Towards a Scottish Strategic Defence Review

by Elias Blum

If Scotland were independent, it would need its own navy. But what sort of Navy would it need?

Looking at countries with similar size, population, wealth and situation:

  • Option A (‘Irish Navy’) basically a coast guard with very limited capability beyond offshore patrol / fishery protection duties.
  • Option B: (‘Norwegian Navy’), limited reach but heavy punch; bristling with missile-armed attack boats to keep the Russians out of the North Sea.
  • Option C: (‘New Zealand Navy’), limited punch but some ‘blue water’ reach, including some heavy lift and littoral warfare capability.

Of course, materiel requirements stem from strategic policy priorities. So perhaps the first step towards an independent Scottish Navy would be to conduct a Scottish Strategic Defence Review, in an attempt to build a well-informed and forward-looking cross-party political consensus on national defence priorities in the medium term.

Someone, somewhere, should be doing this thinking.