Future of the British Army

Soldiers standing on parade Defence Images

The institute’s Ben Barry has contributed to a piece published by the BBC today, asking how recently announced defence cuts will shape the British Army of the future. The restructured force will be cut from 102,000 to 82,000 by 2017, while the number of reservists will double to 30,000.

Brigadier Barry, who left the army in October 2010, calls it the ‘most radical reorganisation for 50 years’.

‘The Army 2020 design [as the plan is called] displays many innovative ideas and structures,’ he writes, ‘reflecting many hard lessons of the Iraq and Afghan wars and the likely challenges of future land operations, particularly fighting “hybrid” enemies and the increasing requirement for urban operations.

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Army 2020: Fighting for the future

A soldier of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards is pictured between operations at the main operating base at Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan. (Photo by Cpl Paul Morrison RLC © UK MOD/Crown Copyright 2012).

By Brigadier Ben Barry, Senior Fellow for Land Warfare

The most radical army shakeup since the end of national service has the potential to transform our capability

The British army’s restructuring has been preceded by intense speculation about the identity of infantry battalions and cavalry regiments to be disbanded. Although this part of “Army 2020″ has attracted much comment and lobbying in parliament, it is in many ways the least interesting part of an ambitious and surprisingly radical programme of re-organisation re-equipment, restructuring and re-basing. Read the rest of this entry »


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