For three years, I organised the annual RUSI land warfare conference at the beginning of June, when the latest British Army concepts were presented to a discerning audience of international military officers as well as government officials, journalists and representatives of Defence industry. The main focus during my time was the digitization of the Army, the introduction of unmanned aircraft and the protection of individual soldiers on the front line.
The weekend before the event, the Chief of the General Staff always warms up with an interview that outlines the topics for discussion. In preparation for this year’s conference, which begins on Wednesday, the current Chief has focused thinking on the technological changes that are happening in the aftermath of the recent Defence and Security Review. However, the big strategic issue is the diminishing public support for war and the low tolerance for British casualties. These and other moral dilemmas facing the British Army in the 2020s are much greater challenges than teaching soldiers how to use modern equipment. I hope they are not brushed under the carpet this week.