Is the UK a ghost of its former glory?

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,754
Florania
The British Empire is largely gone, and the UK is a middle power in many aspects:
Its military might is almost negligible today.
It is geographically small.
It no longer has significant manufacturing capacity.
Can we talk about the status of the UK today? We have quite a few British posters here.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,385
Italy, Lago Maggiore
UK has passed from global power to regional power.

London keeps a global importance [like Paris] because of its nuclear arsenal and its permanent seat in the UN Security Council [with veto right].

At economical, geopolitical and military level, today only USA and China can be defined "global powers". Russia is at an intermediate level: more than a regional power, less than a global power ... I would call it a continental power.
 

Baldtastic

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,526
Londinium
UK has passed from global power to regional power.

London keeps a global importance [like Paris] because of its nuclear arsenal and its permanent seat in the UN Security Council [with veto right].

At economical, geopolitical and military level, today only USA and China can be defined "global powers". Russia is at an intermediate level: more than a regional power, less than a global power ... I would call it a continental power.
China has one overseas base in the horn of Africa and is currently engaged in naval exercises with Russia in the Baltic. Neither of these establish China as a global power, imo. Same with Russia, although the Russian military has been committed to defending it’s interests away from her boarders, at home the economy is still (AFAIK) a one trick pony and her soft power is extremely low.

The USA is the only global power, there are many regional powers and some regional powers with global ability; UK, Russia and France. However the semi-global powers don’t have the economic might of the US. There is an enormous gap between 1st and 2nd place.

Back to the OP, well yes, obviously. While still ranking high in economic, soft and military power the UK has a small population and land mass so will never truly shape global events and be able to commit to these over an extended period*, both military and economically. That said, our closest allies and deepest friends come from the former Empire, and those bonds aren’t changing anytime soon.

*Russia is engaged in her first deep involvements over her borders in the Ukraine and Syria. Still very early days to see the impact. Without the ‘Vietnam reports’ and ‘stop the war protests’ from the front lines, it’s hard to know exactly how committed the Russian people are to their governments cause.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,385
Italy, Lago Maggiore
I'm not sure you can say that actually. You might want to get a GPS position on where HMS Queen Elizabeth is right now and get back to me with your comments.
A couple of carriers like that don't transform a regional power into a global power. They make a regional power able to project its force [and it was time for the Royal Navy to have carriers again ...].
 
Jul 2010
1,374
N/A
A couple of carriers like that don't transform a regional power into a global power. They make a regional power able to project its force [and it was time for the Royal Navy to have carriers again ...].
They never have not had a carrier in recent history, so your comment is misguided at best already. The Invincible class was operating until 2016. While Britain is weaker than what it has been previously it is still a power that can project itself globally and on the weight of training strength of their soldiers I'd be pretty certain they could give most countries more than a black eye. They are also a nuclear power also, so there are more reasons for your comments to be misguided.

When we talk of regional powers we talk of smaller countries such as Australia which is regional soft and hard power in the Asia Pacific region, and in South East Asia, countries like Japan also come to mind.

The technological gap between something like the United Kingdom and Australia is large. This is another reason why you're making nonsense comments.
 

funakison

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,381
Between a rock and a hard place
Yes the days of empire are over, and they are not coming back. It is high time both the government and the British people removed their rose tinted spectacles and saw things the way they really are. We are a smal island nation with a military budget and economic clout that is dwarfed by those on the top table and many emerging regional powers.
We have influence that comes from being a nuclear power and permenant member of the security council with the ability to veto, but that power comes at a price. We need 'friends` to back our claim to remain at the top table, but those favours do not come free and every time our American allies shout jump the prime minister asks 'How High.'
 
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AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,385
Italy, Lago Maggiore
HMS Ark Royal had decommissioned in 2011

They never have not had a carrier in recent history, so your comment is misguided at best already. The Invincible class was operating until 2016. While Britain is weaker than what it has been previously it is still a power that can project itself globally and on the weight of training strength of their soldiers I'd be pretty certain they could give most countries more than a black eye. They are also a nuclear power also, so there are more reasons for your comments to be misguided.

When we talk of regional powers we talk of smaller countries such as Australia which is regional soft and hard power in the Asia Pacific region, and in South East Asia, countries like Japan also come to mind.

The technological gap between something like the United Kingdom and Australia is large. This is another reason why you're making nonsense comments.
What I know [may be in Italy we've got incomplete information about the RN] is that the HMS Ark Royal has served as last operative carrier [and its last voyage has been followed by Discovery ... I watched that series]. It was decommissioned in 2011 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Ark_Royal_(R07).

This said, what makes a global power is a global economy able to sustain it. In other words, you need to have the money to build and to sustain your global power.

The first ingredient is a very huge economy.