Mission Improbable: The Transformation of the Army Reserve

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Extensive research, including interviews with ministers and generals, fieldwork with army reserve units, and surveys underpins this definitive account of Future Reserves 2020 (FR20).

A central tenet of recent British defence policy, FR20 sought to radically transform the role and function of the British Army Reserve by making it more capable and more deployable, whilst simultaneously cutting costs by outsourcing logistics capability to reserve forces.

In this book, Bury examines the origins, evolution and impact of the policy. He controversially shows how its intensely intra-party and intra-service political origins, the Army’s resistance to them, and the Army Reserves’ organisational nature, have undermined the policy’s ability to deliver the key military capabilities it envisaged. In doing so, he provides evidence of incoherent defence policy making in the Cameron era.

Nevertheless, there have been successes. By examining the impact of FR20 at the unit level, the book illustrates that whilst some units will struggle to deliver the required capability, in other areas such as integration with the regulars, professionalism, and opportunities, FR20 is delivering.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHampshire
Number of pages226
ISBN (Electronic)978 1 912440 12 2, 978 1 912440 05 7
ISBN (Print)978-1912440047
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

double peer-reviewed research monograph


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