Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)

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The Ministry of Defence building, Whitehall, Westminster, London
Tri-service badge of the UK armed forces
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Tri-service badge of the UK armed forces

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and the headquarters of the UK military.

The principle objective of the MoD is to ensure the security of the UK and its overseas territories. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War the MoD does not forsee any conventional military threat; rather it has identified weapons of mass destruction, international terrorism and failed and failing states as the overriding threats to the UK's interests. The MoD also manages day to day running of the military, military and contingency planning and defence procurement.

Contents

Defence policy

The 1998 Strategic Defence Review and the 2003 Delivering Security in a Changing World White Paper outlined the following posture for the UK armed forces:

  • The ability to support three simultaneous small to medium scale operations, where at least one is an enduring peace-keeping mission (e.g. Kosovo). These forces must be capable of acting as lead nation in any coalition operations.
  • The ability, at longer notice, to deploy forces in a large scale operation while running a concurrent small scale operation.

Ministers as of May 6, 2005

Departmental Agencies

1 reporting to the Minister of State (Armed Forces).
2 reporting to the Parliamentary Secretary (Minister for Defence Procurement)
3 reporting to the Parliamentary Secretary (Minister for Veterans)

Origins

The Ministry of Defence subsumed the operations of the Admiralty, the War Office and the Air Ministry in 1964.

Buildings

Henry VIII's wine cellar from the Palace of Whitehall built in 1514-1516 is located within the basement of the Ministy of Defence offices in Whitehall, and is used for entertainment. The entire structure was moved a short distance in 1949 in order to accommodate the layout of the MOD building.

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