Military operations

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on military operations. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
08.11.2016ISIS/Daesh: the military response in Iraq and Syria
US-led air strikes against ISIS continue in Iraq and Syria, alongside a training programme to build the capacity of Iraqi security forces and local fighters. The UK has been conducting airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq since September 2014 and has been providing training assistance to Iraqi security forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga. Following a vote in Parliament in December 2015 the UK expanded its air campaign into Syria. The campaign to liberate Mosul in northern Iraq has begun and attention is increasingly focused on the eventual liberation of Raqqa in Syria.
04.11.2016NATO's military response to Russia: November 2016 update
To counter increased assertiveness by Russia along NATO's eastern flank, the alliance adopted its Readiness Action Plan in 2014. This briefing paper explains the main elements with a specific focus on the UK military contribution.
26.08.2016Brexit: impact across policy areas
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers what impact Brexit might have. This will depend, among other things, on the Brexit negotiations, whether the UK stays in the European Economic Area and how the Government fills any policy gaps left by withdrawal.
06.07.2016The Chilcot Inquiry: a reading list
A selection of Commons Library briefings and other material relevant to the Chilcot Inquiry
01.07.2016The Chilcot Inquiry
The Iraq Inquiry, set up in 2009 and chaired by Sir John Chilcot, was originally expected to report within months. It will now be published on 6 July 2016
29.06.2016The French Nuclear Deterrent
The French nuclear deterrent is the one that is most often compared to the UK's nuclear forces. While there are similarities in terms of policy, posture and size, there are also significant differences in terms of industrial support and cost. All of the major political parties in France also support an independent nuclear deterrent, in contrast to the UK; while domestic support is also high. This paper examines the French nuclear deterrent in greater detail. It is also part of a wider Library briefing series on nuclear weapons.
22.04.2016British soldiers to Libya?
Could British soldiers be sent to Libya? This briefing examines the Government's position and Parliament's role, if any, in approving such a mission.
04.03.2016Women in Combat
Women will now be allowed to serve on the front line in the Infantry and Royal Marines. The Prime Minister announced on 8 July 2016 the lifting of the ban on women serving in ground close roles.
11.01.2016The UK National Security Council
The Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the UK National Security Council (NSC). Using a Q&A format, the briefing provides basic information about its origins, mandate and operation.
11.12.2015The EU's response to the migration crisis: recent developments
This note provides a brief update on recent developments in the EU's response to the migration crisis, including the EU's military operation against people smuggling in the Mediterranean. Documents related to the EU's response to the migration crisis are due to be debated in the House on 14 December.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
12.05.2016Queen's Speech 2016 Day 2: Foreign and European Affairs, International Development and Defence
The House of Lords is due to debate the Queen's Speech over four days between 19 and 25 May 2016. This briefing is one of four prepared by the House of Lords Library to cover the themes of each day of debate.
24.03.2014Britain and the First World War: Parliament, Empire and Commemoration
The centenary of the start of the First World War will be marked in 2014. Britain entered the conflict in August 1914 and remained at war until November 1918.
01.11.2013Debate on 7 November: The Armed Forces and Legal Challenge
This Note looks at some of the issues raised by legal challenges to the Armed Forces.

POSTnotes

DateDescription
03.02.2016Psychological Health of Military Personnel
A POSTnote which examines the impact of military service on the psychological health of serving personnel, reservists, veterans and their families. It outlines what is known about the effectiveness of interventions, and highlights areas for further research.
22.10.2015Automation in Military Operations
Automated technology is increasingly used in military activities such as intelligence gathering, navigation and weapons delivery. The most widespread use of automated technology to date has been remotely piloted air systems. However, each of the main military domains - air, land and sea - make use of automation. This POSTnote outlines current and potential future applications of automation in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and in combat. It then summarises debate over legal, ethical and societal issues, including debate over whether a pre-emptive ban is needed on future lethal autonomous weapons systems.
01.12.1990Proliferation control
This POSTnote reviews technical aspects relevant to improving international control over the spread of sophisticated weaponry. POSTnote 19. POST. 1990.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
13.09.2011Parliament's role in conflict decisions - government response to the Committee's eighth report.
Government response. Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee report [Commons]
10.05.2011Parliament's role in conflict decisions.
Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee report [Commons]
08.09.2010Delivering multi-role tanker capability.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
27.07.2010The comprehensive approach: the point of war is not just to win but to make a better peace.
Government response. Defence Select Committee; Ministry of Defence report [Commons]
09.03.2010The Comprehensive Approach: the point of war is not just to win but to make a better peace.
Defence Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
14.12.2011MUNITIONS WORKERS IN THE WORLD WARS
That this House commends all those who served in Royal Ordnance factories and privately-owned munitions factories across the UK during the First and Second World Wars; honours their ...
02.11.2011THEFT OF METALS FROM WAR MEMORIALS AND PLACES OF WORSHIP
That this House notes with concern the recent spate of reports of metal thefts from war memorials and places of worship; denounces recent thefts such as the four foot bronze statue ...
31.10.2011WORLD WAR MEMORIALS
That this House deplores the desecration of memorials to the fallen in the Great War and subsequent wars; urges councils and the police to prosecute vandals who damage such memorials; ...
27.10.2011DEPLETED URANIUM WEAPONS RENEWAL
That this House notes that the British Army maintains depleted uranium (DU) munitions within its arsenal and that 2.3 tonnes of DU rounds were fired by UK forces during the 1991 and ...
26.10.2011INQUIRY INTO UK-LIBYA RELATIONS
That this House urges the Government to initiate a full independent inquiry into all financial and military relationships between the UK and Libya in the past 20 years.

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses