Members of the Lords, including five former chiefs of the defence staff, and a former first sea lord, debated the role of the UK armed forces, on Monday 23 June.
Members outlined the UK’s current military capability, and plans for equipment and resourcing for the armed forces. Concerns were raised that cuts to the armed forces were going too far, and a number of members questioned whether the UK would be able to achieve targets set out in the Army 2020 plan.
Peers debated government plans to increase the numbers of reserve forces to 35,000 and moves to encourage women to serve in front-line combat roles, they also highlighted the role of the cadet forces in providing training for young people. They spoke about the threat of cyber warfare, and asked if we can use diplomatic and ‘horizon scanning’ techniques more effectively to spot potentially failing states and engage with them early to prevent the need to use armed force.