Defence shambles

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Andrew Gray (Letters, 31 
January) thinks it’s a nonsense to complain that the UK had to send a ship 1000 miles to monitor an incursion into our 
territorial waters by Russian 
warships.

That we had to go cap-in-hand to other countries (including France and Canada) to ask for air surveillance of another incursion because we have no maritime reconnaissance aircraft (who can forget the sight of the Nimrod fleet being bulldozed) is all part of “an integrated defence policy”. That would be the UK defence policy which sees us with more admirals than ships and two massive aircraft carriers missing the essential ingredient of planes.

In Scotland we have seen the closure of major bases and the loss of around 15,000 armed forces personnel, and there is a business agreement in place between the government and BAE Systems which requires the company to reduce its workforce from 5,000 to 1,500. And this is an integrated defence policy? Disintegrated more likely.

Mr Gray fancies himself as a bit of an expert on defence matters, but we should not forget that last year he said the UK could suffer a nuclear attack from Pakistan. He has now revised his opinion to say that Pakistan is under threat of being overrun by Islamist fanatics who would be inclined to attack the UK with nuclear missiles.

Douglas Turner

Derby Street

Edinburgh