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A new model army?

One of Britain's finest generals hints at a radical reordering of the armed forces to equip them for modern conflicts. Unfortunately, he only hints

By Lewis Page   November 2005

The Utility of Force by Rupert Smith (Allen Lane, £20)

Rupert Smith could reasonably claim to be the most operationally experienced British general of his generation. As a junior paratroop officer in 1978, he was a company commander in South Armagh’s “bandit country.” He was caught in the blast of an IRA bomb, and won the Queen’s gallantry medal for his service. He went on, among other things, to train the nascent Zimbabwean army after the fall of Rhodesia. Later, as a general, he commanded the British ground force in the 1991 Gulf war. He was then in charge of…

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