Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"No plans for a European Rapid Reaction Force"

That is the latest statement from the MoD, which follows on from our story about the demise of the European Rapid Reaction Force, picked up by Christopher Booker in his column on Sunday, bringing the news to a wider audience.

The clue on which Booker relied was last week's conference on land warfare where Gen Dannatt slipped out in coded form that the Army's £16 billion Future Rapid Effects System (FRES), planned as the centrepiece of Britain's contribution to the European Army (aka the European Rapid Reaction Force), was a dead duck. Without that capacity, the UK is unable to make a meaningful contribution to the ERRF.

Booker's piece provoked an almost immediate response from the MoD, lodging its disagreement on its blog yesterday. In typical style, though, it is unable to resist a sneer, declaring, "Christopher Booker's article displays a lack of understanding of some basic facts." And, according to the MoD, a crucial area where there is a "lack of understanding" is that "there are no plans for a European Rapid Reaction Force."

More on Defence of the Realm.