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Is Britain quietly retiring its army?


About this ThinkIn

Since 2010, UK spending on defence has declined by almost £4bn in real terms (Statista). In November 2020, Boris Johnson announced an additional £16.3bn investment over four years to the military, in order to protect the country in a period that is “more perilous and more intensely competitive than at any time since the Cold War”. He called the commitment “our chance to end the era of retreat, transform our Armed Forces, bolster our global influence, unite and level up our country, pioneer new technology and defend our people and way of life.”

What does the announcement mean for the way the Army operates? What lessons have been learned from Iraq, Afghanistan, and indeed, more recently, from Covid? What is the role and relevance of Britain’s armed forces today — socially, economically, politically, and culturally?

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editor and invited experts

James Harding
Editor and Co-founder

Simon Akam
Journalist and Author of The Changing of the Guard

Deborah Haynes,
Foreign Affairs Editor at Sky News and host of Into The Grey Zone

Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon KCB 
Former Secretary of State for Defence