Armed Forces: Reduction - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:44 pm on 22nd October 2020.

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Photo of Lord Browne of Ladyton Lord Browne of Ladyton Labour 12:44 pm, 22nd October 2020

My Lords, on 30 September, when launching the Integrated Operating Concept 2025, the CDS described the UK’s future campaign posture as demanding and said—I shall read this in short—that we would see

“armed forces much more in use” and

“engaged and forward-deployed”— with

“training and exercising being delivered as operations”— and that it would involve supporting other countries in a pattern of possible combat operations against common threats.

Since then, as well as anonymous government briefings that a cost-cutting Army will slash its manpower by 7,000, we learn from MoD evidence to the Defence Select Committee that by 2025, the Army will not even be able to meet the demands of the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, never mind the IOC. Can the Minister explain those apparent contradictions?