Talk:Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)

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Amendment of origins[edit]

Having boosted the section on the origins of the MoD, there will probably be room for improvement on my edit. Three sections for improvement could well be: discussion of the formation of an united defence ministry before 1946, the effectiveness of pre-1940 defence co-ordination, and the balance of power between the MoD and the service ministries between 1946 and 1964.Hyuey 18.53, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

This page was moved in February 2005, so that the former page could disambiguate between the British Ministry of Defence and the Sinaporean Ministry of Defence. This is a clear case of primary diambiguation and should be moved back. Jooler 15:48, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Add *Support or *Oppose followed by an optional one sentence explanation and sign your vote with ~~~~
  • Oppose, since "Ministry of Defence" is far too generic. It may be used for translating most similar names of ministries of defence of other countries, and may even be the official English translation in many cases (see [1]). Uppland 21:08, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. -- Necrothesp 10:14, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. Proteus (Talk) 10:22, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Far too generic. Countries having a "Ministry of Defence" include Singapore, New Zealand, India, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Brunei, Hungary, France, Greece, and Denmark, and this is just from the first two pages of google hits for "Ministry of Defence". srs 17:30, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose: too generic. Can also refer to the Norwegian Ministry of Defence. Jonathunder 19:11, 2005 May 1 (UTC)
  • Support. Primary disambiguation material, definitely. James F. (talk) 01:44, 2 May 2005 (UTC) Changing my mind. Should instead be at British Ministry of Defence - paranthetic disambiguation is ugly. James F. (talk) 21:04, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Maccoinnich 23:44, May 2, 2005 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. Ministry of Defence is a very widely used title/translation. As such I would consider it highly biassed if Wikipedia's article under this heading referred only the British ministry. Rje 01:46, May 3, 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Cal T 20:31, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose - looks fine as it is Brookie:The grass on the hill 09:17, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Noisy | Talk 10:08, May 4, 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. International spelling tends to be defense and thus it should be used for disambiguation page; defence is primarily restricted in scope to Commonwealth countries, of which United Kingdom is the most likely search target. DmitryKo 19:06, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
    • See my comment below. Uppland 19:51, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Not to put too fine a point on it, the claim is utter nonsense. See my points below also. India, Australia, Jamaica, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Zimbabwe, Barbados, Tanzania, Bermuda, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Egypt, nearly every country that has English as a major language spells the word "defence". --Tony Sidaway|Talk 16:24, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Neutral. There are arguments for both. I would rather that Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom) were moved to the unambiguous British Ministry of Defence, which is a common form of the organisation's name used when it is necessary to specify a nationality. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 16:15, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Too general. -- Chris j wood 19:23, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

Voting over, see decision below

Discussion[edit]

Oppose since "Ministry of Defence" is far too generic. It may be used for translating most similar names of ministries of defence of other countries, and may even be the official English translation in many cases (see [2]). Uppland 21:08, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • Translations are irrelevant. This is English Wikipedia. Jooler 21:54, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • Um, that may actually be why translations are relevant, because there tends to be complaints from some people on the English Wikipedia when translatable foreign terms are left untranslated. -- Uppland 22:06, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)


I think saying that "Ministry of Defense' refering to the UK is a primary usage is systemically biased towards native English speakers. Non-native speakers wouldn't necessarily immediately think of the UK when they hear 'Ministry of Defense', they would probably think of their own, or a neighboring country's. This is the sort of thing that Combating systemic bias is trying to work towards fixing. Lachatdelarue (talk) 15:12, 2 May 2005 (UTC)


The primary target of search for Ministry of Defence is the United Kingdom government department. Defence is strictly a Commonwealth English term, while Defense is generic for both International English and U.S. English, so it's likely to be used for other Defense Ministries of the world (see searsh results). A link to disambiguation page at the start of the page will help anyone searching for Norwegian Ministry of Defence and the likes. DmitryKo 19:06, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

"International English" usually equals British spelling: At least the following countries (from the first few pages of Google hits, and excluding major Commonwealth countries such as India) have official websites using Ministry of Defence:
There are probably many more, and even restricting ourselves to Commonwealth countries, I don't see the point of giving priority to the UK MoD. I have voted for primary disambiguation in cases like Lancaster and Middlesex, where the English place obviously has historic priority, but the Ministry of Defence has, according to the article here, only been called that since 1964. -- Uppland 19:51, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
Google seems to treat defense as a subset of defence so the search results are not really indicative. And I'm not going to browse the government sites of all the UN member states in order to collect statistics on the usage of defence.
The UK ministry is the only genuiune among the ones you listed (others being a mere translation from native dialect), and there are no articles for Commonwealth ministries that may share the same name. DmitryKo 08:39, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
  • It's utter nonsense to describe the spelling defense as international in any way. It's almost, but not quite, strictly a US spelling. In Canada the English name of the defence force is Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces [15]. The Jamaican equivalent is the Jamaica Defence Force [16]. The Australian equivalent is the Department of Defence [17]. The New Zealand name is New Zealand Defence Force [18]. In South Africa the force is the Department of Defence [19]. The Indian Ministry of Defence [20] and Pakistan's Defence Division [21] (though the Pakistan website sometimes spells the word defense). Nearly every country I can think of where English is a major language spells the word "defence". As well as Pakistan's occasional spelling of "defense", Israel's IDF website [22] does use the spelling "Israel Defense Forces". But Canada, Ireland [23], India, outh Africa, New Zealand, Jamaica and Australia spell it with a C.--Tony Sidaway|Talk 15:57, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
Read what I said above. Commonwealth countries use British English spelling, international day-to-day use tends to be US English one. DmitryKo 12:41, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

Decision[edit]

It was requested that this article be renamed but there was no consensus for it to be moved. violet/riga (t) 18:16, 6 May 2005 (UTC)


The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Linkage[edit]

Nearly 6 months after this page was moved from Ministry of Defence and Special:Whatlinkshere/Ministry_of_Defence shows that this is still a good case for primary topic diambiguation at Ministry of Defence Jooler 01:02, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

This set of redirect changes (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Contributions&target=JoanneB&offset=200509291940&limit=170) (170 modifications) - 6 months after this page was moved this - clearly demonstrates that Ministry of Defence is still a good case for primary topic diambiguation. Jooler 21:58, 29 September 2005
Once again another 6 months later and we STILL have a vast number of linkages to Ministry of Defence intending to refer to the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (Special:Whatlinkshere/Ministry_of_Defence) - which clearly demonstrates that Ministry of Defence should use primary topic disambiguation and refer to the UK MoD. Jooler 21:33, 7 April 2006 (

DEFENSE BUDGET

There's a lengthy section on the MoD's property portfolio but no discussion of the Defense budget, I think someone who's knowledgeable about that should add that info. 12.199.96.253 20:03, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

DefenCe budget. TheMongoose 13:46, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

PROPERTY PORTFOLIO

I agree, the property portfolio of the MoD is rather irrelevant to the article, it would more properly be placed in the article on Defence Estates agency.

  • I think a re-think on the organisation and presentation of this article is needed. The main sections of the article should cover the purpose, a brief history of its foundation (the current section seems fine), the senior ministers, officials and staff officers, then a broad outline of the organistion of the MoD. I am happy to do that, there is plenty of source material. I intend to update the section on defence agencies as the current section is badly outdated, although the change process is still ongoing.
  • Information on the defence budget could be included in a section about financing but good luck finding someone willing to go into detal on that one, complex is not a strong enough word to describe the MoD accounts!!. ~~George4405, 8th December 2008~~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by George4405 (talkcontribs) 14:44, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Ministry of Attack?[edit]

The Ministry of Defence has been criticised for military intervention seen as offensive rather than defensive, and critics suggest it would be more appropriate to call the ministry the Ministry of Attack, claiming the present name is an example of double speak.[1] The Ministry of Defence however claims current military intervention is justified under the rationale of Preemptive war, which argues offensive policies are a form of defence.

I believe this text is simply argumentative and politically motivated. In addition the quoted reference is not consistent with the section. I believe the section should be removed. Any thoughts?--Aled D (talk) 17:03, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Concur, and removing. - BillCJ (talk) 18:25, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, I don't see why this can be put here but the DoD can't be changed to the DoA. America has started more wars than us, so if their's doesn't change, neither does ours. 213.78.183.91 (talk) 15:11, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

....hold on please. I feel it should stay: 1) It is properly sourced and presents a valid criticism - criticism which certain users may not like cannot be labeled "argumentative and politically motivated" and then arbitrarily removed. The language used is as objective as possible without removing the meaning from the criticism 2) in response to (User:213.78.183.91): the fact that your observation is not on the DoD page is a problem with the DoD page NOT this page. Chendy (talk) 11:37, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Firstly the name Ministry of Defence is a proprietary name of the organisation defined by the Act of Parliament.
Secondly the one source brought to back this up is clearly unreliable and lacking in authority.
Thirdly, the Ministry can hardly be blamed for executing the policy of the elected Government.
Fourthly, because attack is the best form of defence, and no country has ever survived by maintaining a defensive posture, it doesn't matter what the name of the organisation is; it will have the capabilities required of it by law to perform the role in the Government that it does.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 11:52, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Britain has launched totally unprovoked attacks on Maoris in New Zealand and others. The Ministry should be called the Ministry of Offence, or MoO. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.154.3.225 (talk) 13:17, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Suggest removing subsection Fraud and Criticism...[edit]

As the subject is about the "role" of the Ministry of Defence. Both Fraud and Criticism don't really fall into this category, while yes they are relevant, if you were to write every single subject on this matter you will still be reading it at page 253.

Slightly off the topic and a tongue in the cheek, how about a subsection on the "The role of UK Government short-term institutionalise Ministry of Defence planning" and a follow up on "How it leads people who thought of these crazy ideas up in the first place somehow get a promotion?"

Lastly on the subject of the Ministry of Attack, had the writer bothered to read History books, he/she will be please to know that The Ministry of Defence once called Ministry of War. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lopsidedbunny (talkcontribs) 22:05, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Re-Organisation[edit]

  • After examining it, I think it may be more appropriate if the property portfolio section concentrate just on the MoD Main Building and its environs, without going into more detail about all the property the MoD owns, apart from a quick one liner to say it owns alot!.
  • The Agency list needs to be updated and I will do that along with creation of a section on the organisational hierarchy of the MoD, regarding top level budgets and the major constituent parts of the department. I think this would also be the section in which to explain how the MoD is accountable to Parliament.
  • The section on Defence policy needs to be expanded with an explanation of the broader subject of British Defence Policy and how it set and where it is sourced from. There should rightly be a mention of NATO and the EU here given the emphasis on combined operations.
  • The section on fraud has only one story in it making it really a section on Gordon Foxley!. THe section on Criticism is also a one hit wonder. There are two ways to go, one is to create a section on Controversy/Criticism that contains such like fraud and incompetent procurement, and then to expand it with further examples, or to delete the two sections completely. I favour the first section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by George4405 (talkcontribs) 15:08, 8 December 2008 (UTC)


ARMED FORCES MINISTER[edit]

I'm trying to understand how the responsibilites of the Armed Forces Minister, or as it's put in the article Minister of State for the Armed Forces, is different from that of the Minister of Defence. Does he aid in setting policy or does he simply oversee the implementation of it? Or is it that he's simply the person responsible for over seeing the individual Armed Services as distinct from the larger Defence Ministry? User 070 (talk) 17:45, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Generally, a secretary of state has overall responsibility and accountability for all aspects of a Department's work, and they set the strategic direction. Underneath the SoS, a set of junior ministers handle all the day-to-day aspects of running the Department, and they escalate any particularly tricky or sensitive issues up to the SoS. So in the MOD, the day-to-day tasks are split between four junior ministers, one for personnel and veterans, one for international security strategy, one equipment, and one for actual military operations. The junior minister responsible for operations is known as the 'Armed Forces Minister'. Thom2002 (talk) 19:20, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Criticism[edit]

In the long history of the MoD we only have one item of specific criticism. The MoD has a history of programme fiascos, would it be better just to give a link to the procurement policy/activities rather than give undue weight to one criticism that just happened to be in the recent news. MilborneOne (talk) 12:45, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Incorrect and out of date info[edit]

MoD Civilian staff are currently 85,530 personnel according to latest figures. Apr 2010&from=listing&topDate=2010-04-30. Also MoD's budget is just over £40 billion according to HM Treasury. The current source used for the MoD's budget is actualy projections made by the MoD pre-2007 and arent updated....ever. More reason to use latests government figures. Recon.Army (talk) 14:07, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Also, the Chief of Defence Materiel is now Mr Tony Douglas (since Nov 15)(not Sir Bernard Gray) — Preceding unsigned comment added by McTeagues (talkcontribs) 12:27, 16 June 2016 (UTC)

British Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence[edit]

Are the British Armed Forces part of the Ministry of Defence, or just under its command? Currently, at Royal Marines, the info-box states that it is part of the MOD, which is not stated at Royal Air Force. Also, if the British Armed Forces are not part of the MOD, then what exactly are they? Thanks, Rob (talk) 20:06, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Here we enter the strange, twilight world of the British Constitution. Most of the institutions we know and love, including both the MOD and the armed forces, have no legal personality. So the authority to command the armed forces is with the Queen, who delegates this role to the Defence Council, which is a committee chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence. The other civilians in what we call the MOD are civilian servants of the Crown (which is an abstract legal entity) who are working to the Secretary of State for Defence. The Defence Council has a number of sub-committees including the Army Board, the Air Force Board, and the Admiralty Board. These sub-committtes act as the legal authority for command of those forces, and are deemed part of the MOD. The 'Army' as a whole has no legal personality, there is the Board, and then a chain of command down through the officers and enlisted men. The individual officers 'work for' the Queen, although their salary is paid centrally by the MOD. They may be assigned to particular Corps (in the case of the Army), although the Corps have no legal personality either. Clear as mud? Next week we can try to work out what the hell the Bank Of England "is". Thom2002 (talk) 21:52, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
To actually answer your question, its probably a strict 'no' as the officers and men are effectively agents of the Crown and the vast majority of them are not appointed by the Secretary of State for Defence. Buts it kind of a practical 'yes' as the Senior Board and the HQ function for each Armed Force sit clearly within the MOD structure and all the money comes via the MOD. The Armed Forces have no corporate personality beyond their respective Boards, which is a similar set-up to many old UK institutions. Thom2002 (talk) 22:38, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Oh, that's really interesting. Thank you. Rob (talk) 10:33, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Every few years Parliament passes an Armed Forces Act which permits the legal maintenance of the Army. The Monarch has no right to maintain and Command an Army herself, but only under the authority of the people and with their permission, via Parliament. So the ultimate authority to command the Army is Parliament. Mmitchell10 (talk) 11:15, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

Command ≠ organisational structure. The forces are commonly referred to as the 'Armed Forces of the Crown'. They're not part of a government department. Rob984 (talk) 12:00, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. It's interesting how it all fits together. Mmitchell10 (talk) 13:03, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
Woops, I thought you were trying to justify a recent edit. Sorry. Rob984 (talk) 13:59, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
So the rather extensive discussion [24] making reference to legislation, doctrine and the legalities of command wasn't clear?
I'm not going to rehash it, but the point that you're trying to substantiate, isn't simplistic. Command is enacted through the same legal framework that puts the organisational structure in place.
GhostlyLegend (talk) 09:00, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Command is enacted through the same legal framework that puts the organisational structure in place.

Please cite this legal framework. If it does exist, the extensive discussion would have been unnecessary.
Rob984 (talk) 10:43, 26 October 2014 (UTC)
The Armed Forces Act, supported by the three sets of Queens Regulations...
GhostlyLegend (talk) 15:25, 28 October 2014 (UTC)
Neither of which support any of your claims... Uh? Rob984 (talk) 17:44, 28 October 2014 (UTC)
So you've read them, and all the associated policy documentation that explains how they work in practice, and the case law, and the doctrine? So which staff course did you do then?
GhostlyLegend (talk) 19:16, 28 October 2014 (UTC)
You don't just cite an entire document and expect another editor to read the whole thing to verify your claim... Rob984 (talk) 21:49, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Date of formation[edit]

Is there a more precise date than "1964" for the MoD coming into effect? I have seen uncited 31 December elsewhere. Davidships (talk) 20:05, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

The legislation was the Defence (Transfer of Functions) Act 1964 which is dated 12 March 1964, it mentions an appointed day to be declared, I believe this was the 1 Apr 1964 but I am still looking for a reliable reference for the date. MilborneOne (talk) 20:41, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
OK found it [Defence (Transfer of Functions) (Appointed Day) Order 1964] says it is the 1 April 1964. MilborneOne (talk) 20:48, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks - presumably should be in article proper as well as Infobox? Davidships (talk) 23:27, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

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