In an effort to strengthen the UK’s domestic defence and assist existing organisations when in crisis, the military is considering implementing “community-based” military reserves.
The idea is based on David Cameron’s National Citizen Service, founded in 2011 for 16-17-year-olds. This plan would reform and expand on this concept.
The plan could also help improve the long-running disconnect between the British people and the military, as well as bring the military more into the public’s eye and consciousness.
The Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace, said in response to this idea: “The global picture has changed. Our enemies have studied our vulnerabilities and adapted more quickly than us.”
The Minister also suggested that our values and interests are being contested globally and that an ambiguity between war and peace is growing.
In the Integrated Review (of UK Defence), the military would evolve into a firce ready for constant engagement/campaigning globally and rapid innovation ahead of its enemies. They would focus much more on future conflict areas such as space, cyber and underseas, attempting to prevent conflict as well as achieve victory.
Countries like Switzerland, Norway and Denmark already have similar “total defence” models in place. In Switzerland, civilians have to take part in annual defence exercises, while in the two Nordic countries, school leavers take part in national service training that includes special school terms.
It comes amidst scandals about the Home Office possibly using old army barracks to house around 250 migrants who landed on the south coast. This was apparently enforced upon a village in Pembrokeshire without much notice. However, the Home Office has stated that it is working with the relevant local authorities.