2007 - 2021

Defence and Foreign Policy in an Independent Scotland

In 1985 Thatcher signed off theAl-Yamamah arms deal between Britain and Saudi Arabia worth an estimated £20 billion. In 2008 JosephStiglitz published details of the worlds first 3 Trillion Dollar War, Iraq.
Today Britain is being led back into the Iraq conflict because of the shambles it has created.
The cost of Britain’s interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan was estimated in  a report published earlier this year to have reached £30bn – or £1000 for every taxpayer in the country, according to the Royal United Services Institute this year. 
It reported that “there is no longer any serious disagreement” that Britain’s role in the Iraq war served to channel and increase the radicalisation of young Muslims in the UK.”


As we prepare to go back into Iraq, we have to ask ourselves, why Britain can’t defend you anymore?
Today a new report by Dr. John MacDonald, Director of the independent think tank Scottish Global Forum, and Dr. Norrie MacQueen, author of a number of books on the UN and peacekeeping, will argue that a Scottish Defence Force could prioritise ‘defending the perimeter’ of Scotland’s coastal line for less money and with greater security for Scotland’s people than remaining within the UK’s current Defence plans.


The report, titled ‘Defence and Foreign Policy in an Independent Scotland’, also proposes that an Independent Scotland could diverge from the UK on a variety of security issues, including its role within the UN, its approach towards international peacekeeping operations, and its approach towards Nuclear Weapons. All of this could lead to an independent Scotland facing ‘a much reduced exposure to recognized security threats such as transnational terrorism’.


Those in attendance and available for comment and questions will include: the co-author of the paper and Director of the Scottish Global Forum Dr. John MacDonald, Robin McAlpine Director of the Common Weal, Isobel Lindsay Vice-Chair of Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (SCND), John Ainslie Co-ordinator of SCND, Jonathon Shafi co-founder Radical Independence Campaign.


This is part of the daily briefings at the CCA in Sauchiehall Street Glasgow at 11 am every morning for the #allyes campaigns group.


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  1. Wish I could be at the conference. At least some of us in England who share your critique of Westminster’s foreign policy atrocities are excited about having an iScotland providing an alternative take on our doorstep.

    Far from being an isolated voice in the world without the so-called “strength” of the UK, I think many nations will be interested in the Scottish “take” because you know the Westminster system so well. If we have to talk in terms of power and influence on the world stage, I think it will come to an iScotland rather than you having to seek it out or “exert” it.

    1. Charles MacDicken says:

      God Bless Scotland! Create your own Declaration of Independence. And tell the anglo-saxons to f off!
      Then time for Scot’s to clean house! And arm all Christians ONLY! And fight like your Celtic Warrior Ancestors of Yore! Semper Fi!

      1. Steve Connolly says:

        It was the Normans, not the Anglo-Saxons, who caused all the problems in these islands. Go read some history, you xenophobic kiddie-fiddler. By the way, quite a few English people live in Scotland, and are planning to vote yes.

        1. Andy Nimmo says:

          There’s always one ignorant buffoon.
          Better to ignore just in case it’s a Better Together plant. Using that tone and language is something that side are more proficient at

  2. The UK is still supporting the corrupt, misogynist, brutal crime family that runs Saudi Arabia and exports extremist violence around the region and beyond. The UK and US made a Faustian pact that pump-primes their arms industries and oil companies at the price of violent repression and terror across swathes of the Middle East. It is time to say not in our name, and to start to play a small part in supporting peace, human rights and integrity.

    1. tartanfever says:

      Andrew, I’d be happy to have that last sentence of yours enshrined into a new Scottish constitution.

  3. Iain Hill says:

    Let’s use Cameron’s desperation to intervene in Iraq as a means of garnering more Yes votes.

    1. Andy Nimmo says:

      Be careful what you wish for, UK Governments have a track record of using just such tactics, believing that nothing unites a nation quite like a ‘just’ war. Worked with the Falklands when the Tories under Thatcher were miles behind in the polls weeks before but zoomed up so fast.

  4. Peter A Bell says:

    It would have been good to have a link to the report.

  5. picpac67 says:

    Just a rider to this. All “transnational terrorism” is state-sponsored terrorism and the primary states sponsoring it, in addition to Saudi Arabia (which is in any case an agent of western interests), are the US, UK and Israel. They are the real transnational terrorists who routinely orchestrate false-flag incidents to perpetuate the myth of large-scale Islamic jihadism. The ‘war on terror’ was always a scam.

  6. Clootie says:

    Nations should not act without a UN mandate.

    America acts and no one speaks to condemn. However even worse that the UK acts to support the USA without challenge.

    I want an Independent Scotland which develops the internal concept of fairness into an international standard. As a nation we review each case on it’s merits and act only when the UN approves.

    A few people make fortunes from war and the threat of war. These same people have excessive influence on Western governments. These people are the real cause of misery in the world.

  7. Andy Nimmo says:

    About 6 months or so before events escalated into the onset of the Iraq war, I remember, on a flight from Amsterdam, talking to a US guy who scared the s**t out of me.
    We were discussing the Middle East situation at the time and he quite candidly stated that “there would be an invasion of the region imminent, as the ‘boys’ who pay-rolled Bush’s campaign were looking for payback”. He also told me that he wouldn’t put it past the CIA Black Ops crowd to bribe a dictator to start a phoney incursion.
    Conspiracy Theory?
    When you look at how the contracts were awarded for the rebuilding of devastated Iraq, you have to go “Hmmm”

    1. Seamus MacNeacail says:

      This same fictitious US guy probably also believed Bush brought down the World Trade Center Towers just to go to war in Iraq to get their oil. Just look at how the US has taken over the Iraq oil resources. NOT!

      Wait! Are you saying the CIA bribed Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait so the US led Coalition could attack him and drive him back to Iraq then leave him alone? Then 8 years later the CIA blew up the WTC Towers so the US could form another coalition to go back to Iraq and remove him? And this was all concocted and orchestrated in the background by the UK and US military-industrial complex, right?

      What is the word for someone who has lost touch with reality? Paranoia?

  8. bringiton says:

    The Ministry of “Defence” used to be known as the War Office.
    We don’t need aircraft carriers or USA controlled Trident submarines to defend the British Isles and their sole function is to make war on behalf of the City of London and it’s friends in the USA.
    The cost to defend our islands would be a fraction of the current spend if the MoD stuck to a defensive role.
    England will realise this when they are no longer the UK.

    1. Charles MacDicken says:

      Leave the demise of the empire to the muslim’s you sap’s, liberal commies!

    2. Dean Richardson says:

      The English people realised this a long time ago. At least, the switched-on ones did. The problem is the British ruling classes. Even if the Divided Kingdom broke into its constituent nations, we would probably need decades for the Westminster/Whitehall village to lose its British imperial instincts.

  9. Charles MacDicken says:

    I see that you Subject don’t have !st Amendment, Right to FREE Speech!

  10. thomcross says:

    Had this published in the herald last week

    Iraq is a crippled state created and instigated by the misguided Bush/Blair intervention that has produced far greater humanitarian calamities post invasion than even under Saddam. The current incredible chaos and human carnage facing much of Iraq has to be blamed undeniably on two principal sets of forces- the governments in Washington and London and the radical Muslim (Jihadist) response to that intervention.
    The vote to invade Iraq was supported by all the main unionist parties (but opposed by the SNP and the Greens out of parliament). Mr Darling was one of over 50 Scottish unionist MPs who voted for the invasion of Iraq.
    There are other recent UK foreign foul-ups in Libya, Afghanistan, Egypt and in Mr Tony Blair’s absolute failure as a peace-maker in the Gaza-Israel war.
    The British state has not yet come to the realization that the world has moved on in the post-colonial/post-imperial realities of a new world order in which the UK can only play a walk-on role.
    Scotland as a new state would offer an alternative international voice free from the bellicose bombast of Westminster.
    For me, the idea of a Scotland released from ancient imperial attitudes and actions, with a fresh approach to international relations based on trade and humane development policies is an attractive rationale for coming to a decision in September.

  11. Seamus MacNeacail says:

    How smug some of us Brits sound being so liberal and progressive in our tolerance and acceptance of the Islamic jihad terrorists. Blaming our actions for their savage and barbaric behavior. Convincing ourselves that they would have been peaceful and playful world citizens if only we have left them alone to murder and kill each other in their own countries. That Sharia Law is none of our business if they want to maim and stone women to death for any imagined transgression. Unfortunately too, that the ingrained, historic European Antisemitism magically seeps out of the cracks of supposedly “tolerant liberal socialism”.

    I will be interested in what many of you clueless Islamic jihad “ignore-ors / sympathizers / supporters” will say as your final words before your head is removed in the “inholy” name of Allah. Would you have been the same “head in the sand” Brits you thought Neville Chamberlain had insured “peace in our time” with the stupid and naive capitulation to Hilter?

    Wake up! There is a Islamic jihad to establish a world wide Caliphate. Do not think what is happening in the Middle East is not about you because you don’t oppose it or think it is not true. They will not ask your political philosophy before they decapitate you. That you are an infidel is all that they care about even if you are not actively religious. If you are agnostic or atheistic, then that is even worse as far as they are concerned. If you are LGBT, then you won’t have a chance to survive.

    We have a choice now. Fight and destroy them there now or try to fight them in our streets and homes later. Either way we WILL have to fight them, better sooner than later when they will stronger and more numerous. The longer we wait the less chance we will be able to destroy this human social cancer.

    They have been indoctrinating their children for generations that the infidels in the West are devils and must be destroyed no matter what it takes or how long it takes. They WANT to die while killing us. So we must help them die BEFORE they kill us.

    Remember the prophetic words when a naive diplomat asked a Islamic jihad cleric what “we (the West)” could do or give them or what they wanted to stop their terrorism”. The cleric looked the diplomat straight in the eyes and replied plainly and coldly: “there is nothing you can do or give us, all we want is you all DEAD!”

    1. Andy Nimmo says:

      Wait a moment. Is this not the same group that only a few short months ago were regaled as heroic freedom fighters trying to overthrow the despotic tyrant in Syria.
      My how quickly things change,
      I keep on getting things wrong D’uh
      I also believed that this ‘United Kingdom’ was a humane. tolerant country that valued all her citizens.
      God I really would be illiterate if only I knew what it meant

      1. Seamus MacNeacail says:

        No this is the group that was fighting both the Syrian Govt and the Syrian “freedom” dictator coup revolutionist group. This is the group that was beheading, murdering, maiming, raping and abducting both Muslims and Christians that did not conform to their perverted cult of Islam. This is the group that Obama was arming through Benghazi when they decided to try to pseudo-capture the American Ambassador for ransom money but no one let the Consulate defenders in on the Obama/Clinton subterfuge.

        One must really try to keep up with the news. It may help to stay away from the liberal newspapers since they can’t distinguish between the “good” guys or the “bad” guys unless it is the Palestinians launching over 4000 rockets against the Israelis and then it is clearly the Israelis trying to defend themselves that are the bad guys in their antisemitic view of the world.

        1. Andy Nimmo says:

          Good answer. Just a couple of caveats.
          1. Two wrongs don’t make a right and where is the so called Peace Envoy to be found. Too busy in his ‘counting house’ counting his 30 million raked in I suppose.
          2. I refuse to buy any newspapers either ‘liberal’ or neoliberal’ although it’s becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between them.
          I also have refrained from commenting on the internment of a whole country because I’m not qualified enough.
          Judging by your blind determination to fail to see that there are two sides to Israel and Gaza I suspect neither are you.
          Can we just agree to disagree on everything apart from the fact that the murder and atrocities carried out on innocent civilians is repugnant and obscene regardless of the perpetrator.
          Seemples tsk

          1. Seamus MacNeacail says:


  12. Joseph says:

    I agree that the Scottish people should vote “YES”, but the defense plan is “don’t poke the wasp hive”? That might work, as long as the wasps stay put, but they rarely do.

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