On the defensive

It’s started again: the exchange of words on the potential for defence-related job losses across Scotland in the event of independence. The uncertainty and speculation could be ended very simply by the SNP telling us the size of a Scottish army, a Scottish navy and a Scottish airforce.

The SNP could tell us the numbers of service personnel and the number of civilians for each arm of a Scottish Defence Force (SDF), and exactly where everyone will be based. It would have us believe that Faslane would be full to capacity with SDF personnel, and the only job losses overall would be Trident-related. Tell that one to the marines.

While trying to give hollow 
reassurances about Faslane, the SNP has said nothing about the impact of a small SDF on local communities elsewhere in Scotland.

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The Lossiemouth area, which Alex Salmond marched to protect, would be severely hit as major squadrons of RAF fast jets and support staff are withdrawn and replaced with what?

The SNP has had years to plan for an SDF and here we are with six weeks to go until the referendum and all we have are slick, superficial words from Deputy First Minister Sturgeon. Has there been any military planning other than back of envelope stuff?

Stuart Smith

West Lennox Drive