The challenge of defending Britain

Author: Michael Clarke

British defence policy often appears to be a complex construct, surrounded by confusing technicalities. But it is not difficult to understand if the essential anatomy is properly understood. This book distinguishes the six most important elements in British defence policy – its essential anatomy – and outlines each of them using the most up to date information and statistics. It examines the costs of defence policy, the equipment choices, the personnel and human factors that make up military forces, the operational experience of British forces since the Cold War, the strategic policymaking structures for defence and finally the plausible futures it faces. Throughout this anatomy a series of difficult policy questions, as well as a number of broader conceptual challenges, constantly recur and in the final chapter on ‘futures’ these questions are drawn together in a critique of current British defence policy. This book is intended to take the atmosphere of technical obscurity – and much of the jargon – out of a wide range of highly specialised defence studies literature and distil it to give the reader a way of understanding this particular policy sector and the tools with which to make their own judgements about Britain’s defence policy during the current era.

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