MOAS, MSF and Sea Watch: Independent Research and Rescue Services Following the End of Mare Nostrum 

Work of NGOs in the Mediterranean migrant crisis. Putting in valuable work, saving lives.

Mediterranean Hope

by Paolo Cuttitta (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) – If 2014 went down in history as the era of Mare Nostrum – rescuing people at sea through government and military humanitarian interventions – on the other hand 2015 will be remembered for a number of non-governmental and civic initiatives.

This summer, in fact, three different non-governmental actors are playing a very decisive role by searching for boats heading towards the Italian coasts:  MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station), operated by MSF (Medici Senza Frontiere, Doctors Without Borders) and Sea Watch.

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RAF Nimrod Replacement – The Poseidon’s Competitors

It’s got to be the P-8A Poseidon. RAF personnel already train with US Navy P-8As to keep up MPA/ASW skills. RAF should get the kit it trained with. Also, common airframe & systems ensures full interoperability with the USN. It’s GOT TO BE the P-8A Poseidon. If I was a Boeing salesman I’d surely be offering an affordable lease or lease-to-own package.

Defence of the Realm

Many feel the P-8 has already wonMany feel the P-8 has already won

Few aircraft retirements have left such a gaping hole in Britain’s national defence than the retirement of the Nimrod MR.2 and the cancellation of its upgraded replacement the Nimrod MRA.4. This revered Cold War era sub-hunter fell victim to the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) 2010 which saw the aircraft brutally axed in an effort to save £2bn of the defence budget even though £3bn had already been invested in the MRA.4. Defence experts in the UK were horrified when the plan was announced as they each asked; “How will Britain defend its shorelines against submarines?”

The RAF and the MoD under the leadership of the Liberal Democrat-Conservative coalition government responded by saying that other national assets will assume the Nimrod’s maritime patrol, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), maritime rescue coordination and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) roles. The Royal Navy’s force of frigates…

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Could the RAF resume the nuclear deterrent as a cheaper alternative to Trident?

Short answer: No.

You can’t cram the naval genie back into an air force bottle.

Defence of the Realm

RAF Trident nuclear Typhoon

The population at large may not know it or at least realise it but for over forty years the threat of direct military action against the United Kingdom has been curtailed by the force of Royal Navy ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). Conventional thinking dictates that the Royal Navy’s fleet of SSBNs are small in number compared to either the United States or the Soviet Union but when one looks at just how much firepower one of these submarine has at its disposal things get put in to perspective. In simple terms the Trident missile equipped Vanguard-class submarines have more firepower at their disposal than the entire Western Allies had against Germany throughout World War II but even more worryingly for a potential aggressor the submarines are extremely difficult to detect. This means that if any one nation launched a surprise attack on the United Kingdom they would be guaranteed to…

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