The Royal Navy and Maritime Power in the Twentieth Century

By Ian Speller | Go to book overview

10

OPERATIONS IN A WAR ZONE

The Royal Navy in the Persian Gulf in the 1980s

Warren Chin

This chapter examines the deployment of the Royal Navy's Armilla Patrol in the Gulf during the time of the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88). Although the Armilla Patrol did not represent a major commitment of British naval assets, its role in this conflict is significant. This small force, which usually consisted of no more than two frigates and a supply ship, played a crucial role in preserving the right of shipping to move freely through the Gulf. In addition, it also fulfilled a wider range of political and diplomatic objectives and consequently provides an interesting illustration of how naval power can effectively be used below the threshold of general war. Historically, navies have played an important role in being used as a political instrument; however, within the context of the post Cold War era, the significance of this activity has increased, particularly within the realm of 'wars of choice'.

The linkage between British intervention in the Iran-Iraq War and 'wars of choice' might seem strange because the defining characteristic of the latter is the lack of any real interest on the part of the intervening power in the conflict. Under such circumstances, while governments have been morally or politically obliged to deploy forces to such conflicts they frequently adopted a low risk strategy which made the effective use of force all but impossible. Underlying this paralysis was the view that, although there were strong political imperatives that cajoled governments to deploy military power, at the same time governments also feared the human and material losses that such deployments might entail. The result was what one observer termed the creation of symbolic 'security politics': the deployment of force in a potentially hazardous environment, but little meaningful use being made of this capability. 1

In the case of the Iran-Iraq War, the geo-strategic importance of the region and the dependence of the advanced industrialised states on oil supplies that flowed through the Persian Gulf suggest that this is a clear cut example of a war that potentially threatened the vital interests of the dominant economic powers. Therefore the concept and practical problems flowing from the idea of a 'war of choice' do not apply. However, the actions of the intervening powers in this war indicate that the political and strategic situation was not so 'black and white' and that, while there was a strong political imperative to deploy force, political circumstances also dictated that their role would be limited. These political

-181-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Royal Navy and Maritime Power in the Twentieth Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword xi
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Abbreviations xiv
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - The Transition to War 13
  • 2 - Sea Control in Narrow Waters 33
  • 3 - Sea Denial, Interdiction and Diplomacy 50
  • 4 - Air Power and Evacuations 67
  • 5 - Amphibious Operations 88
  • 6 - Maritime Power and Complex Crises 108
  • 7 - Quarantine Operations 129
  • 8 - Maritime Jurisdiction and the Law of the Sea 148
  • 9 - Naval Diplomacy 164
  • 10 - Operations in a War Zone 181
  • 11 - From Peacekeeping to Peace Enforcement 197
  • Select Bibliography 209
  • Index 215
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 223

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.