Nato question

The questions of whether an ­independent Scotland should be a member of the European Union and a member of Nato are important and it would be better if they were both dealt with by referendum after the 2014 vote (your report, 12 April).

There are advantages and disadvantages in membership of both and surrounding countries of a similar size cover all the ­permutations.

Aside from whether Scotland would be accepted into either organisation, the real question is whether membership is in Scotland’s interest. The original reasons for Nato are long gone and the centre of focus for the United States is now the Pacific because of the rise of China and India and the other countries of the Pacific rim.

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Aside from using Scotland as a disposable base and target it is difficult to see why the US would need to base its forces here.

After Iraq and Afghanistan, the US is less likely to want to use its forces to defend Scotland unless there was a core purpose in US homeland security.

Bruce D Skivington


Wester Ross

Fraser Grant’s letter (10 April), in reply to my letter of the day
before, is a wonderful example of the abuse of statistics.

He uses numbers to illustrate how Scotland has been hard done by in relation to UK defence cuts. My single point was that we have thousands of 
defence jobs in Scotland that are put in jeopardy by their reliance on the rest of the UK’s needs. This is not a statistical argument. This is about the reality of one (of many?) down side of independence.

Common sense, in this case believing that as a foreign country we may well lose orders from “abroad”, can be a more powerful means of argument than the precision of statistics. The old expression, “lies, damned lies, and statistics”, should be warning enough about such prediction.

Ken Currie

Liberton Drive