Britain’s Sad Decline

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To say that this is a negative development for Western security would be putting it mildly. The Free World is losing one of only two countries that had any real ability to generate effective combat power at long distances. As useful as a battle group from Canada or Australia might be, there are still things that only a true global military power can do, and while much smaller than the United States, Britain had that ability. It didn’t just join coalitions, it could lead them, as it did when it commanded coalition troops in the south of Iraq after the 2003 invasion. At the height of its commitment there, soon after the initial invasion, 46,000 British troops were fighting in Iraq, a truly enormous effort.

Going forward, Britain will only be able to be part of a team, whether under the flag of NATO, the European Union or United Nations. That will leave Britain’s remaining military capability at the mercy at the slow pace of international diplomacy. As has been shown repeatedly, by the time these organizations are ready to commit to a military operation, the crisis has either passed or been dealt with by a country capable of acting alone or with a few select partners… like Britain used to be. (A recent example would be the virtual flood of U.S. and Canadian soldiers that essentially took over Haiti after the devastating earthquake there last January.)

Or perhaps it will continue to fight, along with the other smaller English-speaking powers and motivated allies such as Poland and the Netherlands, under overall American command. Such is likely how Britain will fight future wars, while committing itself to collective European security through the EU and international humanitarian relief through the UN. That raises the question of how much additional burden the United States could possibly take on. Today, with enormous numbers of troops still in Iraq, a hot war in Afghanistan and tension in Korea, the U.S. military is stretched thin. This is a very difficult time for the United States to lose its most powerful ally.

But there are lessons here for Washington. The American economy is in no better shape than Britain’s, and a fiscal reckoning is in its future, as well. And yet America continues to rush towards a fiscal cliff at maximum speed. So while the loss of British military strength will hurt the United States in the short term, if Americans take the appropriate lessons from the fall of Britain from the top-tier of global powerhouses and begin to get their own financial house in order, future cuts that could gut America’s military might yet be avoided. If that’s the case, then the sad decline Britain, one of the greatest nations the world has ever known, will not be in vain. It would be instead a final sacrifice to help prop up the very Western world that Britain created.

Matt Gurney is an editor at the National Post, a Canadian national newspaper, and writes and speaks on military and geopolitical issues. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @mattgurney.

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  • Chezwick_Mac

    I swear I believe Churchill's famous speech in 1940…"we will fight on the beeches, in the fields, in the towns,…we shall NEVER SURRENDER"…was psychological warfare that was so effective it compelled Hitler to look for what he thought was easier quarry (Stalin had decimated the Soviet officer corps with his purges in 1937-38).
    Leadership is so pivotal, no matter the era. Where is today's Churchill?

    • Les

      I wish I knew, mate,! Our whole country is obliterated by the middle left its an absolute disgrace, my Nan turns 80 in May and grew up in london during the blitz and is disgusted by the state of the country, especially because of the state of immigration and level of young people claiming benefits, I am sadenned to read this report it really hits home the state of affairs in our once great country and i worry that there is no fighting spirit left….

      • PhillipGaley

        It too bad that, so few make the connection between religious consciousness and general well-being in individual and national life, . . .

    • Lady_Dr

      The first thing the socialist do is get rid of history, and then of old people (the ones that remember). Or they tie the old to the "benefits" they receive from the state. Then they "free" the women so they are not at home or available to teach the young. After all these years there must be a VERY small pool of people who might possibly have the leadership, courage, and ideas necessary to come even close to Churchill.

      In the USA we do like what we see of Daniel Hannan – although for the life of me I don't quite understand why he is in the European Parliment – unless it is part of a plan to learn from the inside before saying to the British STOP. And LET'S GET OUT. Being a part of it might give him the credentials to do that – I don't know. But I do know that you're doing the right thing in cutting back on these entitlements.

    • Kate Powell



  • Alexander Gofen

    The most significant factor of the decline was not even mentioned by the author! It is the loss of will to win or even to survive! A few years ago British navies were captured and humiliated by Iranians – and nothing happened to Iran! And indeed, nothing happened to Mecca and Medina after the 9/11…

    Which possible "project of power to outside world" is in the author's mind, if the Islamic enemy is let in and allowed to freely undermine from within the very foundations of the host nations such as Britain, European Union, and America? This is where the decline begins and ends…

    • coyote3

      British ship captured???? That's nothing, the Iran invaded the United States of America. Attacked U.S. soil and citizens, and nothing happened.

  • findalis

    If the government of Great Britain would get rid of their idiotic state welfare program, kick those who can work off, get rid of all the immigrants on the dole and council housing, they would be able to balance their budget, and stimulate their economy.

  • Lady_Dr

    Thanks Findalis. I would add to your list they need to get behind Israel. In the history of the world every nation and people (Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, Roman, Spain, Germany, Britain) which has turned against the Jews and Israel has fallen. Great Britain lost its greatness in 1948 when it turned against the formation of Israel. America has, until recently, supported Israel. There is a clear principle in world history: those that bless the Jews are blessed, those that curse the Jews are cursed.

    • Friendl of Israel

      Lady_D….Didn't the decline of the British Empire first start in the 1920 when they took land promised to Israel and made the state of Jordan out of it. Also all of the road blocks that they put up to Jewish immigration to the land of Israel from the 1920's on. Even when the area now Jordan was part of the mandate, Jewish settlement there was forbidden if I remember correctly. I agree the future of the free world depends on their support of Israel and getting down on their knees repenting and begging for mercy from the G-d of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.

      • Lady_Dr

        You are absolutely right. Hve a look at

        I cannot find it offhand, but I believe there were some "settlements" east of the Jordan River at one time.

        Actually the decline would have begun earlier when the British began abandoning G-d, which may have been why they lost a generation of young men in WWI and then lost their confidence and at the same time began down the road to socialism. Socialism is tyranny and never compatible with freedom or with a G-d fearing people.

  • flaedo

    Socialism and PC are destroying Britain, the socialism and PC is everywhere throughout the West now

  • tagalog

    Sadly, like much of the rest of the free world, Great Britain seems to be relying on the United States for the military power necessary for the Western democracies to resist the rising tide of various kinds and stripes of totalitarianism. Equally sadly, the United States appears to be turning itself into a hollow shell, a paper tiger. Hopefully that trend can be stopped when we finally rid ourselves of President Obama.

    Great Britain could use another Margaret Thatcher. It's not too late for them, either.

  • rbla

    Forty years ago another British statesman, Enoch Powell, warned what would happen to Britain if it proceeded with its policy of bringing in massive numbers of non Western immigrants. This has been one of the most important factors underlying this sad decline.

    • PhillipGaley

      Oh! Gosh, but they despised Enoch Powell; and the still, the historians turn from him; the Beatles wrote and performed against Enoch Powell.
      As often appears, large quadrants will turn out to parade the streets and shout against any item of truth, . . . maybe, it really is, just as Caesar said: "All in the world that, maintenance of the toiling masses requires is that, they be given free bread and sports events.", . . .

  • Doug

    In other words, the Brits will not be able to oppose the Argentinians if they decide to go try to take the Falklands. Funny how Hillary Clinton stuck her foot in her mouth about that part of the world not long ago. I think I read somewhere a while back that the sperm count among British men (I mean ethnic Brits…) had declined precipitously in recent years, and with what, 20-30% of the men homosexuals, what would we expect?

  • emmaliza

    The ideals which made America a free and prosperous land of opportunity for over 200 years came from England. No writer in any language has come close to Shakespeare's personifying human nature in all its frailties. Our concepts of the rule of law and our common law both came from England, and one only has to read about Latin American history and governance to treasure our inheritance. Hopefully, England and the U.S. will turn this around and restore fiscal sanity, because we are the last, best hope for individual freedom.

  • Almarri

    Its all so sad it makes me want to weep. Our great mistake, though not evident at the time, was to join the European Union. We now have to agree to any stupid law that they introduce. Most important among these is that of 'Human Rights'. A few examples of this is a case where a police woman was murdered whilst trying to intervene in a robbery in Bradford. The murderer was an illegal immigrant who had claimed his human rights would be violated if he was deported to his country of origin – Somalia – because he was under a death threat. He escaped Britain after the robbery, hiding under a burqa to guess where – yes Somalia! Fortunately he was eventually captured and got 35 years.

  • Almarri

    Further to my earlier post: In another instance a 15 year old youth stabbed to death a school teacher who tried to intervene is a fight outside a school in 1995. The youth eventual got a life sentence but when the government tried to have him deported to Italy after completion of his sentence. They were told this would breach his human rights. He was released on licence earlier this year and proceeded to commit further crimes and is back in jail. These are not isolated cases. It just enrages me. As far al Islam is concerned we should make it quite plain that should Muslims be responsible for any further outrages like the twin towers or indeed a nuclear attack (from Iran??) on western targets, then all their holy cities will be given the Hiromshima treatment!!

  • BS77

    what is the matter with my posts?

  • coyote3

    I agree with the author, but let's not get too moist over Great Britain. Indeed, they are our ally, but not necessarily our friend. Indeed, they are our oldest enemy, and my ancestors from Spain scalped British soldiers for fun, but mostly for profit. They are our ally under the present circumstances, but that might not always be true.

    • AlmarrI

      You are a knob head!

  • guest

    How much do they spend on Muslim welfare? How much policing them? How much in the courts? Islam is an expensive luxury they cannot afford.

  • Almarri

    Finally some Americans have acknowledged the British Empire's achievements. Admittedly it made many blunders and mistakes. The biggest being with the 13 colonies. After the 7 years war- 1756 -1763 (known as the French and Indian Wars to the Americans) and forgetting the tax issues, had Britain decided that the colonies should not be confinded to land east of the appalacians and basically said 'go west and multiply' and allowed them to run their own affairs, then the revolutionary war might not have happened.

  • Almarrri

    In the mid 1830's a Durham report in respect to Canada, drew the conclusion that the Americans had been right and in consequence the Canadians were allowed to develop in their own way without undue interference from Britain. The same policy was basically followed in Australia. Britain had learned its leason.

  • Almarri

    My view is that in 1945 after Britain had sacrificied its empire to defeating two other empires more violent and repressive. It was like an exhausted 200 metre relay runner. It now handed over the batton to the USA who basically held the same values and relied on them to carry on with the quest for a world with respect for law and democratic values. If USA has to sacrifice itself in the face of Islamic domination as Britain did in the face of German and Japanese facism then a no more noble cause will have been served. I sincerely hope this will not happen.

  • SeaMystic


    The Strangulation of our Democracies Worldwide, is being affected by the following process of creating Currency in Debt, for Governments Needs.

    The main point of this chapter on currency creation was also a great concern for the Original Boston Tea Party activists.

    The following is info on how the National Debt Process was created, chapter 2 of 3 of Guardians of Democracy:

    Creation of the Bank of England:

    Our current banking system and method of issuing currency is the greatest manipulation and method of enslavement devised in our material world. This process was patterned on procedures developed in banks in Amsterdam and Hamburg, but also found in ancient Babylon. Later, English rulers and merchants used these same processes in creating the Bank of England in 1694. In addition, there was a philosophy introduced with the purpose of a debt in perpetuity for the citizens of England. A national debt that citizens are never able to be pay off.

    There are many individuals who focus on blaming the Jewish banking powers as the

  • SeaMystic


    There are many individuals who focus on blaming the Jewish banking powers as the sole creators of currency creation and usury. No doubt a Jewish element had used these practices but they were not involved in creating the Bank of England. I consider this blaming of Jewish bankers, a red herring to divert culpability from the Crown of England in creating and sustaining these processes during the last three centuries. These processes have now expanded World Wide.

    Let us review some of the facts involved in the creation of The Bank of England:

  • SeaMystic

    The promoters had in mind a bank of issue which involved creating their own currency. They had long known that the most profitable source of income to the Goldsmith-Bankers were in their own “notes”, which passed from hand to hand in the limited area where they were recognized. It would greatly enhance profits for a bank, if they could issue notes which would be recognized and accepted over an area far wider than any that the goldsmiths could command.

    The Committee of the House of Commons, which grasped the implications, rejected Paterson’s scheme. These far-reaching and historic proposals were later deliberately placed, with obscure wording, at the end of an ordinary finance bill. The bill related to taxes on liquor and ale and also custom duties. This process of concealing the intent of the bill contributed to its passing. Later, this underhanded process of introducing banking legislation has appeared throughout the world.

  • SeaMystic

    The Act received the Royal Assent on 25th April 1694. Opponents of the Bank, in Privy Council, tried to get the granting of the commission postponed. Their attempt was stopped by the Queen, under specific orders of King William III, who was away on a military campaign. On the 15th of June, a commission was issued under the great seal, to which was attached a draft of the proposed Charter. Sir William Ashurst, the Lord Mayor, and other city merchants were named as commissioners.

    The corporate books were opened at Mercers Chapell on June 21st. The Book of Subscriptions first shows a sum of 10,000 pounds in the names of the King and Queen, followed by 1,267 individual shareholders. In all, there were 11 contributors of the permitted maximum amount of 10,000 pounds.

  • SeaMystic

    They were the Earl of Portland, 6 individuals described only as Esquires, James de la Brettoniere of London, William Brownlowe of Woodcott, Surrey, Thomas Howard of Westminster, Thomas Mulsoe of the Middle Temple, Anthony Humberstone and Anthony Parsons (both of London). The remaining 4 subscribers of the maximum amount allowed were elected members of the first court of directors. They were Sir John Houblon and his brother Abraham, Theodore Janssen and Sir William Scawen.

    The Governors and Directors were to be chosen each year between March 25 and April 25, by those shareholders who held no less than 500 pounds in stock. 633 shareholders were qualified to vote and this was done in Mercers Hall on Tuesday July 5th, 1694 at 8 a.m.. From this vote, the first Court of Directors was elected. The names inscribed in the Charter are:

  • SeaMystic


    Sir John Houblon (Governor)
    Michael Godfrey (Deputy Governor)

    Sir John Huband BT Sir James Houblon KT
    Sir William Gore KT Sir William Scawen KT
    Sir Henry Furnese KT Sir Thomas Abney KT
    Sir William Hedges KT Brook Bridges
    James Bateman George Boddington

  • SeaMystic

    Edward Clarke James Denew
    Thomas Goddard Abraham Houblon
    Gilbert Heathcote Theodore Janssen
    John Lordell Samuel Lethieullier
    William Paterson Robert Rathworth
    John Smith Obadiah Sedgewick
    Nathaniel Tench John Ward

    The Charter was sealed at Powis House, Lincoln Inn Fields by Sir John Somers, Keeper of the Seal on July 27th.

  • Eddie

    If you are inscensed over the british/scottish "compassion" for the bomber of Pan Am 103, and the british "passion" for libyan oil contracts, check out…

  • Kate Powell


  • Protagonizzle

    Rofl. Anyone seriously implying that UKs colonialism was a good thing and its demise is something to be mourned has clearly left the domain of the sane.