Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Based in UK
UK National Security Strategy
The UK Government today, 18 October 2010, published Britain's National Security Strategy (NSS). Together with the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) it sets out the UK's strategic choices on how to ensure the security of the UK.
The National Security Strategy and SDSR together provide direction for national security policy, capabilities and resources for the next 5 years. The NSS allows UK Government Departments to prioritise their resources according to the risks set out in the document published today.
The NSS sets out two high-level objectives which will guide the UK's strategic approach overall:
- To ensure a secure and resilient UK by protecting its people, economy, infrastructure, territory and ways of life from all major risks that can affect it directly; and
- To shape a stable world, by acting to reduce the likelihood of risks affecting the UK or British interests overseas, and applying its instruments of power and influence to shape the global environment.
The NSS decides the UK's priorities for action, and identifies 15 priority security risks to the UK. The following Tier 1 risks are judged to be the UK's highest priorities for UK national security:
- Cyber attack
- Major natural hazards and accidents
- International Military Crisis
Afghanistan will remain the UK's top priority while British troops are deployed there.
The details of the capability and resource decisions, the 'ways' and 'means' of achieving the National Security priorities are in the SDSR which will be published on 19 Oct 10. The National Security Strategy has informed the policy, resource and capability choices that will be set out in the SDSR.
Context and Foreign Policy Baseline
1. Through a globalised 'networked' world the risk picture is likely to become increasingly diverse with no single risk dominating. This means achieving security will become more complex.
2. The UK's ability to remain adaptable for the future will be essential, as will be the ability to identify risks and opportunities at the earliest possible stage and maintaining highly capable and flexible armed forces.
3. Through NATO, the EU and other alliances the UK will share its security needs and gain collective benefits. As a result, the UK faces no major state threat at present.
4. We will continue to play a major role in shaping the international architecture - reinforcing the UN, NATO, G20 and EU and building bilateral ties with rising economic powers such as China and India.
The National Interest and British Values
5. The National Security Strategy explains that the UK's national interest comprises its security, prosperity and freedom and that these are interconnected and mutually supportive.
6. National Security is about protecting the UK's people, including their rights and liberties.
7. Promoting civil liberties and upholding the rule of law are fundamental principles which underpin the UK's approach to national security.
8. Security and Liberty are complementary and mutually supportive. The UK needs security to protect the liberties it holds dear.
National Security Priorities (Risk Management Tiers 1, 2 and 3)
9. For the first time, the UK Government has assessed and prioritised all the major national security risks that the UK faces to ensure that it has the right means to address them.
10. The 15 priority risks to UK national security, split into three tiers are:
Tier 1 Priorities (the most pressing risks to the UK over the next five years)
Major natural hazards and accidents
International Military Crisis
Tier 2 Priorities (the next highest priorities)
State-led Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) attacks
Instability And Conflict Overseas
Tier 3 Priorities (The next highest priorities after Tier 1 & 2)
Conventional military attack on UK
Significant increase in flows of terrorsits, organised criminals, illegal migrants etc across our border
Energy Security and Resources
Accidental Release Radioactive Material
Article 5 - Attack by a State on another NATO or EU Member
An attack on a UK overseas territory as the result of a sovereignty dispute or a wider regional conflict.
Short to medium term disruption to international supplies of resources (for example, food, water) essential to the UK
11. The risk to the UK from terrorism continues to be one of the highest priority national security risks.
12. The UK has therefore decided to give a high priority to counter terrorism compared to other areas of national security.
13. Cyberspace is now vital for the UK's prosperity and way of life.
14. The rapid growth of cyberspace means that the UK must act now to ensure its cyber security.
15. Some states continue to try to gain advantage over the UK through hostile intelligence activity and cyber attack, and the UK must do all that it can to protect the valuable government and commercial information we possess.
Hazards and Accidents
16. Certain civil emergencies are among the most severe of all threats to UK national security.
17. In a more resource constrained environment, the UK will act in a more targeted way in the future, which means, among other things, focusing relatively more on the highest priority civil emergency risks;
18. The top three civil emergency risks to the UK for continued action to improve preparedness: (i) terrorist attacks using unconventional materials (ii) major tidal or coastal flooding; (iii) severe influenza pandemic.
International Military Crises and Instability
19. An international military crisis involving multiple states in a region which drew in the UK or its Allies would have a major impact on global stability.
20. The UK will continue to work internationally to address such risks before they develop, but must ensure that it is prepared to act should diplomatic solutions fail.
Alliance and Partnerships
21. The UK will intensify its bilateral defence and security relationships with a wide range of partners, working more effectively together to tackle threats and exploit opportunities where interests coincide.
22. The UK will be active in the multilateral organisations central to its national security: committed to a reformed UN Security Council, a robust and credible NATO, and an EU that uses its collective weight to promote shared interests and values.
Full details can be found at: UK Cabinet Office
"War is an option of difficulties"
Last edited by Red Rat; 10-18-2010 at 05:10 PM. Reason: typo
Join Date: Mar 2006
First some experts
IISS has quickly published a viewpoint:
Join Date: Mar 2006
This is a strategy? No.
A scathing, indirect comment on the UK decision-making:
Now to another London "think tank" RUSI:
Now my own viewpoint. The carrier aircraft "gap" has been clear for months and we must realise UK policy today is now far more dictated by public / state financial position. We have been through this before, notably with the East of Suez withdrawal, IIRC in 1968, after a "run" on the UK Pound.
This is "spin" and "smoke" creating a structure to show decisions are strategic and fit together. Remaining with the example of the two aircraft carriers, where do they fit in the priorities of the national security strategy?
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