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Volume 51 Number 16, May 8, 2021 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

UK Carrier Strike Group in its "final test ahead of deployment":

Deployment of UK Carrier Strike Group Is Not in Our Name and Must Be Opposed!

On May 1, the UK Carrier Strike Group [1], set sail from Portsmouth to take part in its "final test ahead of deployment" to "the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and Asia Pacific", later in May. The Group will take part in "Exercise Strike Warrior" in the waters off north-west Scotland which reports say will involve more than 20 warships, three submarines and 150 aircraft from 11 nations and "is a final test for the Carrier Strike Group ahead of its first operational deployment".

In a statement harking back to the days of Britain's colonial empire and "gun-boat diplomacy" but with the same sinister global and warmongering ambitions Defence Secretary Ben Wallace claimed: "When our Carrier Strike Group sets sail next month, it will be flying the flag for Global Britain - projecting our influence, signalling our power, engaging with our friends and reaffirming our commitment to addressing the security challenges of today and tomorrow ... the UK is not stepping back but sailing forth to play an active role in shaping the international system of the 21st Century."

In claiming that Britain is "projecting our influence, signalling our power" and "shaping the international system of the 21st Century" with this UK Carrier Strike Group, Ben Wallace is not speaking for the interests of the people of Britain, or anywhere else in the world. On the contrary, he is representing the bankrupt warmongering interests of those in power, the dominance of Britain's militarised economy, and in support of saving the decaying imperialist system of states that are trying to continue their domination across the globe. It is astonishing that the British government and their armed state still think that they can fool the people into thinking that this is not the same criminal and racist outlook of colonial annexation and slavery claimed in the 19th century to be bringing "civilisation and democracy" and that this was the "white man's burden", and so on.

It was the same narrative at the G7 this week in Cornwall, where Britain claimed to be "at the head the most prominent group of democratic countries", accusing China and others of being "against democracy". Yet at the same time, Britain is sending its Carrier Strike Group around the world alongside the US "projecting our influence, signalling our power", a Strike Group that has no international mandate from all the countries of the United Nations, yet claims it "represents the democratic countries". The Strike Group is clearly being used to unite hostile opposition and make threats against the sovereignty and rights of the people of Iran, Russia, China, the DPRK and many other countries, countries which have different political systems and constitutions that the imperialists declare de facto as "undemocratic" and "abusing" human rights. Of course, the Anglo-US powers declare themselves as the "democracies", yet they continue to arm and support Israel in their brutal suppression of the Palestinians, Saudi Arabia in their war in Yemen, and they continue to occupy and directly interfere in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Africa and so many countries all over the world. Even at home, the British government and state is imposing its police powers and Police and Crime Bill that is at this time trying to deny the rights of the people to speak out and demonstrate, and with it to further marginalise people from decision-making power.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, Glenmallan Scotland prior to deployment to the Pacific

Today, in the century following the foundation of the United Nations, that came after the huge tragedies of two world wars where millions died, who would believe Britain's continued gun-boat diplomacy is the way to conduct international relations in the modern world? Britain is not being threatened by any country, or any power and so how can it give itself the right to send out around the world such a strike group that contains potentially much greater lethal destructive power than any used in the two world wars [2]. Not only that, it is sending a battle fleet to Asia for the first time since the start of the Korean War in 1950. Such a hostile move by Britain, which will also give its support to NATO operations in the Black Sea, shows that the task group is intent on provocations that will dangerously increase military tensions with Russia and also, in entering the South China Sea, act as a further provocation and increase dangerous military tensions with China.

Whilst humanity faces the huge consequences to lives and livelihood of the peoples across the world from the coronavirus pandemic, and the priority is to keep people safe and produce for their needs, such exercises are not only provocations against the people of Russia, China and other countries, but provocations against the peace and well-being of all countries and peoples of the world.

The deployment of the UK Carrier Strike Group is Not In Our Name and must be opposed! People all over the world demand an end to Britain's participation in global warmongering alongside the US. In Britain, the necessity is to end Britain's participation in such warmongering and bring about an anti-war government that develops friendly and peaceful relations with all the countries and peoples of the world.

1. UK Carrier Strike Group - "Joining HMS Queen Elizabeth on her maiden deployment are destroyers HMS Diamond and Defender; frigates HMS Richmond and Kent; an Astute-class submarine in support below the waves; and Royal Fleet Auxiliary support ships RFA Fort Victoria and RFA Tidespring.
"More than 30 aircraft will also embark across the task group including F-35 jets from 617 Squadron, the Dambusters, and the US Marine Corps' VMFA-211; Wildcat helicopters from 815 Naval Air Squadron and Merlin helicopters from 820 and 845 Naval Air Squadrons. Royal Marines from 42 Commando will also deploy with the carrier.
"Dutch frigate HNLMS Evertsen and American Arleigh Burke destroyer USS The Sullivans are also part of the strike group."

2. The NATO-backed mission is being led by Britain's new £3.2 billion aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, on its first operational deployment. The carrier, the navy's largest and most powerful warship ever, was launched in October 2017 and has been involved in sea trials and operational training since. It is described by the Navy as being "able to strike from the sea at a time and place of our choosing..." One Astute-class submarine would have 38 Cruise missiles with a range of 1,000 miles and Spearfish torpedoes . Whilst it has not, and would be unlikely to be revealed that the Strike Group is going to carry nuclear weapons such a Group has that potential which would make it far more destructive than all the weapons used in both world wars.
No Royal Navy force has been mobilised on such a scale since the 1982 Falklands/Malvinas war. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it would be the "largest concentration of maritime and air power to leave the UK in a generation". The Spectator noted the significance of the Royal Navy sending a "battle fleet to Asia for the first time since the start of the Korean War in 1950".


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