12 Dec 14. The House of Lords Select Committee on the Arctic will next week take evidence from James Duddridge MP, Parliamentary under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and Defence Minister Julian Brazier MP, in the final evidence session of their inquiry. The Ministers will be accompanied by departmental officials Nick Gurr, Director of International Security Policy at the MoD and Jane Rumble, Head of the Polar Regions Unit at the FCO. The session will start at 10:45am on Tuesday 16 December in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords. Areas the session will cover include:
* Has the UK been upfront in making clear its interests in the Arctic? Is the UK’s approach overly cautious compared to the extensive and rapid engagement undertaken by new Arctic Council observer states?
* How well is the UK engaging with the multiple different international organisations relevant to the country’s Arctic interests?
* How can the UK best influence the Arctic Council?
* How has the loss of British maritime patrol aircraft affected the UK’s surveillance capacity and ability to support search and rescue in Arctic and near-Arctic waters? Does the potential increase in maritime traffic in and around the Arctic challenge the UK’s surveillance capabilities?
12 Dec 14. Defence Committee – DECISION MAKING IN DEFENCE P0LICY.
Tuesday 16 December 2014. Committee Room 15, House of Commons. Witnesses:
* Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, former HM Ambassador to Kabul, and former Special Representative to the Foreign Secretary for Afghanistan and Pakistan
At 10.45 am
* Brigadier (Retired) Ed Butler
At 11.30 am
* Lieutenant General (Retired) Sir Robert Fry
* Mr Desmond Bowen, former Director General of Policy, Ministry of Defence
This is the first session for this inquiry. Discussion will focus on decision making surrounding the deployment of British forces into Helmand and subsequently, Northern Helmand, in 2006.
12 Dec 14. Defence Committee, FUTURE FORCE 2020, Wednesday 17 December 2014, The Grimond Room, Portcullis House. Witnesses from the Ministry of Defence:
At 2.30 pm
* Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Defence
* Air Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Military Capability)
* Peter Watkins, DG Security Policy
This is the third session for this inquiry. On 2 July 2014 the Defence Committee announced a new inquiry into Future Force 2020. This followed the Committee’s earlier work looking at the Future Army 2020. The 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review set out the Government’s plans for the Armed Forces called Future Force 2020. The Committee is particularly concerned about the relevance, size and quality of the Armed Forces.
The Committee is particularly interested in examining.
* The impact on the plans for Future Force 2020 of the challenging global political and security context, including in Ukraine, the Middle East and Africa and the changing size, structures and priorities of other international forces including those of the UK’s usual allies.
* Whether the implementation of Future Force 2020 will provide the flexible, agile and operationally capable force required.
* The impact of the Levene Reforms on the Armed Forces, in particular, how the Joint Forces Command (JFC) will operate with the other three Services on operations and in providing contingent capability and the effect of the delegation of budgets to the three Services and JFC for equipment and other expenditure.
* The costs of the reforms.
House of Commons and House of Lords Hansard Written Answers
Asked by Mr Tom Watson
(West Bromwich East)
Asked on: 02 December 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 15 October 2014 to Question 209575, whether the Government has had any discussions with the administration of the US on future basing of UK Reapers in Afghanistan in connection with Operation Resolut