What should be the sensible balance between the requirements of current and future operations? Are the fundamental assumptions that underpinned the Strategic Defence Review and its subsequent amendments still valid and will they hold good for the future? Are the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan re-defining the character of future warfare, or are they a temporary aberration that is distracting the attention of UK strategic and military planners away from addressing more complex challenges of the next twenty years?
This presentation addresses those strategic factors that are being masked by the current focus on current operations, as well as the extent to which proper consideration of the future is being neglected and discounted. Chris Parry discusses the extent to which UK strategic thinking, procurement and training are distorted by short-term perspectives and hampered by institutional practices that are highly resistant to innovation and change.
Rear Admiral Chris Parry CBE MA FCMI spent three years as the UK Ministry of Defence’s Director General, Development Concepts and Doctrine. Whilst in post, he supervised the revision of almost all the UK’s major Joint doctrinal and conceptual thinking and publications, as well as producing the widely acclaimed DCDC Strategic Trends Programme. As a warfare and aviation specialist, he enjoyed a wide-ranging Joint and Naval career spanning thirty-five years, with service in the Falklands War and three tours in Northern Ireland, as well as on many operational deployments world-wide. He commanded the UK’s Amphibious Task Group, the Maritime and Joint Warfare Centre, HMS FEARLESS and HMS GLOUCESTER and was the Director Operational Capability in the Ministry of Defence. He is now employed as a consultant, writer, lecturer and broadcaster, specialising in strategic forecasting and defence, security and historical themes.