24 June 2020 – CHACR Weekly Take Away Newsletter Issue 14

This is the 14th issue of the weekly CHACR Take Away newsletter.  In these newsletters, you will find links to the latest products by the CHACR, but also links to key reports and studies by external experts and institutions which we think you should pay attention to.

A Word from the Director

There is a human tendency to put off the tough or difficult things that you know that you need to do and fill your time with the easier things, or more apparently pressing things, that allow you to procrastinate while convincing yourself that you are horribly busy. That’s why busy people make ’to do’ lists, whereas sensible busy people make ’to do’
lists that they regularly review for priority order, and balance urgency against importance. And that’s one of the reasons why the Army has the concept of ‘Main Effort’ in its doctrine. It’s not only a tool for enabling mission command and facilitating an understanding of the concept of operations – it’s also about reminding people that they need to concentrate on the things that really matter, especially when chaos abounds (as it does so often in a military setting) and one is tempted to switch one’s attention away from what one ought to be doing. As COVID 19 has, rightly and understandably, drawn our attention into sorting out a present issue, the world has carried on turning with all of those strategic issues that will affect us all continuing to unfold. Whether it’s murder in the guise of terrorism in a Berkshire park, or adventurism resulting in a clash of Indian and Chinese soldiers in the Himalayas causing multiple deaths and casualties, or the US Marines formally returning to a Pacific Focus (where, after all, so much of their Corps and Regimental history naturally pulls them in any case), or continuing events in Syria and Iraq, the strategic world
keeps turning. And the Army needs to be ready, when the nation calls upon it, as it inevitably does and will continue to do, to address those strategic issues as they unfold to affect our interests. That’s why, despite the distractions of the last few months, the Army has needed to keep its focus on the demands of the strategic context, on appropriate force and posture development to meet that context, and thus also on it’s contribution, alongside the rest of Defence and wider Whitehall, to the Integrated Review. Hence our ‘call to arms’ to all those of you who have, over the last few months, been mulling over thoughts about how the Army may best contribute, over the coming years, to the evolving strategic context. Please do contribute. Good ideas don’t have a rank.

Maj Gen (Ret) Dr Andrew Sharpe