Joint Concept Note (JCN) 2/12: Future Land Operating Concept is founded on the uncompromising requirement for land forces to excel at warfighting. Deterring conflict will remain a central pillar of UK security policy and a crucial role for land forces. The credibility of deterrence depends on political will and the capability to defeat the gravest threats. Accordingly, the land force must be configured to defend robustly and, if deterrence fails, be ready to apply decisive lethal force to set the conditions for political progress. The land force must have the ability to intervene, in concert with the other services, to fight and win the nation’s wars.
The sources of competition, confrontation and conflict are increasing and will continue to drive a requirement for the land force to provide political choice in the defence of the UK’s vital national interests. Therefore, the land force must maintain a credible and demonstrable persistent capacity to defeat adaptive, hybrid adversaries, predominantly amongst the population, on ground and with methods of their choosing and have the capability to secure resources and people. This decisive warfighting effect also underpins the credibility required to operate with partners and allies, and serves to reinforce our influence internationally, thereby increasing political options. Credible ‘hard power’ provides the foundation of ‘soft power’; Defence Engagement makes a key military contribution to this. The land force’s contribution to Defence Engagement is instrumental in providing textural understanding, capacity-building, reassurance and influence in support of building stability overseas.
The capability to conduct demanding, decisive combat operations and contribute to Defence Engagement requires both an adaptable and integrated approach: both themes are threaded throughout this concept. This approach also supports the contribution of the land force (as part of the joint force) to UK resilience.
The FLOC articulates the 3 new roles for the army:
- contingent capability for defence and deterrence
- overseas engagement and capacity building
- UK engagement and homeland resilience
Finally, this land capstone concept also recognises that the future application of the Manoeuvrist Approach will have to account for a range of audiences and actors within, adjacent to, and dislocated from the areas of operations. Manoeuvre itself will be about seeking to gain advantage over an opponent in the information domain as well as the traditional dimensions of fire and movement combined with air power.