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7 Apr, 27 tweets, 5 min read
Ok here we go the Defence Command Paper and the Army.

Here’s my own take which obviously doesn’t reflect policy or party lines etc.

Not sure how long this will be - but let’s go!
The IR (if you bleach out the politics and other bits) is a fantastic piece of work. It paints a bold vision of how to harness levers of National Power to deliver policy and strategic outcomes. Building on the work of fusion doctrine and breaks down barriers between Ministries.
The separation of National and Defence Strategy is, for me, a good thing. No more NSS and SDSR. Linked but not the same.

A blessing and a risk Defence more able to write how it will meet its objectives but crucially more accountable. Key will be freedoms, or not, from HMT.
The DCP is how Defence, as an enterprise, not just MoD will need to change to meet the challenges of the next 10-20 years.

The Gordion Knot remains maintaining deterrence, modernisation (urgent) transformation (next epoch) all within strategic affordability.
This is “no change” since 2015 was unaffordable and some capabilities we wanted then; the threat and technology has passed.

This is a key point.

Where mil tech used to play a part in leading change - that’s less true now. Commercial settings lead tech transformation.
Big picture we need to integrate new domains, both at National, Joint and sS level.

Form follows function and we need Forces that are more “usable”. Servicing deterrence and Alliance responsibilities but also getting out there in the world, not in an ad-hoc way, but by function.
So what for the Army?
We need to service NATO with conventional deterrence and readiness forces.

We see the Division re-designed around a re-imagined Starry Big 5:
Challenger 3
Fires: Precision, Suppression and Digital.
We want a “usable” flexible force profile for operations short of war.

This will be a balance of defence outreach (raise/develop/sustain) as well as accompany and support Ops (more risky). Therefore:
- SFAB Bde
- Rangers
- Access to a massive range of 6XX niche capabilities.
Light Forces and 16AA Bde (for me anyway) provide some elasticity.

The “Global Response Force” is important for a number of tasks from humanitarian aid, evacuations, support to PJHQ etc (but I dislike the name)

No point wanting to lead - if you’re not there or can’t get there.
Light&16AA Bdes provide elasticity across the pillars of deterrence and the outreach and influence activities.

No doubt this is double hatting.
Same same with 6XX capabilities - but we have to live within our means.

Defining and meeting concurrency sets will be challenging.
As ever the crunch comes with enablers everything from the Combat Avn Bde, the Log Bdes and for me intense demand on new and exciting roles in 6XX that require skills and people we don’t normally have or recruit.

That’s a badass challenge and priority for the next few years.
Back to tech.

Massive challenge. We must do more to outline assumptions, method, skills & epochs.

RAS: an opportunity and risk. The workforce offset for me is unlikely but the flavour of the workforce will change (contractor, enabler, operator).

Pri areas: law, ethics, skills.
The Digital Backbone.

Networked Enabled Capability - remove that? This is an illusion prize but with commercial and personal use omnipresent we have more reasons to be hopeful than pessimistic.

BUT adapt to the tech, don’t demand it adapt to us. It won’t work that way round.
Assistive Technology.

I’ve threaded about this before but modernisation needs to be about more than platforms.

Needs to include day to day, log IS and Int, HR. Less paper more productivity. More trust.

Increase the OODA with AI ML and decision support in tanks, sections, HQs.
So what for the Army?

If the vision of the Future Army doesn’t engage you and get you out of bed - I think you’re in the wrong job.

Huge challenges in delivering it - no doubt about that - but fingers crossed this is a more focussed, realisation, form following function Army.
I agree with the diagnosis (multi-polarity, competition, “be there”)

The prognosis (an Army that works for the IR vision and Defence, that needs to modernise urgently and transform over time with tech adoption)

And the proximate actions (structure for the above but...
There are risks in Gordian knot of modern/transform/afford - in people, capability, skills and balance.

Losing an IFV - a risk.
Double hatting - a risk.
CASTLE (people/talent) needs momentum and impact begin what we’ve seen over the last 3 years effort.
Trg and Ed are key areas
Could we have been more radical?

Maintaining capbadges continues to be a mill stone around the Army’s neck.

A wide but poorly filled and thin force.

Much is made of potential political risk that may follow - I just don’t see that and data on voting doesn’t support it.
What needs work:

Law, ethics, permissions delegations.

How do we define Joint Operational Areas for cyber, space, info.

What level will permissions be at?
How deliverable are they, at pace, at tactical/op levels?

Accompanied ops - risk, FP, casualties.

Much to wargame!

That core point about tech & adoption is not going away.

Partnerships need shared vision, investment - and yes - risk.

Innovation is a process not an activity. Adoption and adaptation are the activities and where we trade.

We will lose money & get things wrong.
Deliver Deliver Deliver

The Army needs a vision and target that is static, or moves at a rate we can get to.

People (like me) are tired of perma-change. It’s exhausting and demoralising for all the wrong reasons.

Change is the only norm - but please can we see things through.

Challenger 3 - needs power pack work. As important as the lethality.
King for a day?
Would have done something different with industry, skills, exports, future in mind.

Warrior: a great shame. A brilliant product, more importantly the best team (see separate thread)
Boxer. The safest investment by far.
Offers best risk protection on the future, freedom of action, development and exports.

Perfect - no.

Exciting opportunities: massively.

The safest investment in the portfolio.
I can’t comment here.

So please don’t ask me to.
Last: dependencies.

We have a lot of them with Air in particular if we want everything to work and that’s going to be a massive focus going forward in UAVs, Fixed and Rotary and of course Space.

Make friends with the Lighter Blue.
So that’s it. Might add more. Might be a telling off waiting in the DMs.

But that’s my view.

I’ll thread separately about Warrior and innovation. Thanks!
Oh yeah Green.
Should have done more here.

Light Forces need to be self- sustaining not for emissions or green targets because it makes sense.

Electric, hydrogen, solar for power gen, vehicles radios you name it.

Harder to achieve in heavy force - so focus where it counts.

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