The MoD has shown little progress in addressing the issues it faces it is the view of the IDA that time is running out. Defence is no longer fit for purpose. This failure coincides with recent warnings from the Secretary of State for Defence1, reiterated by CGS2 at RUSI, that the world is in pre-war mode; the sub message being that the UK and its citizens need to be ready. Yet, our professional fighting force is not. For decades, the MoD service chiefs have been allowed to mark their own homework. It doesn’t work. Defence is now hollowed out. Morale is poor with troops at dangerously low readiness and recruitment and retention levels plummeting. At a time when defence is likely to be called to stand up, MoD has lost its authority, vitality, objectivity and direction.

Instead of the customary IDA focus on inappropriate behaviours and injustices, this edition will shine the spotlight on the fact that the armed forces’ readiness is deteriorating further3. The latest evidence4 is set out in numerous inquiry findings from the House of Commons Defence Select Committee (HCDSC), media and other defence sources. The current government has not taken opportunities to hold MoD to account and Ministers have failed to hold senior MoD officials to their duties. With a probable change in government in the next 8 months, we believe there is a small window to start the

necessary reset. However, the Labour party’s likely approach5 is suggesting (see summary below) that it will follow MoD’s previous approach – creating ever more starred appointments for senior officers (rather than create an independent body, to monitor defence and hold it to account). This is a wasted opportunity. Service Chiefs have failed the troops repeatedly; and repeating previous patterns will not give UK the change it needs nor allow the UK to fulfil its international commitments, as set out in the 2023 Integrated Review Refresh. The next generation of serving persons deserves better – and so do UK citizens. More simply the MoD lacks a conscience and it is clear it can’t or refuses to see the real issues it is facing.

Download the full report HERE