|Formed||1 April 1964 (As modern department)|
|Headquarters|| Main Building, Whitehall, Westminster, London |
|Employees||56,860 civilian staff (October 2015)|
|Annual budget||£52 billion; FY 2019-20 (≈$69.2 billion) [ verification needed ]|
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
the United Kingdom
The Ministry of Defence (MOD or MoD) is the British government department responsible for implementing the defence policy set by Her Majesty's Government and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces.
The Government of the United Kingdom, formally referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is also commonly referred to as simply the UK Government or the British Government.
The British Armed Forces, also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces, are the military services responsible for the defence of the United Kingdom, its overseas territories and the Crown dependencies. They also promote Britain's wider interests, support international peacekeeping efforts and provide humanitarian aid.
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.With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the MOD does not foresee any short-term conventional military threat; rather, it has identified weapons of mass destruction, international terrorism, and failed and failing states as the overriding threats to Britain's interests. The MOD also manages day-to-day running of the armed forces, contingency planning and defence procurement.
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 30 December 1922 to 26 December 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.
The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, and the United States with its allies after World War II. A common historiography of the conflict begins with 1946, the year U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram" from Moscow cemented a U.S. foreign policy of containment of Soviet expansionism threatening strategically vital regions, and ending between the Revolutions of 1989 and the 1991 collapse of the USSR, which ended communism in Eastern Europe. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars.
A failed state is a political body that has disintegrated to a point where basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government no longer function properly. A state can also fail if the government loses its legitimacy even if it is performing its functions properly. For a stable state it is necessary for the government to enjoy both effectiveness and legitimacy. Likewise, when a nation weakens and its standard of living declines, it introduces the possibility of total governmental collapse. The Fund for Peace characterizes a failed state as having the following characteristics:
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 David Lloyd George's coalition government 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 limited political influence.
The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.
The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.
The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force. Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. Following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. Since its formation, the RAF has taken a significant role in British military history. In particular, it played a large part in the Second World War where it fought its most famous campaign, the Battle of Britain.
Winston Churchill, on forming his government in 1940, 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. The new ministry was headed by a Minister of Defence who possessed a seat in the Cabinet. The three existing service Ministers—the First Lord of the Admiralty, the Secretary of State for War and the Secretary of State for Air—remained in direct operational control of their respective services, but ceased to attend Cabinet.
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a British politician, army officer, and writer. He was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, when he led Britain to victory in the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill represented five constituencies during his career as a Member of Parliament (MP). Ideologically an economic liberal and imperialist, for most of his career he was a member of the Conservative Party, which he led from 1940 to 1955, but from 1904 to 1924 was instead a member of the Liberal Party.
Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, was a British statesman and Labour Party politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951.
The First Lord of the Admiralty, or formally the Office of the First Lord of the Admiralty, was the political head of the Royal Navy who was the government's senior adviser on all naval affairs and responsible for the direction and control of Admiralty Department as well as general administration of the Naval Service of the United Kingdom, that encompassed the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines and other services. It was one of the earliest known permanent government posts. Apart from being the political head of the Royal Navy the post holder simultaneously held the title of the President of the Board of Commissioners for Exercising the Office of Lord High Admiral. The office of First Lord of the Admiralty existed from 1628 until it was abolished when the Admiralty, Air Ministry, Ministry of Defence and War Office were all merged to form the new Ministry of Defence in 1964.
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. These departments merged in 1964; the defence functions of the Ministry of Aviation Supply merged into the Ministry of Defence in 1971.
The War Office was a Department of the British Government responsible for the administration of the British Army between 1857 and 1964, when its functions were transferred to the Ministry of Defence. It was equivalent to the Admiralty, responsible for the Royal Navy, and the Air Ministry, which oversaw the Royal Air Force. The name "War Office" is also given to the former home of the department, the War Office building, located at the junction of Horse Guards Avenue and Whitehall in central London.
The Air Ministry was a department of the Government of the United Kingdom with the responsibility of managing the affairs of the Royal Air Force, that existed from 1918 to 1964. It was under the political authority of the Secretary of State for Air.
The Ministry of Aviation was a department of the United Kingdom government established in 1959. Its responsibilities included the regulation of civil aviation and the supply of military aircraft, which it took on from the Ministry of Supply.
The Ministers in the Ministry of Defence are as follows:
|The Rt Hon. Gavin Williamson CBE MP||Secretary of State||Overall responsibility for the department and its strategic direction|
|The Rt Hon. The Earl Howe PC||Minister of State for Defence (Lords)||Department spokesman in the House of Lords, commemorations and ceremonies; Efficiency Programme; EU relations, including Brexit; Lawfare; ceremonial duties, medallic recognition and protocol policy and casework; commemorations; engagement with retired senior defence personnel and wider opinion formers; community engagement; arms control and proliferation, including export licensing; UK Hydrographic Office; Statutory Instrument Programme; Australia, Far East; defence fire and rescue; London estate; Defence Medical Services; museums and heritage; ministerial correspondence and PQs|
|The Rt Hon. Mark Lancaster TD MP||Minister of State for the Armed Forces||Operations; operational legal matters; force generation and international defence engagement including: operations and operational legal policy; force generation (including exercises); manning, recruitment and retention of regulars; cyber; Permanent Joint Operating Bases; Northern Ireland; international defence engagement; Africa and Latin America; operational public inquiries, inquests, safety and security|
|The Rt Hon. Tobias Ellwood MP||Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence People and Veterans||Civilian and service personnel policy; veterans policy including resettlement, transition, charities and Veterans Board; Armed Forces People Programme; mental Health; DIO better defence estate; armed forces pay, pensions and compensation; Armed Forces Covenant; service justice; welfare and service families; youth and cadets; security and safety including vetting (non-operations); inquiries and inquests (operations and non-operations); environment and sustainability; equality, diversity and inclusion|
|Stuart Andrew MP||Minister for Defence Procurement||Equipment plan delivery, the nuclear enterprise, defence equipment and support reform, defence exports, innovation, science and technology (including Dstl), information computer technology, the Gulf, the Single Source Regulations Office, and Scotland and Wales|
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 Joint Forces 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 other senior military personnel at OF-8 rank.
Additionally, there are a number of Assistant Chiefs of Defence Staff, including the Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Reserves and Cadets) and 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 1998 Strategic Defence Review and the 2003 Delivering Security in a Changing World white paper outlined the following posture for the British Armed Forces –
The MOD has since been regarded as a leader in elaborating the post-Cold War organising concept of "defence diplomacy".As a result of the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2010, Prime Minister David Cameron signed a 50-year treaty with French President Nicolas Sarkozy that would have the two countries co-operate intensively in military matters. The UK is establishing air and naval bases in the Persian Gulf, located in the UAE and Bahrain. A presence in Oman is also being considered.
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:
Following the end of the Cold War, the threat of direct conventional military confrontation with other states has been replaced by terrorism. In 2009, Sir Richard Dannatt, then head of the British Army, predicted British forces to be involved in combating "predatory non-state actors" for the foreseeable future, in what he called an "era of persistent conflict". He told the Chatham House think tank that the fight against al-Qaeda and other militant Islamist groups was "probably the fight of our generation".
Dannatt criticised a remnant "Cold War mentality", with military expenditures based on retaining a capability against a direct conventional strategic threat;He said currently only 10% of the MOD's equipment programme budget between 2003 and 2018 was to be invested in the "land environment" – at a time when Britain was engaged in land–based wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Defence Committee – Third Report "Defence Equipment 2009"cites an article from the Financial Times website stating that the Chief of Defence Materiel, General Sir Kevin O'Donoghue, had instructed staff within Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) through an internal memorandum to re-prioritise the approvals process to focus on supporting current operations over the next three years; deterrence related programmes; those that reflect defence obligations both contractual or international; and those where production contracts are already signed. The report also cites concerns over potential cuts in the defence science and technology research budget; implications of inappropriate estimation of Defence Inflation within budgetary processes; underfunding in the Equipment Programme; and a general concern over striking the appropriate balance over a short-term focus (Current Operations) and long-term consequences of failure to invest in the delivery of future UK defence capabilities on future combatants and campaigns. The then Secretary of State for Defence, Bob Ainsworth MP, reinforced this re-prioritisation of focus on current operations and had not ruled out "major shifts" in defence spending. In the same article, the First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, acknowledged that there was not enough money within the defence budget and it is preparing itself for tough decisions and the potential for cutbacks. According to figures published by the London Evening Standard the defence budget for 2009 is "more than 10% overspent" (figures cannot be verified) and the paper states that this had caused Gordon Brown to say that the defence spending must be cut. The MOD has been investing in IT to cut costs and improve services for its personnel. As of 2017 there is concern that defence spending may be insufficient to meet defence needs.
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.
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.
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." [ citation needed ]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." Asked whether such tests are still being carried out, she said: "It is not our policy to discuss ongoing research." It is unknown whether or not the harmlessness of the trials was known at the time of their occurrence.
|“||...the most incompetent procurement of all time...might as well have bought eight turkeys.||”|
The MOD was criticised for spending £240m on eight Boeing Chinook HC3 helicopters which only started to enter service in 2010, many years after they were ordered in 1995 and delivered in 2001. [ why? ] delivery, while troops in Afghanistan have been forced to rely on helicopters which are flying with safety faults. By the time the Chinooks are airworthy, the total cost of the project could be as much as £500m.A National Audit Office report reveals that the helicopters have been stored in air conditioned hangars in Britain since their 2001
In April 2008, a £90m contract was signed with Boeing for a "quick fix" solution, so they could fly by 2010: QinetiQ would downgrade the Chinooks—stripping out some of their more advanced equipment.
In October 2009, the MOD was heavily criticized 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, investing in projects that have taken up to 10 and even as much as 15 years to be delivered.
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 not a stand-alone organisation, but is an integral part of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). 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 Chiefs of Staff Committee (CSC) is composed of the most senior military personnel in the British Armed Forces who advise on operational military matters and the preparation and conduct of military operations. The committee consists of the Chief of the Defence Staff who is the chairman and professional head of the forces, the Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, who is the vice-chairman and deputy professional head of the armed forces. The Committee also consists of the professional heads of each branch of the armed forces: the First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, the Chief of the General Staff and the Chief of the Air Staff.
The Air Force Board of the Defence Council is responsible for the management of the Royal Air Force.
Joint Services Command and Staff College (JSCSC) is a British military academic establishment providing training and education to experienced officers of the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force, Ministry of Defence Civil Service, and serving officers of other states.
The United Kingdom Joint Forces Command (JFC) manages allocated joint capabilities from the three armed services.
The Ministry of Defence is charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government relating directly to national security and the Indian armed forces. The Ministry has the largest budget among the federal departments of India and currently maintains fifth in military expenditure, among countries of the world.
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 Ank Bijleveld, assisted by a State secretary and the Chief of the Defence of the Netherlands, Rob Bauer since 2017.
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.
The Ministry of Defence is the cabinet ministry of the Government of Sri Lanka responsible for implementation of government defence policy and acts as the overall headquarters of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.
The Ministry of Defence, is a executive ministry of the Government of Pakistan, tasked in defending Pakistan's national interests and values at home and abroad. It plays a major supporting role to the Pakistan Armed Forces and coordinates with a range of domestic, foreign and inter-governmental bodies. The Ministry of Defence is one of the largest federal ministries of the Government of Pakistan in terms of budget as well as staff.
The Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters or the RTARF HQ, is the "mostly ornamental" joint headquarters of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, which is composed of the Royal Thai Army, the Royal Thai Navy and Royal Thai Marine Corps, and the Royal Thai Air Force. Formerly the Supreme Command Headquarters, the name was changed in February 2008. The headquarters is divided into two branches: the "Command Group" and the "Joint Group". The headquarters is headed by the Chief of Defence Forces, currently General Surapong Suwan-ath of the Royal Thai Army. The chief is supported by several departments and directorates, including four deputy chiefs. The headquarters is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Defence of Thailand and the Defence Minister.
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 British Royal Navy, and 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, a collective formed of the most senior RN officers, and as a budgetary grouping.
The Commander-in-chief of the British Armed Forces, also referred to as commander in chief of the armed forces of the Crown, is a position vested in the British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II, who as sovereign and head of state is the "Head of the Armed Forces". Long-standing constitutional convention, however, has vested de facto executive authority, by the exercise of Royal Prerogative powers, in the prime minister and the Secretary of State for Defence. The Prime Minister makes the key decisions on the use of the armed forces. The Queen however, remains the ultimate authority of the military, with officers and personnel swearing allegiance only to the monarch.
The Ministry of Defence is a department of the Government of Spain. It is the administrative and executive body of the Spanish Armed Forces. The Ministry of Defense is a department of the General State Administration responsible for ordering, coordinating and carrying out the general guidelines of the Government about the defence policy.
The Ministry of the Armed Forces is the French department in charge of managing the French Armed Forces inside and outside French soil. France is an active member of NATO.
The Navy Department was a former ministerial service department of the Ministry of Defence responsible for the control and direction of Her Majesty's Naval Service. It was established on 1 April 1964 when the Department of 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 State 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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