The Defence Select Committee has today published its report “Future Army 2020” with some worrying conclusions. The committee has “considerable doubts about how the plan was developed and tested and whether it meets the needs of UK security”.
The Committee remains to be convinced that the Army 2020 plan represents a fully thought through and tested concept and the MOD hasn’t justified how it reached the conclusion that it represents the best way to meet emerging and uncertain security threats.
As we know, the changes are financially driven but it is alarming that it was the MOD’s Permanent Secretary that told the Chief of the General Staff the size of his future army without his consultation or involvement!
The Committee highlighted that the reduction in the number of regular forces has the potential to leave the Army short of personnel until sufficient reservists are recruited and trained, particularly against the backdrop of falling recruitment levels over recent years. There is a very real concern that recruitment targets may not be met.
It appears there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure the Army 2020 plan succeeds and offers a sustainable and safe alternative to the current army and national security.
by Clare Stevens, Partner at Hilary Meredith Solicitors