It has become commonplace to suggest that British people today would not accept the levels of casualties suffered on the Western Front during the First World War. In Afghanistan the loss of 454 soldiers caused deep public unease. Yet already the UK has lost over 80,000 people to coronavirus and people have become accustomed to the tragic daily toll.
Realising a new approach to Beijing following the Integrated Review will require policymakers to acknowledge the significant historical baggage that comes with policy design in this area. Avoiding these pitfalls will be integral to ensuring a clear-eyed strategy for China.
The Ministry of Defence has published a new version of its operating model – ‘How Defence Works’ – its first update for almost five years. Given the major changes to Defence ways of working in that time, and the forthcoming Integrated Review’s potential for further disruption, is it, and how long will it remain, fit for purpose?