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Upgrading Our Armed Forces - Move from 'industrial age' to 'information age'

Ahead of the Strategic Defence and Security Review, think tank Policy Exchange yesterday released its paper on the future of the Armed Forces. The report considers the opportunity now afforded by the SDSR for the Armed Forces to leave its Cold War structures behind, and become an affordable, agile and efficient instrument of UK security policy.

The report, Upgrading Our Armed Forces, has recommendations including:

•  Fundamentally changing the way military operations are commanded at the strategic, operational and tactical levels. Previous failures of command – for example the misappreciation of threats and requirements for the Helmand operations and its subsequent operational mismanagement – have denied forces
the ability to gain and retain the initiative. The MoD system of command is grossly inefficient, top heavy, with too many layers of command, too many supporting Headquarters and too little sharing of information. Added to this, the Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood is born of a system that wrongly assumes the command of military operations is best done by a UK-based bunker by staff who commute home every night and are in a different time zone.

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