An update on the military campaign in Iraq and Syria is available in CBP8011, Syria and Iraq: update June 2017. This document will no longer be updated but serves as a useful summary of the military campaign against ISIS to March 2017.
The Government published its Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy: Global Britain in a Competitive Age, on 16 March 2021. Billed as the biggest review of the UK's defence and security since the end of the Cold War, it sets out the UK's approach to the expected challenges of the next decade.
The UK is sending 250 soldiers to Mali to join the UN peacekeeping mission in 2020. Mali faces considerable political, security and governance challenges, compounded by a military coup in August 2020. This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the deployment and the situation in Mali.
The deployment of the Armed Forces is currently a prerogative power. Parliament has no legally established role and the Government is under no legal obligation with respect to its conduct. In 2011 the Government acknowledged that a convention had emerged whereby the House of Commons would have the opportunity to debate the deployment of military forces, prior to doing so, except in the event of an emergency. The defeat of the Government in a vote on military action in Syria in August 2013 was widely viewed as an assertion of Parliamentary sovereignty on such matters. Yet many have argued that the convention lacks clarity and remains open to interpretation and exploitation. Indeed, the recent limited airstrikes against the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons capabilities have been undertaken without recourse to Parliament, with the Government justifying its actions on humanitarian grounds. The lack of Parliamentary consultation has reignited the debate about formally legislating for Parliament’s role in such matters. Despite having committed to legislating on this issue in 2011, the Government dropped its proposals in April 2016.
The French nuclear deterrent is the one that is most often compared to the UK’s nuclear forces. While there are similarities in terms of policy, posture and size, there are also significant differences in terms of industrial support and cost. In contrast to the UK all of the major political parties in France support an independent nuclear deterrent, and domestic support is high. This paper examines the French nuclear deterrent in greater detail. It is also part of a wider Library briefing series on nuclear weapons.
A Westminster Hall debate on 'The continued importance of International Humanitarian Law in protecting civilians in conflict’ has been scheduled for Tuesday 18 June 2019, from 9:30-11:00am. The debate will be led by Ann Clwyd MP, Andrew Mitchell MP, Tom Brake MP and Stephen Twigg MP.
The Government published the first tri-Service Armed Forces Covenant on 16 May 2011. This note examines the background to the Covenant and some of the measures to support it that the Government intends to introduce over the next few years.