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Can Boris Johnson deliver on his colossal naval expectations?

Boris Johnson’s ebullient pronouncements last week on a future Royal Navy freedom of navigation ‘operation’ in the Indo-Pacific region have attracted attention, but also criticism.

At the press conference following the “2+2” meeting of Australian/UK defence and foreign ministers (AUKMIN), on 27 July, Mr Johnson initially said this: ‘One of the first things we will do with the two new colossal aircraft carriers that we have just built is send them on a freedom of navigation operation to this area.’

Sayv 6fThat evening, the British Foreign Secretary made a slightly less bombastic pledge in his 2017 Lowy Lecture, that ‘one of the first missions of our two vast new aircraft carriers will be to sail through the…

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