The British Conservative Party’s defense policy remains frozen in a time warp as we head toward a general election in the United Kingdom this spring. The party is opposed to the European Reaction Force on the grounds that it undermines NATO and the alliance with America. For a party that has been in opposition, it seems to have done very little fundamental thinking about defense and foreign policy. It has never questioned the purpose of NATO in the way that Srdja Trifkovic did in “NATO, R.I.P.” (The American Interest, January), and the concept of Britain having its own independent defense and foreign policy free of supranational constraints seems alien to it. When I attended the Conservative Party conference fringe meeting on defense last October, the emphasis was very much on the quality of equipment available to the Armed Forces and Labour’s failures in this area. There was no attempt to question what functions the Armed Forces should perform in the post-Cold War world, what our national interests should be in defense and foreign policy, what conflicts our nation might encounter —and whether we really should be involved in such conflicts, nor whether we should continue membership in the United Nations or NATO. I was told by one delegate that NATO was necessary because we may have to suppress a neo-Nazi uprising in Germany!

The fringe meeting on foreign policy was just as disheartening. The Conservative Party remains committed to foreign aid and maintaining the Department for International Development. We also still seem to think that the United Nations can be made to work better, despite the thoroughly subversive role it has exercised in world affairs since 1945.

I would urge Dr. Trifkovic not to be too enthusiastic about any European Reaction Force, because its eventual aim is to be the nucleus of a European Army underpinning a country called “Europe.” Conservatives should strive for the abolition of NATO and the United Nations, and the consequent restoration of independent national control of defense and foreign policy for all nations.

        —Allan Robertson
London, England