|Formed||1 April 1964 (as modern department)|
|Jurisdiction||Government of the United Kingdom|
|Headquarters|| Main Building, Whitehall, Westminster, London |
|Annual budget||£41.4 billion; FY 2021|
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|Politics of the United Kingdom|
The Ministry of Defence (MOD or MoD) is the department responsible for implementing the defence policy set by His Majesty's Government, and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces.
The MOD states that its principal objectives are to defend the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and its interests and to strengthen international peace and stability.The MOD also manages day-to-day running of the armed forces, contingency planning and defence procurement.
The expenditure, administration and policy of the MOD are scrutinised by the Defence Select Committee,except for Defence Intelligence which instead falls under the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament.
During the 1920s and 1930s, British civil servants and politicians, looking back at the performance of the state during the First World War, concluded that there was a need for greater co-ordination between the three services that made up the armed forces of the United Kingdom: the Royal Navy, the British Army and the Royal Air Force. The formation of a united ministry of defence was rejected by the coalition government of David Lloyd George in 1921, but the Chiefs of Staff Committee was formed in 1923, for the purposes of inter-service co-ordination. As rearmament became a concern during the 1930s, Stanley Baldwin created the position of Minister for Co-ordination of Defence. Lord Chatfield held the post until the fall of Neville Chamberlain's government in 1940. His success was limited by his lack of control over the existing Service departments, and his lack of political influence.
On forming his government in 1940, Winston Churchill created the office of Minister of Defence, to exercise ministerial control over the Chiefs of Staff Committee and to co-ordinate defence matters. The post was held by the Prime Minister of the day until Clement Attlee's government introduced the Ministry of Defence Act of 1946. After 1946, the three posts of Secretary of State for War, First Lord of the Admiralty, and Secretary of State for Air were formally subordinated to the new Minister of Defence, who had a seat in the Cabinet. The three service ministers — Admiralty, War, Air — remained in direct operational control of their respective services, but ceased to attend Cabinet.
From 1946 to 1964, five Departments of State did the work of the modern Ministry of Defence: the Admiralty, the War Office, the Air Ministry, the Ministry of Aviation, and an earlier form of the Ministry of Defence. Those departments merged in 1964, and the defence functions of the Ministry of Aviation Supply were merged into the Ministry of Defence in 1971.The unification of all defence activities under a single ministry was motivated by a desire to curb interservice rivalries and followed the precedent set by the American National Security Act of 1947.
The Ministers in the Ministry of Defence are as follows:
|The Rt Hon. Ben Wallace MP||Secretary of State||Overall responsibility for the department; strategic operations and operational strategy, including as a member of the National Security Council; defence planning, programme and resource allocation; strategic international partnerships: US, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, NATO; nuclear operations, policy and organisations; strategic communications.|
|The Rt Hon. James Heappey MP||Minister of State for the Armed Forces||Operations and operational legal policy; Brexit no deal planning; force generation (including exercises); military recruitment and retention policy (regulars and reserves); cyber; Permanent Joint Operating bases; international defence engagement strategy; lead for defence engagement in Africa and Latin America; human security; operational public inquiries, inquests; youth and cadets; commemorations, ceremonial duties, medallic recognition and protocol policy and casework|
|Alex Chalk MP||Minister of State for Defence Procurement||Delivery of the Equipment Plan; nuclear enterprise; defence exports; innovation; defence science and technology including Dstl; information computer technology; the Single Source Regulations Office (SSRO); DIO estates and investment; environment and sustainability|
|The Rt Hon. The Baroness Goldie DL||Minister of State for Defence (unpaid)||Corporate governance including transformation programme; single departmental plan, risk reporting and health, safety and security; EU relations, including Brexit (excluding No Deal planning); engagement with retired senior Defence personnel and wider opinion formers; arms control and counter-proliferation, including strategic export licensing and chemical and biological weapons; UK Hydrographic Office; Statutory Instrument programme; Australia, Asia and Far East defence engagement; Defence Fire and Rescue; safety and security; Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland devolved authorities; ship wrecks, museums and heritage; Ministry of Defence Police; ministerial correspondence and PQs|
|The Rt Hon. Andrew Murrison MP||Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence People, Veterans and Service Families|
The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) is the professional head of the British Armed Forces and the most senior uniformed military adviser to the Secretary of State for Defence and the Prime Minister.
The CDS is supported by the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS) who deputises and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the armed services aspect of the MOD through the Central Staff, working closely alongside the Permanent Secretary. They are joined by the professional heads of the three British armed services (Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force) and the Commander of Strategic Command. All personnel sit at OF-9 rank in the NATO rank system.
Together the Chiefs of Staff form the Chiefs of Staff Committee with responsibility for providing advice on operational military matters and the preparation and conduct of military operations.
The current Chiefs of Staff are as follows.
The Chief of Staff is supported by several Deputy Chiefs of the Defence Staff and senior officers at OF-8 rank.
Additionally, there are a number of Assistant Chiefs of Defence Staff, including the Defence Services Secretary in the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom, who is also the Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Personnel).
Permanent Secretary and other senior officials The Ministers and Chiefs of the Defence Staff are supported by several civilian, scientific and professional military advisors. The Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Defence (generally known as the Permanent Secretary) is the senior civil servant at the MOD. Their role is to ensure that it operates effectively as a government department and has responsibility for the strategy, performance, reform, organisation and the finances of the MOD.The role works closely with the Chief of the Defence Staff in leading the organisation and supporting Ministers in the conduct of business in the Department across the full range of responsibilities.
The Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 included £178 billion investment in new equipment and capabilities.The review set a defence policy with four primary missions for the Armed Forces:
The review stated the Armed Forces will also contribute to the government's response to crises by being prepared to:
Defence is governed and managed by several committees.
The following organisational groups come under the control of the MOD.
Top level budgets
The MOD comprises seven top-level budgets. The head of each organisation is personally accountable for the performance and outputs of their particular organisation. These are:
Bespoke trading entity
Executive non-departmental public bodies
Advisory non-departmental public bodies
Ad-hoc advisory group
In addition, the MOD is responsible for the administration of the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in Cyprus.
DEFCON contract conditions are numbered defence contract conditions in contracts issued by the MOD (not to be confused with DEFCON as used by the United States Armed Forces, which refers to a level of military "defense readiness condition").
A full set of the DEFCONs can be accessed via the MoD's Defence Gateway (registration required).
The Ministry of Defence is one of the United Kingdom's largest landowners, owning 227,300 hectares of land and foreshore (either freehold or leasehold) at April 2014, which was valued at "about £20 billion". The MOD also has "rights of access" to a further 222,000 hectares. In total, this is about 1.8% of the UK land mass. The total annual cost to support the defence estate is "in excess of £3.3 billion".
The defence estate is divided as training areas & ranges (84.0%), research & development (5.4%), airfields (3.4%), barracks & camps (2.5%), storage & supply depots (1.6%), and other (3.0%).These are largely managed by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.
The headquarters of the MOD are in Whitehall and is known as MOD Main Building. This structure is neoclassical in style and was originally built between 1938 and 1959 to designs by Vincent Harris to house the Air Ministry and the Board of Trade. A major refurbishment of the building was completed under a Private Finance Initiative contract by Skanska in 2004.The northern entrance in Horse Guards Avenue is flanked by two monumental statues, Earth and Water, by Charles Wheeler. Opposite stands the Gurkha Monument, sculpted by Philip Jackson and unveiled in 1997 by Queen Elizabeth II. Within it is the Victoria Cross and George Cross Memorial, and nearby are memorials to the Fleet Air Arm and RAF (to its east, facing the riverside).
Henry VIII's wine cellar at the Palace of Whitehall, built in 1514–1516 for Cardinal Wolsey, is in the basement of Main Building, and is used for entertainment. The entire vaulted brick structure of the cellar was encased in steel and concrete and relocated nine feet to the west and nearly 19 feet (5.8 m) deeper in 1949, when construction was resumed at the site after the Second World War. This was carried out without any significant damage to the structure.
The most notable fraud conviction has been that of Gordon Foxley, Director of Ammunition Procurement at the Ministry of Defence from 1981 to 1984. Police claimed he received at least £3.5m in total in corrupt payments, such as substantial bribes from overseas arms contractors aiming to influence the allocation of contracts.
A government report covered by The Guardian newspaper in 2002 indicated that between 1940 and 1979, the Ministry of Defence "turned large parts of the country into a giant laboratory to conduct a series of secret germ warfare tests on the public" and many of these tests "involved releasing potentially dangerous chemicals and micro-organisms over vast swathes of the population without the public being told."The Ministry of Defence claims that these trials were to simulate germ warfare and that the tests were harmless. However, families who have been in the area of many of the tests are experiencing children with birth defects and physical and mental handicaps and many are asking for a public inquiry. The report estimated these tests affected millions of people, including during one period between 1961 and 1968 where "more than a million people along the south coast of England, from Torquay to the New Forest, were exposed to bacteria including E.coli and Bacillus globigii , which mimics anthrax." Two scientists commissioned by the Ministry of Defence stated that these trials posed no risk to the public. This was confirmed by Sue Ellison, a representative of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down who said that the results from these trials "will save lives, should the country or our forces face an attack by chemical and biological weapons."
In October 2009 the MOD was heavily criticised for withdrawing the bi-annual non-operational training £20m budget for the Territorial Army (TA), ending all non-operational training for 6 months until April 2010. The government eventually backed down and restored the funding. The TA provides a small percentage of the UK's operational troops. Its members train on weekly evenings and monthly weekends, as well as two-week exercises generally annually and occasionally bi-annually for troops doing other courses. The cuts would have meant a significant loss of personnel and would have had adverse effects on recruitment.
In 2013 it was found that the Ministry of Defence had overspent on its equipment budget by £6.5bn on orders that could take up to 39 years to fulfil. The Ministry of Defence has been criticised in the past for poor management and financial control.Specific examples of overspending include:
The British Armed Forces, also known as His Majesty's Armed Forces, are the military forces responsible for the defence of the United Kingdom, its Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies. They also promote the UK's wider interests, support international peacekeeping efforts and provide humanitarian aid.
Defence Intelligence (DI) is an organisation within the United Kingdom intelligence community which focuses on gathering and analysing military intelligence. It differs from the UK's intelligence agencies in that it is an integral part of a government department – the Ministry of Defence (MoD) – rather than a stand-alone organisation. The organisation employs a mixture of civilian and military staff and is funded within the UK's defence budget. The organisation was formerly known as the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS), but changed its name in 2009.
The Admiralty Board is the body established under the Defence Council of the United Kingdom for the administration of the Naval Service of the United Kingdom. It meets formally only once a year, and the day-to-day running of the Royal Navy is conducted by the Navy Board, which does not include any ministers.
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The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation is the governing body of the Russian Armed Forces.
The Ministry of Defence is the Dutch Ministry responsible for the armed forces of the Netherlands and Veterans Affairs. The Ministry was created in 1813 as the "Ministry of War" and in 1928 was combined with the "Ministry of the Navy". After World War II in the ministries were separated again, in this period the Minister of War and Minister of the Navy were often the same person and the State secretary for the Navy was responsible for daily affairs of the Royal Dutch Navy. In 1959 the ministries were merged. The Ministry is headed by the Minister of Defence, currently Kajsa Ollongren, assisted by the Chief of the Defence of the Netherlands, Onno Eichelsheim since April 2021.
Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) is a trading entity and joint-defence organisation within the UK Ministry of Defence. It began operating on 2 April 2007, following the merger of the MoD's Defence Procurement Agency and the Defence Logistics Organisation, under the Chief Executive Officer of Defence Equipment and Support.
The Army Board is the top single-service management committee of the British Army, and has always been staffed by senior politicians and soldiers. Until 1964 it was known as the Army Council.
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The Ministry of Defence is a Ministry of the Federal Government of Nigeria with the statutory responsibility of overseeing and supervising the Nigerian Armed Forces. The Ministry of Defence is headed by the Minister of Defence, a cabinet-level head who reports directly to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Beneath the Ministry of Defence are four subordinate military components: The Nigerian Defence Headquarters, the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force. Military operations and training are coordinated and managed by these components.
The Ministry of Defence, abbreviated MINDEF, KEMENTAH, is a ministry of the Government of Malaysia that is responsible for defence, national security, army, navy, hydrography, air force, armed forces, intelligence services, counterintelligence, military intelligence, national service, and veterans affairs.
Navy Command is the current headquarters body of the Royal Navy, and as of 2012 its major organisational grouping. It is a hybrid, neither a command, nor simply an installation. Royal Navy official writings describe Navy Command Headquarters both as a physical site, on Whale Island, Hampshire, a collective formed of the most senior RN officers, and as a budgetary grouping.
Head of the Armed Forces is the position of the sovereign of the United Kingdom as commander-in-chief of the British Armed Forces. However, supreme military authority has been delegated by the monarch to the Defence Council of the United Kingdom, a body officially charged with the direction and administration of the Armed Forces.
The Ministry of Defence (MINISDEF) is the department of the Government of Spain responsible for planning, developing and carrying out the general guidelines of the Government about the defence policy and the managing of the military administration. It is the administrative and executive body of the Spanish Armed Forces.
The 7th Central Pay Commission (7CPC), constituted in February 2014 the principles and structure of emoluments of all central government civilian employees including defence forces in India, submitted its report on 19 November 2015. 7CPC's recommendations affects the organization, rank structure, pay, allowances and pension, of 13,86,171 armed forces personnel. This helps A salary monitoring system is designed to determine and suggest needed changes to the salaries of government employees.page 105, para 6.2.2
The Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) is an organisation responsible for fostering coordination and enabling prioritisation across the different branches of the Indian Armed Forces. It is composed of representatives from the Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Ministry of External Affairs, Defence Research and Development Organisation, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Finance. The IDS is headed by Chief of Integrated Defence Staff along with Deputy Chiefs of Integrated Defence Staff. On December 24, 2019, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) established the post of Chief of Defence Staff, a four-star general, a tri-service Chief, that shall lead the defence forces as well as play the role of head of the Department of Military Affairs. The body advises and assists the Chief of Defence Staff.
The Navy Department was a former ministerial service department of the Ministry of Defence responsible for the control and direction of His Majesty's Naval Service. It was established on 1 April 1964 when the Admiralty was absorbed into a unified Ministry of Defence, where it became the Navy Department. Political oversight of the department originally lay with the Minister of Defence for the Royal Navy (1964-1967) it then passed to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Royal Navy (1967-1981), then later to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces (1981-1990) and finally the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (1991-1997).
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