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Lessons to be learnt from UK’s decision dilemma on tanks

General Sir Rupert Smith, a British Army paratrooper who commanded the 1st Armoured Division in his book ‘Utility of Force’ wrote that; “Armies do not prepare for the last war, they frequently prepare for the wrong one- if for no other reason the governments will usually fund only the anticipated primary threat as opposed to the risk and the opponent will usually play to his opponents’ weakness (the risk) rather than the strength (the primary threat).”

The debate in the UK, resulting in the decision to do away with their heavy tanks may well be traced to the comments of Gen Rupert Smith. Having delayed modernization of its main battle tank fleet, and now faced with the prospect of an expensive replacement, or costly upgrades, the UK is in a decision dilemma regarding the options available.

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