HC Deb 21 November 2002 vol 394 cc213-4W
Mr. Keetch

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the role and mandate of UK defence attachés posted overseas. [81107]

Mr. Ingram

[holding answer 19 November 2002]: The principal role of defence attaches is to further the United Kingdom's defence diplomacy aims in the host country. There are six core attaché functions:

  • Support to defence diplomacy
  • Provision of operational military advice and assistance
  • Provision of politico-military advice
  • Support to defence intelligence
  • Support to defence exports
  • Representation and administrative support

Attachés deploy to post with a Chief of Defence Staff Directive they are his, and the three single service chiefs', representative in country. Depending on location, they may also receive a Directive from chief defence intelligence and/or the single service(s).

Attachés are appointed to the staff of the ambassador/high commissioner whose instructions and policies they are to follow. Under the direction of the ambassador/high commissioner, they undertake any duties that advance the interests of the United Kingdom.