Battle joined on 
defence strategy 
come independence

SOME time ago, I read the section on defence in the Scottish Government’s White Paper and could hardly believe it wasn’t meant as an amusing diversion, so it is with some satisfaction to me that a real expert, General Richard Shirreff, has now responded (News, 31 August).

General Shirreff’s response has of course been rebutted by that other great defence expert, Angus Robertson. Mr Robertson again trots out the weary “wasting tens of billions of pounds on Trident nuclear weapons”. I am almost fed up of pointing out that the net cost to Scotland of Trident is virtually zero.

Again he deplores that it is a weapons system we cannot use. Isn’t this the whole point of it? It is our surest guarantee of “Wha daur meddle wi’ me”.

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Again we may recall that a short time ago Mr Robertson was very anti-Nato but has now changed his tune in the hope of purchasing a few votes.

Would you feel comfortable with such a leader of our defence forces?

Dr A McCormick, Dumfries

IT WOULD suit me fine to stay out of Nato, but come on, General, are you seriously saying that Nato would want to see a big hole opened up in its north-east Atlantic flank that could let the Russians in? Remember, the Union was forged in 1707 not out of charity for Darien, but to shut the swinging barn back door that threatened to let the French in. More likely Nato would try and stop us leaving than sending us to the back of the queue.

Alastair McIntosh, via email

BEING from the British military, General Shirreff may well know all about amateurish plans. Where did we hear “it will all be over within weeks” before? That’s right, every conflict we ever blundered our way into. The British military has been allowed by the establishment – of which General Shirreff is part – to become mercenaries paid by the taxpayer to protect the private interests of large oil companies. Our military endeavours have led to the destabilisation of the Middle East, the creation of Isis, and even provided Isis with a whole load of military equipment by leaving it in the hands of poorly trained and supported Iraqis.

Susan Foster, via email