§ John Robertson
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of 1601W the ability of the United Kingdom to conduct military operations independently of the United States after the modernisation of the armed forces. 
§ Mr. Hoon
The force structure changes detailed in the "Future Capabilities" paper that was published in July 2004 (Cm 6269) will provide a broad spectrum of capabilities to ensure that the UK is capable of conducting limited national operations, or of being the lead or framework nation for coalition operations at small and medium scale where the US is not participating. The full spectrum of capabilities is not required for large scale operations, as the most demanding operations could only conceivably be undertaken alongside the US, either as a NATO operation or a US-led coalition, where we have choices as to what to contribute.