest bit absurd.
For me it's the equivalent of a man walking from London to Scotland because he scrapped his car the week before, convinced that he'd never need it again. It is without doubt a long walk and a great achievement but one can't help but feel that the man is a bit of a prat. Libya is a country with a huge northern coast which makes it an ideal theater for carrier operations. Unfortunately Cameron and co. saw fit to scrap Ark Royal and the Harrier squadrons leaving us with no choice but to fly half way around the world to drop some ordnance on yet another sandy, oil and blood soaked country.
Will the absurdity of the current operation move the ConDem party to reconsider the ill conceived SDSR? Nope. Cameron appears to be as stubborn as he is short sighted.
Don't get me wrong I celebrate the success and safe return of the RAF fighter crews but again can't help but feel that the RAF's (and the Army's) political manoeuvring that brought about the evisceration of the Royal Navy makes their victory a little hollow and leaves me deeply concerned for this country's safety in the long term. A carrier off Libya's coast would have been the far better option, with the ability to respond to the rapidly shifting tactical situation by having a significant hard power presence in the region.
Instead we send our Tornado's (an ageing airframe with little real future in modern conflicts) 3000 miles to throw some explosives at Gaddaffi's crumbling regime. Meanwhile the French, with their shiny Rafales and carrier Charles De Gaulle are doing the job properly with a clearly superior grasp of the strategic and tactical realities of the situation. All credit to them.
At least someone can see beyond the end of his nose...