As 2019 comes to an end, let’s look at how the year has been for the UK Defence Journal.

We’ve implemented new submission guidelines, we’ve started using a proper comment system allowing people to discuss articles, we’ve started publishing a great deal more analysis pieces from a wide range of people from enthusiasts to serving and former personnel.

We’ve been cited in Parliament, by think tanks and even in academia. Members of our team have appeared on TV, radio and other formats to discussion current events and we continue to attend industry events and receive invites from the armed forces to have a look at new kit or what it is that they do.

We’ve managed all of this with zero outside funding. We spend our own money on the website, on travel and on any other costs.

We’re not a company and we’re not a business, we’re a loose association of writers putting work into the website as and when we have the time to do so.

The UK Defence Journal has no affiliation to any party or political group, our members are drawn from across the political spectrum and we’re very proud of that.

What is the purpose of the UK Defence Journal?

Our name is important to who we want to be, the Oxford English Dictionary defines a ‘Journal’ as: A newspaper or magazine that deals with a particular subject or professional activity”.

I personally believe that we can work harder towards meeting that definition in a more professional way, despite being volunteers. We pride ourselves on being a team of volunteers, we’re not paid or funded by anyone.

Our team is composed of defence professionals, cyber security and international relations graduates, serving and former military personnel, industry specialists as well as everyday military and defence enthusiasts.

We want to provide daily, accurate news articles and we want to explain why that news matters in the grand scheme of things. We also want to publish topical, high quality and well researched analysis pieces.

We want these articles to be accessible to Joe Public, as informing the public on defence matters is our primary aim.

What did we want to do with 2019?

A quick summary of our objectives for this year is displayed below, but did we reach them?

  1. Our first objective is that a wider group of writers will publish daily news articles with more analysis and opinion built in to them, as well as making sure we follow up tips and leads.Done – We’ve ‘taken on’ three new regular writers this year.
  2. The second objective is for the team to publish more lengthy and in-depth analysis articles on topical issues, aiming for at least one per month in addition to our news articles.Done – We publish an analysis piece at least once per month with no impact to news article numbers. There is scope however to increase this, so we will.
  3. The third objective is for the submissions process to be easier, making it clearer what we can and cannot publish.Done – We’ve created submission guidelines so people understand how it’s done and what can and cannot be submitted.
  4. The fourth objective is for our social media accounts to behave more professionally, arguing with trolls will stop.Failed – This needs more work, the temptation to engage with people is very high. Especially when we’re ’77 brigade spies’, at least according to some parts of Twitter anyway. This needs more work.
  5. The fifth objective is to remain politically neutral and only comment on events, such as referendums, when it’s directly defence related.Done – We now double check everything that goes out in order to make sure it’s neutral.

What’s next?

As said previously, our habit of engaging with people on Twitter intending to ‘troll’ us has to stop and also been reflecting poorly on our image. This will stop and instead become the domain of accounts created to correct defence myths and misconceptions.

Many have also pointed out we have a lack of writers, with most of the content being written by three or four people. While we do have a team of close to 10 people, the volunteer nature of submissions means they come in sporadically. To try and fix this, we’ll be putting out more calls for writers from a wide range of backgrounds.

2020 will see the UK Defence Journal refresh its look, increase the quality (and type) of content we publish. There are also a number of currently secret side projects being considered.

We will remain entirely free, there will be no subscriptions. We do have adverts and those are used to fund the website running costs, they don’t pay our wages as we all have day jobs for that purpose.

Whatever the next year brings, I hope you’ll continue to enjoy what we publish and I sincerely hope that you’ll let me know if you have any suggestions.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year all,
George Allison

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Pacman27
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Pacman27

Thanks to everyone at UKDJ

Your role in society is more important now. The ability to bring pressure on those in power and represent our armed services should not be underestimated

Well done all

Corin Vestey
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Corin Vestey

Yes, great work, I visit the site every day. Have a great Christmas and New Years.

Steve
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Steve

Me too. Read it everyday and find it very informative

Steve Salt
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Steve Salt

Great work and much appreciated.
Merry Christmas and all the best for 2020.

Nigel Collins
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Nigel Collins

Thank you for all the hard work you put in over the year, looking forward to a bumper 2020 for our armed forces.

Merry Christmas

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Happy Christmas George and the team. Thank you for the UKDJ.

A&Daccountant
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A&Daccountant

Nice work UKDJ, I also come here daily and regularly share your articles. All the best for 2020.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

ditto from admiral’grumpy.

maurice10
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maurice10

It’s has been a good year for analysis and discussion and I look forward to more in 2020. Regards to all.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

and less depression. too

Herodotus
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A Merry Christmas to all and…thank you George for some interesting articles!

Helions
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Helions

Keep up the good work!

Thanks and Cheers!

Helions
Guest
Helions
geoff
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geoff

Thanks for interesting article Helions. The US Navy dominates the worlds oceans and although I am not a fan of Trump, I strongly agree with his stance on western allies needing to up their game in terms of money and material. Germany is one NATO member in particular that comes to mind when in comes to taking the mick-a wealthy country that leans heavily on the US and to a lesser extent the UK for military backing. In addition what military resources it has are almost never available to assist at the front line!

Helions
Guest
Helions

Lot of activity in the Pacific region as well. The USN and all of the U.S. armed forces are reorienting themselves towards Chinese expansion. The current structure of the armed forces are incompatible with what we’re facing in the region. Things have to change and quickly…

https://news.usni.org/2019/12/23/report-to-congress-on-chinese-naval-modernization

Cheers

Helions
Guest
Helions
geoff
Guest
geoff

Thanks Helions and all the best for 2020

Frank62
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Frank62

The PRC cannot believe their good fortune if the USN is made to reduce effectives while the PLAN continues to drastically build a large & potent blue water fleet. Chilling times for Taiwan, S Korea & Japan if the USA drops the ball now.

Nick Bowman
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Nick Bowman

Thanks for the work you do, UKDJ. This is a go-to website for me. The articles are generally informed and relevant. The discussion forum is fantastic. Most participants are knowledgeable, reasonably civilized, and quite funny at times. Merry Christmas all…

Fen Tiger
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Fen Tiger

Ditto

Tom Ward
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Tom Ward

Thanks to all at UKDJ for your well informed and timely contributions to the Defence community… please keep it up and have a great Christmas and rewarding New Year.

Tom Ward
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Tom Ward

Moderation ?

Ron5
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Ron5

Congratulations on a very fine year.

Gavin Gordon
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Gavin Gordon

Well, 2019 was stimulating – bring on 2020. More ‘interesting times’ ahead, no doubt – on all fronts. For now I’m seeing the year out with the timeless classics: Mozart, Jamesons*, Guinness, Cockburns, Mount Gay together with roast duck the noo.
ok, lapsed scottish I’ll concede – but sublime non the less.
Onward into the Breach……..

TopBoy
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TopBoy

Excellent work guys. I use this website every single day. All the best for 2020.
Thank you

Wayne
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Wayne

77 brigade spies… dear me. Keep up the good work.

Frank62
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Frank62

I don’t understand what that means, 77 brigade spies?

Wayne
Guest
Wayne
Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

You may recall 15 ( Psyops ) Group at Chicksands Frank. They and a few other bits and pieces became 77 bde.

Frank62
Guest
Frank62

Thanks guys.

John
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John

Thanks UKDJ I check everyday for new content. Keep up the good work. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Frank62
Guest
Frank62

Thank you UKDJ for all the work you do, providing this site for better discussion & understanding of all defence issues. It is a marginalised topic in most other media, which rarely calls out political & structural failings & blunders. Particularly so when there’ve been so many in recent years.
We need forces that can do what we ask & expect of them with decent kit, due care of the personnel & the ability to sustain a major defence for more than a month or two without having to use nukes.

OOA
Guest
OOA

Many thanks to the team at UKDJ for providing a stimulating place for people interested in Defence matters to share and discuss. Looking forward to your help in shining a light on SDSR2020 as it unfolds. I have a long-ish piece in support of a split F35A/B buy which has been lurking on the PC for some time now and which I’m planning on finishing and offering-up soon (although I suspect many would like it to stay lurking!). In any case, thanks again, keep up the good work and all the best for 2020.

Cam
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Cam

Yeah great work all of you at UKDJ, I also visit every day when I can, and look forward to new posts. Merry Xmas and happy new year.👍🇬🇧

Liam
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Liam

An essential daily read for me. Keep up the good work.

ChariotRider
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ChariotRider

Thanks to George and the team for all your hard work. Very informative and it has been really great to find the UKDJ. Thanks to posters as well, the discussions are informative as well.

Best wishes for the New Year.

J.T
Guest
J.T

I really enjoy your website. Three points for your consideration. 1) Regarding being sucked in by trolls, I wonder whether there should be a policy of only allowing comments on articles for, say, 24 hours after they’re published and publishing all comments received simultaneously thereafter. This would help prevent arguments developing. 2) Perhaps there should be a space to allow users to register with the website (together with email address verification to prevent trolls giving false details) and after logging in to debate topics. The potential for deregistration would act as a deterrent to trolls. 3) And finally with Brexit… Read more »

Ernest Harrison
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Ernest Harrison

I run a Social media page which is now at an end with Brexit all but completed. I visit this site almost every day and hope I will see an article where UK defence is expanding. Although it’s said the RN will have more ships – I then hear that we are still to have a navy on 8 destroyers and 11 frigates. With the Type 31 making matters worse. To me the answer is simple. Keep six of the Duke Class and refit. Build 6 Corvettes. Where would we get the crews? Rhetorical but every year we interview potential… Read more »