The Importance of Military Preparedness

The recent advice from a group of former defence and security chiefs highlights the critical need for the army to “prepare genuinely for war” in order to effectively deter threats. The report, compiled by the New Bletchley Network, emphasizes the necessity of reversing the trend of the “hollowing out” of the regular army and reserves over the years. This warning comes amidst concerns that the size of the UK army may already be below “national critical mass”. The group of experts, including Lord Mark Sedwill, Lord George Robertson, and General Lord David Richards, emphasized the importance of rebuilding the credibility of the British Army, which has been weakened by years of diminished fighting power.

The report underlines the significance of credibility in deterrence, stating that the British Army’s ability to deter threats is directly tied to its credibility. With morale described as fragile, there is a pressing need to boost the confidence and fighting spirit of the troops. The call for a “New Model Army” that is well-respected and fully prepared for war highlights the necessity of signaling strength to potential adversaries and allies alike. This new model army must be strong and constantly striving to increase its capabilities, without harboring any aggressive intentions towards other nations.

One of the key recommendations of the report is the urgent need to rebuild military mass, which has been allowed to shrink due to repeated cost-saving measures. The relationship between the size of the army and its technological capabilities must be carefully considered and clearly communicated. The report suggests that the UK’s land forces and reserves have fallen below a national critical mass, calling for a reversal of this trend. It stresses the importance of understanding and articulating the balance between size and technological advancement within the armed forces.

In addition to focusing on rebuilding military capabilities, the report also urges for a total reset of how weapons are procured and how supply chains are managed within the armed forces. This is seen as a crucial step towards securing better value for money and ensuring that the army is equipped with the necessary tools and technologies. Furthermore, there is a recommendation for a new command structure in Whitehall that is specifically geared towards being “war-ready”. The establishment of a task force, similar to the one that oversaw the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, is proposed to facilitate and drive these changes effectively.

The report serves as a stark reminder of the importance of military preparedness in the face of evolving threats and challenges. It calls for a strategic and systematic approach to rebuilding the credibility, capabilities, and morale of the British Army. By heeding these recommendations and taking decisive action, the UK can ensure that its armed forces are well-equipped and ready to face any potential adversaries with strength and resolve.

UK

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