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Wasted warships

The world changed after the cold war, but the Royal Navy stayed the same. After 11 years' service, I feel I have no choice but to leave

By Lewis Page   February 2004

Eleven years ago, I joined the Royal Navy as an officer cadet. It was 1993, and the Soviet threat was already yesterday’s news. Repercussions of the 1991 war with Iraq were still echoing around the world. I assumed that the navy would be responding to the new geopolitical reality. Exciting times, I thought; change was afoot. How very green I was.

At that time, the defining scenario around which Britain’s defence had been built was that of a suddenly hot cold war: a Warsaw Pact attack on the European Nato allies, using, at least initially, conventional weapons. Until 1989, the…

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