“To understand why we have ended up with the SDSR we have, we need to see how these pressures came to be arranged just so. Doing so also explains why a fundamental strategic choice is necessary for Britain. We then to realistically see what the structural impacts of such a choice will be, and where this will leave Britain’s world role as a result. Britain’s armed forces will be transform over the course of the next five years, and that process will be governed by the SDSR, whether or not it has been the worthy exercise it could have been………………”
My thanks to the Critical Reaction team for the opportunity to write for their excellent site.
Malcolm Chalmers is the author of the latest RUSI paper on Britain’s Future Defence Review, and his interest in this paper is to seek a balanced force against the tide of coming cuts. His concern would be to de-emphasise legacy skills whilst preserving a regenerative capability on the understanding that while they are not crucial now we live in an uncertain world, and as such we must insure against the unknown.
First and foremost it is recognised that we are overspent, over-tasked, likely to witness Defence budget reductions, and must therefore reduce the scale of our capabilities.
It is not news to anybody that Britain’s Armed Forces are about to enter a crisis, with decades of underfunding, followed by a decade of improperly funded wars, followed by the recession led Defence cuts, the result of which is to prompt a Defence Review in the near future.
Of all the analysis on Britain’s Future Defence Review (FDR) conducted by the IPPR, Think Defence, The Kings of War, Richard Norths blog-spot and The Times series on FDR, it is the RUSI series that ask the most incisive questions in my opinion, and this post in particular draws upon the second report: A Force For Honour in order to ask that most basic of questions from which all else follows; what place in the world does Britain wish to hold in the 21st century?