After 20 years of Strategic Defence Reviews, the Government has returned to the era of the Integrated Approach. This was a pre-Millennium term that described the internal Ministry of Defence co-ordination between the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. It was supeceded by the comprehensive approach which merged Defence requirements with those of the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development in a meaningful way that put Britain at the heart of Global peacekeeping.
That all changed in 2013 when the UK and US governments failed to act against the attacks on the civilian population in Syria. The 2021 Defence Review, (announced last week) effectively neuters the British Armed Forces and puts all the money into the hands of the centralised spy masters in London and GCHQ.
Some might say that the jailing of Major General (Retired) Nick Welch is a sign that we cannot trust the leaders of the Armed Forces anymore. However, it is not so long ago that the Army offered incentives to soldiers to buy their own houses and still claim for the boarding school allowance, but now it is has made this a criminal offence.
The two issues may not seem related, but our Allies and Adversaries will see them both as a sign that Britain’s role in the world has diminished further and the government is not able to fulfill its responsibility to protect civilians threatened by genocide, or deploy a meaningful militarily force abroad.