Pakistan’s military is playing a significant role in assisting the country’s prime minister in the conduct of foreign and security policies, and usually with the objective of scaling down confrontations.
As the UK sends 330 personnel to assist France's military intervention in Mali, there are real concerns that, like Afghanistan, the UK will be mired in another intractable conflict. However, the strategic conditions are very different for this to happen and it is wrong to assume there will be mission creep.
With US women now being allowed to participate in combat roles, the US military can be applauded for its move towards gender equality. But its driving imperative must remain a commitment to military effectiveness, and to the lives of the men and women who serve.
The UK Government has announced plans to give a greater role to Army Reserves. These proposals offer better career paths for reservists. Successful implementation will require a cultural shift within the forces, particularly among the regulars, and support from employers.