10/09/2016: Next year the UK will lead NATO’s spearhead force, the VJTF, designed to react to a crisis in days. Meet some of the British soldiers who will form part of the task force and find out what it means to them.
What remains is to properly equip and arm the force.
“Capability that is foundational to all major armed forces has been withered by design,” wrote Sir Richard. The MoD, he says, is working to “preserve the shop window” while critical technical and logistical capabilities have been “iteratively stripped out” behind it.
“We became used to using the military as a foreign policy tool, but in that lost any real sense of it as an insurance policy,” said a senior Whitehall official.
“So far there is a lot of talk about deterrence across Nato but what really matters is whether it is credible, certainly as far as Russia is concerned.”
According to Sir Richard, the challenge is not merely one of resources or money.
More fundamentally, he wrote, the issue is one of strategic oversight and planning.
In the MoD and the security organs of Whitehall, he said, there was now “almost no capacity left to think and plan strategically or generate resources for the unforeseen … our own bureaucracy struggles to get its head above managing details and events”.