This paper outlines the pivotal and time sensitive questions on the preservation of hard power for the UK's Integrated Review.
The return of great power competition makes hard power critical to ensuring national security. Technological advances and economic constraints, however, are making it more expensive and complex to field credible military formations. European medium powers are today faced with tough choices as to the capabilities they pursue, and how they structure their armed forces. Decision Points: Rationalising the Armed Forces of European Medium Powers examines these trade-offs and calls for policymakers to approach each key decision on the future of their country’s military with a clearer sense of the consequences for their state’s foreign policy.
The decisions made in the next couple of years will determine European military capabilities out to 2040. The paper therefore aims to set out the critical decisions that must be addressed during the UK's ongoing Integrated Review. It argues that a failure to clearly articulate answers to the questions posed would be failure of leadership. The paper is concerned with the command and control architecture, land, sea, air, and reserve forces. The paper has been authored by members of RUSI's military science team including Professor Peter Roberts, Dr Sidharth Kaushal, Justin Bronk, and Paul O'Neill. The paper was edited by Dr Jack Watling.
At the launch the authors will summarise the key decisions that must be made, and their implications.