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THE FUTURE OF THE MILITARY OF SCOTLAND Scotland has a proud military tradition.

Her troops have served alongside the rest of the United Kingdom during the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, the Mahdis Rebellion, both world wars, the Falklands and in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and in many more conflicts besides. Britain in general and Scotland in particular have very close ties to the military. Yet, El Presidente Salmando has an incredibly limited defence policy. Indeed, the SNP defence policy page redirects to something about Rosanna Cunningham and sniffer dogs. Currently, the Scottish military is a critical element of UK defence policy. The Royal Regiment of Scotland is the most senior line regiment of the British Army, thanks to the lineage of the Royal Scots. The battalions of this regiment are deployed in all capacities, as Light Role Infantry, Armoured Infantry and as Air Assault Infantry. However, Alex Salmonds plan involves the resurrection of the former British Army infantry regiments: Royal Scots, Black Watch, the individual Highland Regiments and so on. However, there are a few problems with that plan. Firstly, it is by no means certain that London will give an independent Scotland any military at all. Secondly, there is no guarantee that the Scottish troops in the military will want to serve in a Scottish military, since Salmond doesnt want to get involved in foreign wars and has still not said how he intends to pay them. Thirdly, if the MOD do give anything to Edinburgh, then there is the problem of equipment. 4 SCOTS are equipped with British owned APCs. 5 SCOTS are equipped with helicopters and support 16 Air Assault Brigade. Then it comes down to rifles, pistols, mortars, machine guns, grenades, helmets and socks. The MOD budget is about 2% of UK GDP and the worlds fourth highest military budget. Then there are the issues of the Scots Guards, which officially come under Guards Division and therefore are not actually part of the Scottish Division in Edinburgh. The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards are a Challenger Armoured Regiment soon to be recalled from Germany. I somehow doubt that Westminster would simply be willing to hand over a considerable investment in tanks to a new country; each costing 4.2 million: a total of 184.8 million for 44 Challengers in addition to 22 Scimitar Recce Tanks. Since the SNP are largely non interventionists and the Challengers are rarely deployed in Afghanistan anyway, then there would be no point in selling them anyway. 5 SCOTS is equipped with helicopters from AAC, largely Westland Lynx. Again, these are part of Army Air Corps as opposed to the battalion. In terms of Naval presence, HMNB Clyde is the headquarters for the UKs four Vanguard class submarines, the national nuclear deterrent, along with HMS Astute. This is the First Ministers biggest target. Therefore, the 900 or so jobs reportedly based at Faslane will go, given the fact that there are no conventional naval units north of the border. It is unlikely that the MOD will give Scotland any elements of the surface fleet. It would be a bit like giving HMS Vanguard to the Swedish, incredibly unlikely. Therefore, there will be no job security for Faslane. The only active RN site in Scotland is a SAR Fleet Air Arm base at Prestwick.

I should also add that 45 Commando is based in Arbroath. This would be a simple matter of moving it to meet up with the rest of the brigade. Then were come to the RAF. Lossiemouth is home to Tornados. However, come 2013 on the closure of Leuchars in Fife, the Typhoon squadron will also move to Lossiemouth. Again, the 67 million aircraft are not something I would imagine Westminster would be willing to hand them over for nothing. Leuchars and Kinloss will be converted to army bases for those coming back from Germany. There is even more. I havent even touched on artillery, engineers, signals, intelligence, logistics, administration or special operations. Therefore, it seems very clear to me that, on top of everything else. El Presidente Eck is going to have considerable problems with a military. He could, however, simply go for the Icelandic approach: disband the forces and call in NATO whenever gets into a spot of bother