Whitehall Briefing: The New British Army Operating Concept

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Following the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, western governments have been trying to adapt to a challenging new security environment. Persistent instability in the Middle East and North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, coupled with the return of near-peer competition, has pulled the military in different directions.

Moreover, despite declining force numbers, the British military has not seen any reduction in the breadth of its responsibilities. These challenges have led the British Army to develop a new concept of operations that aims to describe how the force will compete, and if necessary fight, between 2023 and 2029. The Army Operating Concept aims to provide a framework within which new capabilities can be assessed, informing how the force will be equipped and trained to achieve politically relevant missions into the future.

In this briefing, Dr Watling will outline the key principles of the Army Operating Concept and how it is likely to shape Britain's conduct of land operations over the next decade.

Speaker Biography

Dr Jack Watling is a Research Fellow at RUSI, responsible for the study of Land Warfare. Jack has recently published detailed studies of the British Army’s Strike Concept, achieving lethal effects with small UAVs, Iran’s strategic objectives and its capabilities, and British training and assistance programmes in Yemen between 2004-2015. He is currently working on allied integration into Multi-Domain Operations, and the Future of Fires, among other projects.

Jack's PhD examined the evolution of Britain’s policy responses to civil war in the early twentieth century. Prior to joining RUSI Jack worked in Iraq, Mali, Rwanda, Brunei, and further afield, embedded with Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces, and the Burkina Faso Army. Originally a journalist he has contributed to Reuters, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, the Guardian, Jane’s Intelligence Review, Haaretz and others. Jack was shortlisted for the European Press Prize Distinguished Writing Award in 2016 and won the Breakaway Award at the International Media Awards in 2017.

These briefings are open to Major Corporate Level Members and above.

Please note that places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis

To attend this event, please e-mail Sabrina Downey Events: SabrinaD@rusi.org

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