Monday, February 05, 2024

The thin red line

The Sunak government has wisely dismissed General Sanders recent call for a “citizen army” for war with Russia, which in his mind has already begun in Ukraine. "This war is not merely about the black soil of the Donbas, nor the re-establishment of a Russian empire” the worthy general says. “It's about defeating our system and way of life politically, psychologically, and symbolically. How we respond as the pre-war generation will reverberate through history. Ukrainian bravery is buying time, for now”.
Downing Street says the “British military has a proud tradition of being a voluntary force. There are no plans to change that" adding that "hypothetical scenarios" about potential future conflicts were "not helpful".
The grandees are well aware of the outcome of such a war in which there would be no winners and very few, if any, survivors. They know how deeply unpopular a return to conscription would be with the teenagers who would be the first to be called up for what was called “national service” until it was abolished in 1960. The same goes for the senior officers who shudder at the thought of injecting the youth culture of today into the armed forces.
General Sanders, the Chief of the General Staff, is a scion of the ruling class who’s spent his entire life in the army. He knows all this. He knew he’d get no takers when he made his controversial comments at the International Armoured Vehicles Conference (IAVC) in London last week. His speech isn’t the beginning of a new campaign to take us back to the “good old days” but part of the efforts by the most venal and aggressive sections of the British ruling class to serve US imperialism ND maintain and increase British defence expenditure. 
The United States is the only country that’s used nuclear weapons against a civilian population and since World War II they have threatened to nuke other countries including those that don't possess nuclear weapons. Britain is a major arms supplier and its troops are deployed in a growing number of war zones and areas made unstable as a result of imperialist intervention and aggression. 
In 2008 the Americans removed their nuclear missiles from the UK after judging that the supposed threat from Moscow had diminished. Now they’re coming back.
Now US navy secretary Carlos Del Toro calls on the UK to "reassess" the size of its armed forces given "the threats that exist today” and the Americans are using the “Russian threat” to create new bases on our soil for their weapons of mass destruction. According to the Telegraph the US plans to place  B61-12 gravity bombs, three times as strong as the Hiroshima device, at the RAF Lakenheath air base in Suffolk.
In the corridors of power those who do the bidding of the United States argue that this is the only way to protect the British imperialist interest across the globe. They call it the “special relationship” though the only thing that is special about the Atlantic alliance is that the Americans speak our language. General Sanders, however, speaks theirs.


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