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12 JUNE 2008
THE LAND ENVIRONMENT – MOVING TOWARDS 2018
General Sir Richard Dannatt KCB CBE MC ADC Gen
Chief of the General Staff
We must also make the assumption that the British Army – indeed all elements of Defence - of the future must remain relevant. By relevant I mean several things. I mean that we must have capabilities that are highly likely to be needed and used in the foreseeable future. We need relevant capabilities so that we can both intervene, and contribute to stabilisation. I also mean that we must be relevant to our Allies, and bring the kind of capabilities that they need. Our primary ally is, of course, the US with whom we have a bond forged through the blood spilled together in the sands of Iraq and Afghanistan – a bond which is stronger than any policy guidance – but we must focus on operating with the US, and not necessarily as the US. It is my belief that the US looks to us to do two principal things in a Coalition of the Willing – to bring a manoeuvre capability of some size under a Divisional Headquarters – and to put boots on the ground until overall success in the Campaign is achieved! However, in addition to allies and partners, we must remain relevant to the needs of our own Government and across Whitehall. We, the military, do not own the Comprehensive Approach, we are but one element and we must ensure that we are organised to be able to help Other Government Departments deliver overall success. This, again, places a particular premium on the relevance of our Land capabilities.
RUSI FUTURE LAND WARFARE CONFERENCE