Ministry of Defence
Or: Gets More Funding than Silly Walks

Protecting the United Kingdom with stiff upper lips and about between £20-30 billion a year is the Ministry of Defence or, if you can't decide whether to spell that with an 's' or a 'c', the MoD, headquartered in Whitehall, London.

Citizens may look to them for all their Navy, Army, and Air Force needs, both foreign and domestic.

Your Mission, etc., etc.

The purpose of the organization is perhaps best put in their own words, so as not to mistake it:

A fairly general statement that coves a lot of territory and leaves plenty of room for maneuvering, which is of course very important in military operations.

Old Habits Die Hard

The modern MoD has its origins in a number of old departments, long since integrated, consolidated, and upgraded. Forty years ago, the MoD's efforts were still collectively covered by the Admiralty, the War Office, the Air Ministry, the Ministry of Aviation, and an older version of itself by the same name.

The oldest of these offices, the Admiralty, dated back to Henry VIII's lifetime, while the Air Ministry was born in 1918, after World War I saw the first use of aircraft for military purposes.

It was only in 1971 that MoD finally took on all its current functions.

The MoD Squad--Who's Who in the Ministry

It's government, so it's bureaucracy. The structure of the MoD is very complex; by no means is it easily understood or summarized.

With that in mind, grossy simplified:

At Their Command

The modern world is by and large--for the time being--not one of large-scale conventional warfare. The role of MoD has changed with the reduction of its size and mission following the end of the Cold War, when Western nations the world over were stuck with all these nuclear weapons and no one to point them at.

But they can still whoop some ass almost anywhere in the world. Here's how many will come, if you invite them:

Not all of that last group will show up if you want to have the party at your place. But those that do will Bring Their Own Bombs, certainly. The MoD commands a full spread of the most technologically advanced weaponry, from the simple sidearm to the advanced-ballistic-nuclear-missile-carrying submarine.

So you'd better put extra hotdogs on the grill.

Today's To Do List

Since the collapse of the Cold War, the MoD has seen a decrease in its expense budget, and an accordant decrease in its size. That does not, of course, mean that they're sitting about drumming their collective trigger-fingers.

Recent or on-going operations include:

  • Operation Veritas: Billed as the British contribution to the U.S.'s treacle-sounding, anti-terrorist Operation Enduring Freedom.

  • Operation Fingal: A.K.A International Security Assistance Force, which is doing its best to keep the interim authority in Afghanistan behind its desks instead of under them.
  • You will also have recently seen British forces in Kosovo, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Iraq, and Mozambique, performing in various roles.

    So That Covers It, Right?

    Hardly. The MoD is a huge organization, operating on countless levels and in numerous ways. I have not even touched on home defense in this writeup, and encourage others to continue filling the subject heading. It's truly immense. Suffice to say that, as large as it is, the United Kingdom's ranks 5th--or did, in 1999--in the world for defense spending, writing checks for eight times less than the United States, which came in at 260,000,000,000 pounds.

    So somewhere, there's a harder writeup than this to be done.


    Medal to:
    http://www.mod.uk/

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