Siol nan Gaidheal



A Scottish Defence Force, a Scottish Army, a Scottish Navy, a Scottish Air Command.....the terms may be unfamiliar, they may provoke predictable yet intellectually puerile scorn from the apologists of Union, they may even sit uneasily on the consciences of those who for whatever naive reason, see Scottish independence as somehow synonymous with multilateral disarmament and global peace, they are however nothing other than the grindingly normal appellations for those aspects of the independent State apparatus destined to guarantee our national sovereignty, freedom of action and physical security. Outside these more obvious yet fundamental parameters, the SDF is a badge of nationality itself, a statement of statehood, a statement of representative national intent. On the point of independence, when full national sovereignty is restored, Scotland ceases to rely on and answer to the geopolitical and geostrategic dictates of our erstwhile “partners in Union” as our most consummate historic enemies have had the temerity to call themselves of late. What geopolitical context therefore, will the re-emerged Scottish State be faced with and what will its renascent military priorities be?

It is perhaps useful at this juncture to briefly highlight the potential threats to the physical, institutional and economic well-being of the Scottish Nation post-independence. In an increasingly interdependent yet volatile world, Scotland must stand firm in the defence of its collective welfare, acting in the national interest first and following the clearly delineated principles of sovereignty and representative government contained in a written and, if necessary, amendable constitution.

The governance and therefore defence of Scotland is a function of the national (ethnic and cultural) community of Scots and of this historically and institutionally constituted people alone. It is not at the disposal of nor can it be ceded to persons or institutions furth of our country, no matter what our connections or associations may be with those bodies. Siol nan Gaidheal would strongly resist any breach of this fundamental tenet of Scottish sovereignty and would therefore caution any government in which we held a stake against the dilution of our strategic military independence.

The armed conflicts of the future, those which will undermine the largely American-sponsored fantasies of a “new world order” will take many forms and it will be incumbent on the government of the future independent Scotland to respond appropriately to any threats in the making. The first of these hypothetical threats will certainly conform to the “regional conflict” model which has been the norm throughout the Cold War and the post-communist period of today’s world. This possible, though as yet unspoken threat, may well come from the regional power to which - before independence - we were attached, namely the rump United Kingdom or England. This unpalatable yet hardly revolutionary hypothesis is based on the largely self-evident reticence that the former imperial power will show in the transitional period of post-independence negotiation, redeployment and realignment of economic and strategic assets.

Scots should be prepared for any eventuality, however unlikely, in a world where international scrutiny and intervention have been known to defuse and yet in turn heighten conflicts. The military threat posed by a hostile, gung-ho English government intent on retrieving North Sea oil fields without which the economy of their country might implode, is one for which an independent SDF must be prepared, however unlikely the scenario may seem to some at the present time. The defence of our national territory and maritime zones, on which there can be NO negotiation regarding putative English claims, is a fundamental task which Scotland must not fail to take up. Scottish sovereign territory as currently defined by Siol nan Gaidheal is all the land subject to and within the jurisdiction of the statutes and competence of Scots Law. This covers our maritime zone and airspace in equal measure. Scottish national territory encompasses the Orkney and Shetland archipelagoes as well as all western island groups off the Atlantic seaboard, including St. Kilda and Rockall. The issue of Berwick-upon-Tweed and restitution of Scottish land north of the natural river border at Berwick is one which must be addressed with determination when negotiations on oil and gas field allotment begin with England.

It is our contention that any conflict with England, however reduced in scale, will be largely based on that country’s economic imperatives, its panic at subsequent loss of revenues to its exchequer and the attendant fatuous claims to Scottish assets. No comparable threat from other regional neighbours exists within current geostrategic configurations. Norway, Iceland and Denmark (Faeroe Islands) have, irrespective of NATO and the Western European Alliance, very little to fear from and indeed quarrel with Scotland, save perhaps in the still occasionally contentious areas of fishing rights and pollution controls for which military conflict would seem excessive, given the current collaboration on such transnational issues.

This type of situation may of course change in the future and therefore perennial vigilance should, as ever, be the order of the day. Putative threats from our ethnic brothers in Ireland and indeed from any independent Wales can be discounted as negligible. This, as stated before, is realistically not the case with a country of 50 million people such as England with its history of acquisitive designs on its neighbours, continental or insular. In a global economy whose resource base is constantly being eroded by its own developmental impetus, regional powers with at best a grudging acceptance of international realities of collaborative co-existence, could well revert to type, seeking fresh colonial ventures in the wake of internal economic, demographic and ecological crises. This is not to subscribe to millenarianism or any other conspiracy theory relating to a putative world apocalypse, it is simply that lucid analysis of global realities would seem to undermine the complex fantasy construct which sees tomorrow's world as a global village where technology, communication, urbanism, liberalism, “multiculturalism” (in reality the cultural holocaust of consumerist crossbreeding and lowest common denominator leveling) will somehow solve all of our problems. Nothing could be further from the truth. Conflict will continue to be the defining dynamic of human activity, making the on-line vision of imminent world peace (if only we would stop being parochial and hung-up about “spurious” national identities) a decidedly laughable hope.

The cold light of day should foster an informed vigilance in relation to current geopolitical trends; preparedness for potential long term threats being just as important as readiness for the imminent. The wars of tomorrow will be different to those which humanity has been accustomed to—of this there is no doubt. Dwindling natural resources, raw materials and energy sources coupled with explosive demographics, unbridled multinational capitalism and a threatened biosphere make for a troubled future, to say the least. The worst case scenario for an independent Scotland could quite plausibly include some, if not all, of the above-mentioned menaces. Whether Scotland chose continued membership of NATO, a visible role in a European Alliance or indeed armed neutrality on the Swedish model, national interest would, of necessity, be the defining dynamic of military and foreign policy orientation. Siol nan Gaidheal would venture that strong, armed neutrality linked to temporary ad-hoc alliances presents the most sustainable and strategically responsible position that any Scottish State could adopt in its perennial task and duty, its primary raison d’être, that is the defence and maintenance of the ethno-cultural community of Scots.

Those who present themselves as the soothsayers of globalism, those who see the nation and indeed the nation-state as archaic or (incredibly) 19th century concepts, have conspicuously failed to explain how a future of dumbed-down on-line convenience lifestyles, of pick-and-mix non-identity is somehow eminently superior to one of community solidarity, self-reliance and culturally-based identity. Scots need not seek elsewhere a rationale for the defence of their country; our individuality as a nation is reason enough to defend what is intrinsically ours. The corollary to this is that if we wish to maintain friendship with and respect for our neighbours - a natural and indeed laudable endeavour - then it is incumbent upon us to create a strong framework within which our national creative energies might continue to bear fruit should such friendship and trust break down. This, simply put, is what defence signifies. A shield behind which the nation may continue to be what it chooses to be; itself.

Such thorough autonomy of decision and action may well be jeopardized in peace-time alliances where the small inevitably fall under the hierarchical weight of the numerically stronger. This is something the chosen leaders of our country would do well to consider when looking at the viability of entering into military association with foreign states. Non-alignment in many respects is the guarantee that whether in peace or in conflict the defence of the Scottish nation is in principle as well as in effect the primary responsibility of our sovereign government, a governance conscious of, responsive to but in no way beholden to foreign priorities and dictates.

Membership of international bodies such as the European Union or United Nations rightly entails responsibility and cordial co-existence with our neighbours, it should not institutionalize obligations to “police” extraneous conflicts for which we could nor should seek involvement. There is no legitimate extent to which Scottish troops could be deployed to undertake the work of imposing the strategic agendas of others in foreign conflicts.

Humanitarian aid and relief fall well within the extent to which Scotland might provide participative help to global “trouble spots”. We recognize no other primary function for the SDF than to defend Scotland. Secondary ad-hoc deployment furth of our country is currently not a matter we should view in definite, pre-ordained terms. National priorities, as ever, must inform our immediate policy orientations. A culture of armed neutrality therefore requires not only constitutional grounding but investment, research and national consensus-building. In the climate of potential threats from our nearest and most consistently hostile neighbour - in the form of water, oil and gas wars, as well as lebensraum colonialism wrought on the back of coastal flooding and pollution - we should expect nothing less from the duly appointed leaders of the future independent Scotland.



Return to top Return to Index

On-Line Copyright © Siol nan Gaidheal 1995 - 2005, All Rights Reserved