An Armed Forces Covenant programme office should be established to enable businesses to better support the armed forces and their families. Championed by a senior member of the Royal Family, the office would be based in the Cabinet Office or 10 Downing Street, rather than the Ministry of Defence.
Bob Ainsworth, the Defence Secretary, has announced deep cuts in military personnel and equipment to fund a £900 million boost for the Afghanistan campaign. However the figures may not stack up. Something is going to give and in a big way. Defence is living through a slow motion road accident while it waits for the political wheel to turn and give it some strategic direction.
Recent reports of Indian intentions to purchase an aircraft carrier from Britain would not substantially add to India's ambitions to be a global power. However, the rumours are symbolic of India's delicate strategic balancing act as it shifts its focus to China.
British success in Malaya appeared to show how an insurgency could be defeated by Western-led forces. The campaign was plundered for ‘lessons’ – for Vietnam in particular. The latter’s failure, however, led critics to argue that Malaya was a special case which did not offer transferable ‘lessons’. An analysis of the general principles underlying British success in Malaya can nevertheless still...
The British Army needs to replace its narrow focus on operations in
Afghanistan with more strategic, long-term thinking, trialling fresh ideas
to develop new concepts for a range of contingencies. (Free access)