General Sir Nick Carter Delivers Christmas Speech To RUSI

Posted on December 13, 2018

He told the Royal United Services Institute the forces must modernise to meet future threats, but suggested that could mean some hard choices. He asked: “Is our ambition to be globally deployable or global – and what level of activity should we plan for?”

While the General did not repeat any of the stark warnings about funding that have been made at some previous Christmas lectures, he did hint at concerns about the pressures on the armed forces, saying: “We need to find the right mix of capability between the raw necessity for mass and the need for sophistication and precision; as well as recognising that we seem no longer to be able to hold forces purely at readiness. Now it’s much more about the notice to recommit forces that are already committed.” General Carter was speaking just days before the government is expected to reveal the final conclusions of its Modernising Defence Programme, seen as a ‘mini defence review’ that has taken more than a year. While the military chief did not announce any of the programme’s findings, he did say that modernisation would be led by technology, adding that data and science should be at the heart of decision making. But he also acknowledged the political reality that the Modernising Defence Programme is completed just as the government is about to embark on a review of all its spending.

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