Both the withdrawl of the Harrier and the Nimrod, are, I believe incredbly short sighted.
As many have said - Harrier, a unique and iconic weapons platform, which could not be more suited to the kind of warzones we are currently engaged in: a small adaptable and capable weapons platform that can operate from a small clearing anywhere in the battle field.
It was only in recent years that the MOD consolidated it's Harrier force (named Joint Force Harrier) out of RAF Wittering (and I believe Cottesmore) The RN's Sea Harrier Force was axed and replaced with a joint GR9 platform that had only been upgraded recently.
The Nimrod is also a similar tale, with the MR4 Project, being delayed and costs escalating. However, in seeing the project through, we would have had a fantastic, soley British aircraft. In the Nimrod's case also, I believe the crash in Afghanistan has been used as an excuse. Take Concord for example, following it's crash in Paris (which in itself was no fault of the aircraft) it was deemed unsafe, despite having an exemplary safety record in comparison to most, if not all other passenger carrying aircraft.
Spend millions on development - then cancel the project, seems to be the British rule. TSR 2 in the 60's was also another prime example, which, should the aircraft had entered service, put us decades ahead (which is one reason why the US put presure on us cancelling it (that and a tasty order of F111's they wanted the Austrailians to buy instead!)) An account from the Chief Test Pilot Roland (Roley) Beaumont, stated that a TSR2 on 1 afterburner, was out performing an EE Lightning with 2 lit up.
All in all a very sad move which we will live to regret, and another nail in the coffin of Great Britishness. I hate to say it, but if possible, I may see if I can stay in Bavaria once I am out there this time next year.