21st Century Defence review – Part 1

Initial scoping work for the review has highlighted a number of underlying drivers of change in the security landscape. We will assess the strength of each of these to identify the impact on UK national security and implications for defence policy.

The process of indentifying threats and drivers is important in itself since threat detection is a vital defence capability which must itself be continually reassessed to be improved upon. It is often said that equipment platforms should be ‘future-proofed’, but the same must also be said of strategy and strategy-development.

It is important to note that in identifying the threats the UK faces resulting from these trends we will seek to identify the regions which the threats are concentrated or from which the trends will derive over the next 10-20 years, therefore driving the geographical focus of our work.

Among the key drivers of change we have identified are:

  • Globalisation;
  • Demographic Change;
  • Financial Crisis, Persistent Poverty and Global Inequality;
  • Climate Change;
  • Resource shortages;
  • Scientific and Technological Change;
  • Governance;
  • Challenges to the rule-based system.

In conducting this phase of the review’s work, we will draw on, and test the findings of, non-governmental documents such as the Shared Destinies and Shared Responsibilities reports of the IPPR’s independent Commission on National Security, governmental studies including successive National Security Strategies, an innovation under the Labour Government in 2008, work of the MoD’s Defence Concepts and Doctrine Centre, and its assessment of Global Strategic Trends -Out to 2040 in particular.

Click here to go to the 21st Century Defence consultation home page

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