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UK armed forces and defence

By Simon Roberts

What follows is part 1 of a condensed version of the paper "A decision the next

Prime minister must make..." by Tony Edwards for the United Kingdom National Defence Association (UKNDA) dated February 2009. A full version of the paper can be found here

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By Nigel Green, Research Associate, U K Defence Forum

The UK Government has come under fire for the stresses facing soldiers due to commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq. The criticism follows the Ministry of Defence's launch of a Command Paper last July, which aimed to alleviate some of the pressures on the private lives of service personnel.

The Minister for the Armed Forces Bob Ainsworth faced hostile questioning from Opposition Members in a recent debate in the House of Commons. In particular, he confirmed there had been breaches of the so-called "harmony guidelines" in which servicemen and women are not supposed to serve more than 13 months overseas in a three year period.

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Mike Hancock MP: speech on Private military and security firms and the erosion of the state monopoly on the use of force, at the PACE session on 29th January

It is quite clear that the activities of private military and security firms are sometimes driven by events. However, sometimes, and more importantly in order to ensure that the industry continues to grow, you need to continue conflicts. It becomes a vicious circle – you wind something up and then invite yourself in to solve it. There are numerous cases where that happened.

Sadly, there is a plethora of weak and fragile states. Some say there are more weak and fragile states than stable states in

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Written by Simon Roberts

The following is a summary of an article which appeared in The Eonomist on 29th January 2009. The full article can be found here

With British forces having been at war for the past seven years, there will be more cheers this summer when troops come back from Iraq for good. As a consequence of this, on June 27th Britain will begin to mark a new Armed Forces Day.

Despite the qualms about Iraq and Afghanistan, and instances of soldiers being abused, support for the troops is high. However, for all the public recognition, the armed services are going through unusually difficult times

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NATIONAL SECURITY IN THE 21st CENTURY – Part Three

By Paula Jaegar

British Army's Chief of the General Staff General Sir RichardDannatt's proposed revision of the British Army falls divides three interconnected strands: Procurement; personnel; brigade structure.

Given what is politely referred to as the current economic climate, a new concentration and seriousness of purpose must be

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By Paula Jaegar

Many politicians speak now of the unfeasibility of expecting military power alone to deliver an outcome in Afghanistan which will be sufficiently acceptable to all parties to allow an end to the ISAF intervention.

It is illuminating to hear from the British Army a definition of our aim in that country as being to assist in the delivery of civil power; to enable civil effect, and the deliverance of government. Civil power, General Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, reminds us, cannot get ahead of the success of the military mission.

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NATIONAL SECURITY IN THE 21st CENTURY - PART ONE

by Paula Jaegar

Later this year General Sir Richard Dannatt will step down as UK Chief of the General Staff, ending a career spanning almost four decades. No doubt gongs and plaudits will continue to crown him. But little, I suspect, can please him more than his reputation as the soldier's soldier. At the heart of his leadership is his constant and unfailing duty of care to the rank and file. And the core of his success is his realisation that in the end it all comes down to the training, equipping, condition and morale of every single man and woman under his command.

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Dr Robert Crowcroft

The Strategic Defence Review process is underway, and already the signs are ominous for the UK and its role in the world. It is clear that the outcome will see the UK's military capabilities significantly, and probably permanently, diminished. It is an 'East of Suez' moment, a watershed. The Armed Forces will either have to undertake a radically different range of missions or, if the outcome of the SDR is a fudge whereby choices are avoided, the UK's military will be overexposed in future crises – perhaps disastrously so. What's worse is that there appears to be little clarity of thinking in Government about the general international strategy of the UK. Before policymakers work out how many soldiers, ships, and aeroplanes we need, they need to decide what world, or regional, role London will seek.

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