The focus of Labour’s defence policy is the protection of our citizens and interests at home and overseas. The context in which we undertake this challenge is changing dramatically. This is a defining moment for defence policy. New and emerging threats, withdrawal from Afghanistan, the financial crisis, growing interdependence and changing attitudes to expeditionary policy are among the many factors contributing to what is by consensus a transformative security landscape.

The Arab Spring is the tip of the iceberg of the change we are likely to experience over the next decade. Britain needs a new defence strategy consistent with financial circumstances but also with strategic context. It must be flexible and agile, with new and wide-ranging capabilities. It must prioritise coalition-building, be attuned to the threats and trends of the future and co-ordinate defence with development and diplomacy.  We hope this Shadow Defence Review today will help us to develop a long-term vision for UK defence policy shaped around these priorities.

We very much hope you will contribute to this work and take the time to share with us your expertise and insights into the issues raised in the consultation paper, which can be found below.

Three ways to get involved;

1. Email us your submission here
2. Comment or ask a question below
3. Share on Facebook and Twitter.

The consultation is divided into three parts:

Part 1: The Threat Environment

Part 1 will analyse the strategic threat environment in which defence policy is being made and must respond to. We will seek to provide an analytical basis to support future strategic judgements in the area of defence policy.  We will conduct a key assumptions check on the Government’s own assessment of the forward threat environment as well as identifying what we consider to be the immediate, principal threats facing the UK which should be the focus of our security strategy. Click here to learn more.

Part 2: The Foundations of Labour’s Response

Part 2 will set out and test the values and principles that underpin our approach to defence. It will also assess how we ought to work with others on the international stage in the area of defence and how defence and military instruments can most effectively be integrated with other levers of policy to achieve maximum effect. Click here to learn more.

Part 3: The Military We Need

Part 3 will look at the key policy areas and capability fields which must be Labour’s focus as we seek an equipment programme able to respond to world events.  This will analyse the impact of the Government’s defence review. Part 3 will be the key conclusions drawn from the work of parts 1 and 2 to provide a clear sense of our thinking on future force structures. Click here to learn more.

Related articles:

The Spectator – Murphy launches Labours defence review
Labour Uncut – Why Britain needs a new defence strategy
Labour Forces – Labour launches Shadow Defence Review
Labour Forces – The future of reserves
Labour Forces – The beginning of Labour’s Shadow Defence Review
Labour Forces – Responding to the Cyber Security threat
Labour forces – Making NATO accountable to the public in NATO member states




9 thoughts on “

  1. The truth, of course, is that we need to be prepared to face almost any kind of threat in the coming decades. Even in 2012, possible military action might include a confrontation with Iran over its nuclear weapons programme, intervention to support the uprising in Syria or the defence of the Falkland Islands 30 years after the last Argentinian invasion. Each would require very different capabilities. At the same time, we need to be prepared to counter the growing threat of cyber attack and have the ability to support intelligence services in the ongoing battle with global terror. The threat environment is obviously varied and it doesn’t take a major inquiry to decide that we need to be ready for almost anything. The problem is that the UK is a country with finite resources and a high level of debt, currently involved in a major austerity programme which is leading to cuts in education, welfare and other public services. In this climate, greater levels of bilateral co-operation with other countries in Europe do seem to make a lot of sense. We also urgently need to review the presence of British troops in Germany. They are tied up defending a Cold War border while we struggle for resources elsewhere.

  2. You need to ensure that the economic security of Britain forms part of any defensive policy or review. By this I mean you need to look at how the armed forces and defence industry can be utilised to ensure the economic growth. For instance, investing in development of military technologies whilst ensuring that their production occurs in areas where there is need for economic growth ( Ie, the North). Investment of this sort could very well be the kick start that is required for the more downtrodden areas of Britain.

  3. I cannot agree more. As ‘Hon’ President of my RBL Chorley Branch. My Daughter is XServie Womon ‘RCS’ now serving in the Chorley Reserv Forces, Royal Lodistic Corps

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