Army 2020: Roles, Capabilities and People

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What is the purpose and role of the British Army post-2015, and how will this affect its people and capabilities?

The Army 2020 announcement is long awaited, largely because of political delays. Much attention has focused on the issue of which regiments will be lost or merged as a result of significant reductions in regular force numbers.

However, while changes to regiments are certainly emotive and perhaps the most high-profile of changes that will occur, morale is also being affected by a more fundamental issue: what the purpose and role of the army will be post 2015, and how this will affect people and capabilities.

Army 2020 envisages three roles for the future army:

  • Contingent capability for defence and deterrence
  • Overseas engagement and capacity-building
  • UK engagement and homeland resilience.

This paper not only informed the work underpinning Army 2020, but is also intended to aid implementation once Army 2020 is announced. It explores in detail the homeland task, how the army can achieve strategic effect in contingent operations, and the challenge of integrating reservists into regular structures to meet the demands of each of these future tasks.


Mark Phillips

Associate Fellow

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