I WISH I lived in the cosy parallel universe inhabited by Brian Quail (Letters, 11 August) and many of your readers. The Russian threat of the Soviet-era may have gone, but a new threat from the same source is on its way.
The new Russian president is committed to creating a “Union of Eurasian States” and wants it to include all the former republics of the Soviet Union. The Russian armed forces are being rebuilt on the back of the energy revenues from oil and natural gas. It is a timely reminder that Russian expansionism pre-dated Communism and, indeed, the Bolshevik Revolution was taken as an opportunity to seize independence by many states, including the Ukraine.
The Russian navy has acquired a helicopter assault ship from France with an option to build more under licence. Why does Russia need this kind of capability if her intentions are peaceful? Russian warships have been found exercising or on patrol far from home, and the air force has resumed its Cold War probing of western defences.
I believe that today is the equivalent of the early 1930s. For Hitler, read Putin; for Germany read Russia; for Japan, read China. As in the early 1930s, today our government believes that it will be ten years before a major threat emerges, but Hitler gained absolute power in Germany after winning an election in 1933, and we were at war in 1939.
Independent or not, Scotland will need Nato, and Nato will need Scotland to take its share of the burden.
IT IS simply incredible that Brian Quail, and other pacifists, continue to bemoan the presence of Nato in Scotland and the UK’s nuclear arm. They are most unpleasant weapons I agree, but the whole point is deterrence and that they are not used.
Britain would most likely have been overrun in the post-war years without them and Mr Quail and his fellow pacifists, if lucky, would now be pushing their views in a gulag.
As it is, Europe has enjoyed its longest ever period of peace and untold millions are alive who would otherwise have died in the regular and unending conflicts before Nato’s presence.
We can perhaps give up our nuclear arms when the world stops producing people such as Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Pol Pot, Osama bin Laden and other ruthless, mass murdering despots to whom compassion, reason and logic mean nothing at all other than in self-preservation.
New Cut Rigg
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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