104.The Armed Forces have inevitably been shaped by the nature of operations which the UK has entered into over the past 20 years—largely land-based expeditionary operations, in pursuit of counter-insurgency and stabilisation, with minimal challenge in the maritime and air domains and minimal direct risk to the homeland.
105.The strategic environment has changed for the worse, and this defence review must reflect this. The UK needs to be in a position to deter and challenge peer adversaries equipped with a full range of modern military technologies who seek to use them in ways that confuse our traditional conceptions of warfare. The likelihood of operating in contested environments across all five domains—maritime, land, air, cyber and spaceshould be reflected in this force structure.
106.Whilst old threats have reappeared and new ones have arisen, recent ones have not disappeared. The uncertainty of the future mandates a properly balanced force structure, capable of continuing the fight against terror and extremism, containing and deterring state-based adversaries, and sustaining the range of international commitments that support our strategic interests.
107.The Secretary of State should be congratulated on securing control of the Modernising Defence Programme. We wish him and his Ministers success, not only in their work across the four strands of the MDP, but also in securing a much better financial settlement for Defence that recognises the higher level of spending for which this Committee has consistently been calling. We look forward to scrutinising the outcome of this process in detail once it is complete.
Published: 18 June 2018