DefenceSynergia Input for the House of Commons Defence Select Committee Planning Assumptions, Funding and Capability in a Post Covid-19 World

DefenceSynergia (DS) is concerned about the potential economic effect of Covid-19 on United Kingdom (UK) Defence funding which has the most immediate impact on the Readiness, Responsiveness, Resilience, Regeneration and Capacity (R4C) of our Armed Forces. DS feels it wholly appropriate to provide this post-COVID-19 brief ahead of any proposed parliamentary inquiries.

 

DS draws particular attention to the Defence Planning Assumptions (DPA) – which, since SDSR 2015, has been classified[1] – because these formerly offered Parliament and the Public a yardstick by which to judge Government actions against stated objectives. A method, if you will assess whether the Armed Forces are operating within funded parameters or are, as some former chiefs of staff have alleged,‘ running hot’ or ‘overstretched’.

 

DS then also considers the Defence Budget in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) terms and the likely effect upon HM Armed Forces and Defence-related industry should, as is predicted, national GDP fall. To ameliorate the effects of negative GDP on the Defence budget DS determines that the budget baseline must be FY19/20.

[1]    MoD FOI Response 18 May 2016 – “The information you have requested can be found within Defence Strategic Direction 2016.  This document remains at a SECRET UK EYES ONLY classification.  There will be no UNCLASSIFIED version of this document published. However, in the early summer, the Defence Strategic Operating Concept will be published by the Development, Concepts & Doctrine Centre.  This document will be UNCLASSIFIED.  And while this will not list the Defence Planning Assumptions in full, the Concept will draw on and provide an UNCLASSIFIED summary of them.”

Read the full document HERE