Saturday, 3 March 2012

Not a clue, pt.3.

Further evidence that the SNP are out of their depth when it comes to defence matters: now the word on the street is that the SNP high command are thinking that NATO membership might be a good thing after all. In a poll of SNP members, the subject of NATO membership was fairly evenly split, with 52.7% in favour, so this is obviously a great source of controversy within the party. Remembering Salmond's outburst thirteen years ago, when he notoriously accused NATO of committing "an act of dubious legality, but above all one of unpardonable folly", I'm guessing there may be some entrenched positions here.

Apparently the SNP's delusions of Scotland as a Scandinavian country have led to comparisons with the military of Norway and Denmark, both, of course, NATO members. However, let's not forget that NATO membership brings certain obligations. NATO members are expected to spend at least 2% of GDP on their military. In 2009, Denmark spent $4.3bn on defence, and Norway $6.2bn. Norway and Denmark, being, like Scotland, rather small countries, both have conscription-based armed forces. Are the SNP going to tell that to the 16 and 17-year-olds they want to vote in the referendum? And of course, NATO has been instrumental in some of those "unjust wars" that Salmond keeps promising a separate Scotland would have nothing to do with.

And how exactly would the SNP's proposed nuclear-free zone sit with NATO membership? Would a separate Scotland have to retain HMNB Clyde as the price for defence co-operation with the UK?

Looks like at least some of Salmond's promises might prove to be somewhat empty, if he was ever called on to keep them.

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