Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Royal Navy has a lot to answer for

Extracts from this morning's Daily Telegraph leader:

"…the satisfaction of a diplomatic challenge eventually handled with skill is soured by the string of psychological humiliations that Britain has suffered.

First, there is the apparent incompetence of the Royal Navy in providing insufficient protection to lightly armed inflatables, at a time when relations between Iran and the West were particularly volatile following the imposition of UN sanctions.

No one would pretend that it is easy to deal with a nation that, since 1979, has shown itself prepared to treat norms of diplomatic behaviour with contempt. However, the steps that led to the seizure of the 15 on March 23 must be thoroughly investigated.

It appears that the Royal Navy has a lot to answer for."

And, from a piece by Thomas Harding:

"While Cornwall had too deep a draught to provide line of sight cover for the boarding party, there were many other ships that could have given immediate back-up. Cdre Lambert has 12 warships under his command in Coalition Task Force 158, including several US Navy patrol boats capable of 35 knots and bristling with machineguns that would have outgunned the Iranians.

It has been suggested he could have ordered any one of these to "overwatch" the boarding party."


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