Anonymous troops with Union Jack CREDIT MoD

Sitrep: What Impact Will Dominic Cummings Have On The Next Defence Review?

Francis Tusa, a defence analyst told Sitrep to expect a “really rocky” six months between the No 10 and the MOD.

Anonymous troops with Union Jack CREDIT MoD

"[Dominic Cummings] will definitely have an impact, I think that goes without saying," defence analyst Francis Tusa predicted, on the latest episode of Sitrep.

With a major defence review looming, the question now becomes how much of an impact will the Prime Minister's chief advisor have?

Last week saw the Prime Minister cancel a National Security Council meeting at the last minute, insiders blaming tensions over a growing preference from Downing Street for less conventional ‘soft power’ post-Brexit.

Mr Tusa attributes this to a difference in priorities.

"If you want, as apparently the Chief of the Defence Staff has said, a review that starts from procurement, equipment, all this sort of area -Dominic Cummings is not going to go for that."

General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff, is said by Whitehall insiders to favour a more traditional approach to the review, focused more around conventional armed forces.

But according to Mr Tusa, Mr Cummings will take a new approach.

"He is a disruptor, he does not come from a conventional defence background and he will not view things through those lenses.

"I think we are going to have a really rocky, but interesting, from my point of view, six months watching the immovable object of the MOD faced with Dominic Cummings," Mr Tusa added.

Mr Tusa also stressed the need for change in the military’s approach to defence reviews.

Giving his recommendations the analyst set out two "fundamental premises". 

Mr Tusa said defence should "stop pretending there isn’t a problem with money", and stated "the UK is not a global power and cannot be a global power under any budget projection".

He recommended the UK have a more cut-heavy review like 2010, where it was promised that cutbacks would be reversed in the future "when we can afford them".


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Cover image: MOD.