The High Cost of Cuts

By Barnett, Correlli | The Spectator, May 17, 1997 | Go to article overview

The High Cost of Cuts


Barnett, Correlli, The Spectator


BEYOND ENDURANCE: AN EPIC OF WHITEHALL AND THE SOUTH ATLANTIC by Nicholas Barker

Leo Cooper, 19.95, pp. 244 Captain Nick Barker RN (who sadly died on 7 April at the age of 63), captain of HMS Endurance during the Falklands War, tells a convincing and enraging story of the wilful stupidity of intellectually arrogant diplomats, civil-service mandarins, admirals and politicians, and of the needless conflict and loss of life that resulted.

His starting point is the 1981 Defence Review by John Nott, the then Secretary of State for Defence, which sought drastically to cut defence costs. The aim was reasonable enough, for in 1981 Britain was still carrying a proportionately much heavier defence burden than her commercial rivals, such as Germany and Japan. Nott wished to put greater emphasis on the Nato defence of Europe at the expense of `out of area' commitments. Of the three services, the Royal Navy was the least involved with Continental Europe and the most involved in global reach. It therefore seemed to Nott that it was the Navy that could most readily be shrunk. Hence his proposal to sell one of the Navy's only three carriers to Australia, as well as to cut the numbers of other types of ship.

Among these was the Falklands `guardship', the Endurance, an adapted Danish Baltic trader armed with 16 AS 12 air-tosurface missiles and equipped with sophisticated electronic listening gear. Nott announced that she would be withdrawn in 1982 and not replaced. This would leave the Falkland Isles (with its population of British stock) and other British dependencies in the South Atlantic and the Antarctic to be defended by a few lightly armed Royal Marines. A clearer signal of British abdication of interest in this region could not have been sent to the Argentinians, notoriously obsessed with recovering `the Malvinas'.

Captain Barker therefore lobbied hard in Whitehall, and through influential friends such as Lord Shackleton, to have this decision reversed. The Establishment closed ranks: to Parliament it was averred that the Royal Marines on the Falklands were defence or deterrence enough; to Barker that as a serving officer he was acting improperly. Henceforward, any warnings from him about warlike Argentinian preparations which he had personally observed were to be read in the MoD as `Barker trying to save his ship' and instantly binned. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

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 article

Cited article

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 article

The High Cost of Cuts
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

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 article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

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.