By John Baylis
Substitute techniques to British Defence coverage
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Extra resources for Alternative Approaches to British Defence Policy
In contrast, that there should be provision for protection of the home base- on the sort of scale planned- is not in dispute. 'We need to do more, not less, in this field' was the judgment recorded in The Way Forward, prior to a listing of improvements in train. 8 The question is: should even more attention be paid to this major role? There are those who would do so; and they exist in all parties and factions. The idea of a home base made most difficult for an aggressor to assail has obvious attractions for those on the Left who favour 'defensive deterrence', allowing the renunciation of nuclear weapons.
In his chapter in the book Ken Booth makes the case for a return to national service in Britain as one means of producing the reserves to improve NATO strategy. As part of his thesis, he argues that there is a wide consensus that the Alliance needs an enhanced capability to keep on fighting day and night: 'modern war is an extraordinarily greedy tyrant' (p. 163). National service, he suggests, would provide men in place or readily available and a large body of trained reserves, so important in allowing NATO to keep on fighting at the conventional level without resort to nuclear weapons.
Lord HillNorton, in his chapter, points to his experience in NATO which confirmed his view that NATO was slow in reacting to new situations. Such experience, he suggests, points most forcefully to the need, certainly for Britain, 'to have a sufficient degree of military autonomy'. It may be the best military alliance Britain has, but the need for the attributes of independence remains. ' (p. 137). Although critical of the Alliance, most supporters of the maritime 22 Introduction school accept that NATO enhances Britain's security interests.
Alternative Approaches to British Defence Policy by John Baylis