Watch the video below kindly provided by the Center for Strategic and International Studies on The Future of the British Army, a discussion with General Sir Peter Wall KCB CBE ADC Chief of the General Staff, British Army and David J. Berteau CSIS Senior Vice President and Director of the International Security Program followed by Q&A with General Wall, moderated byStephen Flanagan, Henry A. Kissinger Chair in Diplomacy and National Security, and Nathan Freier, Senior Fellow, International Security Program.
Lots of sensible stuff and a very reassuring performance, reinforcing and backing up the decisions around SDSR 2010 and the resultant Army 2020.
He has of course had to preside over a drastic downsizing but I think Army 2020 is a bit of smart thinking, although maybe a little influenced by politics, but then that is the nature of these things.
A few takes outs of not (but really do watch all the video)
- Strong leadership needed and an acceptance of being unpopular internally
- Army 2020 is an evolutionary process that will change a number of times before it gets to the end state
- A greater reliance on alliances and resource sharing to solve international problems
- Any single alliance must not exclude others
- A greater academic and personnel development culture within the Army that has not been the case previously
- The UK France joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) will come to fruition in 2016 but will not exclude other joining
- Need to break out of the ‘Afghan envelope’ and sharpen combined arms manouver skills that have taken a back seat
- A focus on training
- Work now to make UK forces ready for Afghanistan withdrawal
- Exploiting the UOR processes developed in the last decade to the benefit of tradition acquisition
- Decentralising the acquisition process where sensible
- More emphasis on developing capacity and defence engagement
- A recent SF study has taken place to determine a future roadmap that recognised the complimentary combined outputs of the ‘normal’ Army and SF together with a recognition that traditional SF roles are now being done by the wider Army
Nothing I think we haven’t heard before but good to see the emphasis on training, avoiding a two tier Army 2020, decentralisation of some aspects of acquisition, a recognition of the value of the UOR process, education and skills sharing with allies.
Once again, thanks to CSIS
I would of course say that given General Wall is a Sapper it is entirely par for the course that he is impressive, his next job will be to leap tall buildings etc etc :)