There was a time when England ruled the 7 seas and the sun never set on the British Empire. The English armies and navy fought tens of battles from Peking to the Crimea and from Plessey to Waterloo. That seems to be a different age and painful as it is the realization has dawned on the English that they are no longer a world power and as such they have had no choice but to reduce their army and navy to a small force. How small it is can be seen that the army will number just about 80,000 andthe navy will have just one aircraft carrier. Quite a climb-down from the time the British maintained dozens of battleships and aircraft carriers.
All this was on the back of the colonies. With the colonies gone with the wind, the British are now reduced to a fifth rate military power. The present British secretary of defence Mr. Phillip Hammond has recognized this point and all credit to him for this. He hasfurther downsized the military and also reduced top post in the armed forces of the rank of commodore and equivalent by 25%. He has tried to plug a hole of 38 billion pounds in the defence budget. The realization has dawned that England has no responsibility except local defence.
I suppose the operation in Libya was the last hurrah. We may not see anything like that again in the future. The British have reduced their Gurkhas soldiers as well and overall the new doctrine does not envisage the UK armed forces operating in distant places like the China Sea or the Indian Ocean. They had a few hundred soldiers in Afghanistan, but that presence is almost negligible as the USA was the main work horse there.
The fall of England as a great military power is part of the historical cycle where China and India are the rising powers. The French are also in similar straits and no longer can operate anywhere they like as earlier.