Conservative Defence and Security Policy

#1
Not seen this done on ARRSE but it is potentially crucial to the UK armed forces.

The Conservative Party launched their national security policy yesterday with a speech at Chatham House and the release of a document.

http://www.conservatives.com/News/News_stories/2010/01/A_Resilient_Nation.aspx



In full, David Cameron's speech

‘It’s good to be back at Chatham House. Two and a half years ago Pauline Neville-Jones and I were here to launch the report from the Conservative Party policy group on national security. Today we’re here to explain how we would apply those ideas in government. It’s our plan for a world where there’s no neat split between domestic and foreign policy.

A world where droughts in the Arabian Gulf peninsula can spark terrorism and civil war where an outbreak of flu in Mexico can trigger a pandemic which races across the whole world and where cyber attacks aren’t just threatening companies but whole countries too.

This is the world we are in today.

But here in Britain we still look at this changed world through the lens of institutions which fundamentally haven’t changed since the end of the Cold War. So we’ve got a defence department which isn’t equipped to deliver homeland security, a development department which has been giving more money to the world’s fastest growing economy than to war-torn, poverty stricken, drought-hit Yemen and a Foreign Office which, despite our historic links with the region and the threads which run through our present problems, has simply not paid enough attention to the Gulf states. We can’t go on like this.

So today we’re setting out in detail our plans for a proper national security approach. Let me be clear. This isn’t some re-branding exercise, a nod towards new thinking, an attempt to paper over the cracks while time slips away.

I’m talking about one of the most radical departures in security policy we’ve seen in decades, doing away with the disconnected policies of the present and putting in place a new, connected approach for the future.

Machinery
Part of that is about new machinery of government. We were the first Party to call for a National Security Council. We were the first Party to suggest a Security Minister. And we’re the only Party that’s said we need a full-time National Security Adviser.

Over the past few years, there’s been some movement towards a more joined-up system. But it’s not gone anything like far or fast enough. So with these plans, we will set up a new, streamlined and decisive National Security Council, which will meet from day one of a Conservative Government and serve as a de facto War Cabinet for the duration of our Afghanistan campaign.

The Council will have its own staff, its own subcommittees, a full-time national security adviser, and the power to develop cross-departmental budgets for national security. It will be responsible for all decisions on national security, oversee a long-overdue Strategic Defence and Security Review and plan ahead for the future problems we might face.

Method
But this isn’t just about machinery – or even mainly about machinery. This is about a method, a way of doing things. Take the way we handle threats from abroad. For a start, we need to do much better at stopping wars from ever starting and that means really focussing on the causes of conflicts and then joining all that together to make sure that DfID and the Foreign Office deliver a really tight, tied-up, progressive approach.

We’ve also got to think through much more carefully whether Britain should get involved in a foreign conflict, and if so, how to cope with the consequences. And then if we do intervene and send troops to fight in a foreign country, there should be a proper reconstruction force ready and waiting to deliver a stabilisation strategy as soon as the fighting stops.

The same thinking also applies to the way we handle threats here in Britain. So there’s not much point having tougher laws to deport people who are a threat to Britain if at the same time we don’t have a proper border police force to stop unwanted people from coming in.

There’s not much point saying that the military need to be more closely involved in emergency planning if the police and fire services don’t know exactly how many soldiers they can count on when the time comes. And, as Pauline and Sayeeda Warsi have argued so powerfully throughout the past few years, if we’re serious about stopping extremism, we’ve got to make sure that our anti-terrorism legislation doesn’t clamp down on those freedoms we’re trying to defend.

But it’s not just about the people and the places which are a threat to us. It’s also about thinking about the kinds of things that could go wrong. We need to plan for pandemics, energy crises and water stoppages. And in particular for what I believe is a growing cyber threat. We know that there are hundreds of thousands of cyber-attacks and crimes against British businesses every year. Against government and the public sector, there may be many more. As technology and computers and the internet become bigger and bigger parts of our lives, the effect of cyber warfare will become more pronounced.

You only have to look at the so-called ‘Clickskrieg’ against Estonia in 2007 – which crippled the government and the banking sector and almost brought the entire country to a halt – for a sign of how serious a major attack could be. I want Britain to be prepared and proactive and ready to deal with all kinds of cyber attacks. So today we’re announcing plans for a new Cyber Threat and Assessment Centre to provide exactly that.

Trust
New machinery, new methods, a new way of thinking about national security. But there’s also another key ingredient of a successful national security strategy.

Trust.

We have to take people with us and make sure that people trust the system. But over the last few years, this has gone badly wrong. It’s hard to overestimate the damage that second dossier did to our political system. It’s made people suspicious of something they should frankly always be able to rely on:

Let me be clear: The Prime Minister will determine whether intelligence assessments should or should not be published. Political advisers will not be permitted to change intelligence assessments, and any publication of an assessment should only be done by the Joint Intelligence Committee, with the express clearance and approval of the JIC. And we will end the culture of spin by making sure that decisions about national security are taken formally, not on the sofa but round a table, and with all the right people sitting round the table

In the end though, there’s only so much you can do to create a water-tight system. So ultimately, the important thing is about the people you hire. And if you hire responsible people, people you really trust who want to lift politics up not stoop down to its lowest level, then you have your best guarantee against dodgy dossiers.

Conclusion
So the changes I have set out today will fix a lot of the problems we have seen in recent years.

A failure to weigh carefully the consequences of intervention and to plan for the aftermath. A failure to equip our forces properly when we send them into harm’s way. A failure to harness all the disparate resources of the government so they pull together rather than pull against each other.

Above all, a failure to tackle domestic and foreign security issues in the round.

It’s a big cultural change, and it will start on the first day of a Conservative government.’

Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Leader of the Conservative Party
15 January 2010
www.chathamhouse.org.uk
 
#2
Lets see if it happens.

Not holding my breath, if he gets in, he'll have bigger fish to fry and more pressing problems than re-aligning in place secuity and intelligence systems from day one.
 
#4
Don't expect too much, then you won't be disappointed.......
Remember, Options for Change was the Conservatives' plan, & the resulting outflow of experience from the Army it generated is one of the reasons we're in crap order today. Not forgetting of course Neu Arbeit's buffoonery with Defence & Govt. finances in general.
 
#5
Have already emailed Liam Fox pointing out that the proposal to establish a permanent HQ for UK Ops happened 8 years ago and is now called HQ SJC(UK)...
 
#6
Well none of the things he is talking about will cost much money, apart from the cyber center...which should really be an agency with a decent acronym rather than 'Cyber Threat and Assessment Centre' which just sounds shite. The things he says make a decent amount of common sense but it is the 'Strategic Defence and Security Review' organised by the future national security council (couldn't we have a more British sounding name? why not just call it the War Cabinet? I'm tired of all these american style new fangled things, would be nice to have 'offices' instead of 'departments' etc.), which will prove how committed he is. The defence budget will be cut, but it's how it's cut that matters. The russians seem to be able to maintain an army of a million men (though i realise the quality is shit) and now have some first class equipment in large numbers for less than our budget, we should be able to do the same for 200-300 thousand. trident replacement will need to go.
 
#7
Looks ok to me - especially if it means better Civil-Military cooperation on ops and at home. Even better if we are actually allowed to spend DFID's money for them!
 
#8
We should rename the MOD the War Department coz that's exactly what it does.
 
#9
This isn't all bad, they are right about Prevent for instance. Some of it rather is pious stuff, almost Blairite. I'm not reassured by the emphasis on bureaucratic tinkering though Whitehall does need fixing.

Key phrase: We can’t go on like this followed by-
The Strategic Defence and Security Review will need to be forward-looking and face up to some very tough decisions
that have been put off for too long. Equipment programmes cannot be based on wish-lists or the fantasy world of what we
would like to do if resources were unlimited.
This is not the language of a government that will be happy to fund defense even at the current skinflint levels.

The Cyber security thing will be an expensive private sector boondoggle just as in the US. But they remain committed to Trident, a costly cold war relic.

Annex 1: Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan is little more than a sop to team Barry. It could have been dictated by yermam Holbrooke.
 
#10
All three services have made costly mistakes in their major purchases. We seem to pay a King's ransom for a piece of equipment only to find we haven't bought the engines, or the spares, or some other key part.
If a defence review got rid of some of the costly howl-ups and concentrated money where it was most needed, even at the expense of other services, then that wont be a bad thing. Of course we may have to be prepared to keep our newly funded upgraded equipment a while longer when it becomes the turn of one of the other services but that is a small price to pay.
The only other way they can possibly look at Afghanistan is to look at it in an entirely separate light to Defence and build a specific budget from the FO including money from Development and Aid budgets, maybe try to attract more EU money to boost the coffers.
I like the speech, I'm just far from certain about the man making it. He has always been far too similar to Blair for me to ever be able to trust him. Blair was once the great hope for a new beginning and a new, cleaner, style of politics instead it was the same old, same old but even worse. I may be laughed/shouted down for saying this but I have more trust in William Hague than I ever will in Cameron.
 
#11
The charity sector is having a proper whinge about it

There is a lot of common sense in the paper but funnily enough, much of it is already happening

No extra cash though, remember Private Efficiency-Savings and General Do-More-With-Less will need to get on parade
 
#12
meridian said:
The charity sector is having a proper whinge about it

There is a lot of common sense in the paper but funnily enough, much of it is already happening

No extra cash though, remember Private Efficiency-Savings and General Do-More-With-Less will need to get on parade
The charity sector has been on a roll since Liabour took over and its time they were got a grip of. When I was a demining consultant to the european comission (just after Liarbour took over) I recommended that the NGO's funded by the EC to do demining should be accountable in the same way as any commercial organisation is. I had death threats from those yoghurt knitting twats who were too full of their own bullshit to realise that the supply of govt money is not endless. But at the same time, DFID (that dog ugly woman - and I use the term loosely, minister) told me that my views were incompatible with new liarbour policy. Which meant that she, and Liarbour were not interested in accountability.
 
#13
So…


Is CMD proposing that the Defence Budget be set every 5 years by Parliament in the light of what the Gov expects the Armed Forces to do and then become a fixed budget, or will it still be the same old balls were the treasury raid the budget each year to pay for the latest Government handout splurge?
 
#14
meridian said:
Not seen this done on ARRSE but it is potentially crucial to the UK armed forces.

The Conservative Party launched their national security policy yesterday with a speech at Chatham House and the release of a document.

http://www.conservatives.com/News/News_stories/2010/01/A_Resilient_Nation.aspx



In full, David Cameron's speech

‘………….We’ve also got to think through much more carefully whether Britain should get involved in a foreign conflict, and if so, how to cope with the consequences. And then if we do intervene and send troops to fight in a foreign country, there should be a proper reconstruction force ready and waiting to deliver a stabilisation strategy as soon as the fighting stops…………

There’s not much point saying that the military need to be more closely involved in emergency planning if the police and fire services don’t know exactly how many soldiers they can count on when the time comes……….

Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Leader of the Conservative Party
15 January 2010
www.chathamhouse.org.uk
If it was not unfair to pigs, I would say Cameron is pig-ignorant and has no idea of the purposes of armed forces.

He says there must be greater thought on whether Britain should be involved in a foreign conflict. Dear God, that is arse about face. We must first decide why, where and how we are prepared to become involved in foreign conflicts, and HM Forces must be configured accordingly.

“Should” sounds all very fine from the comfort of Chatham House and Whitehall but it is merely hand wringingly wet if we can’t.

As for the Services acting in support of the police and the fire service et al, that is merely a by-product of having military forces in the first place. If they are not involved in military activities then they may as well be available to help the civil authorities as and when required.

However, if Cameron is suggesting this should be a major role then the Services will end up as little more than a gendarmerie. It is interesting to speculate as to why he made this point. Does he expect HM Forces to be deployed to suppress mass revolt and riots in the UK?

Finally, if having a “a proper reconstruction force ready and waiting to deliver a stabilisation strategy as soon as the fighting stops” is a condition of our becoming involved in the first place, then hell will freeze before that occurs. No way will the UK, nor even the US, be able to afford to have such a group on permanent standby for eventualities.
 
#15
Balleh said:
Finally, if having a “a proper reconstruction force ready and waiting to deliver a stabilisation strategy as soon as the fighting stops” is a condition of our becoming involved in the first place, then hell will freeze before that occurs. No way will the UK, nor even the US, be able to afford to have such a group on permanent standby for eventualities.
Well, arguably, we already have most of the bits required, do we not? RE Infrastructure Gp, RE tradesmen, 81 Sig Sqn, Med Sp, RMP and specialist Provo bits....the armed forces are admittedly weak on the social/economic end, and that's the gap I assume the deployed FCO/DfID bods are supposed to slot into.

In fact, on a closer reading, I don't see that we really *need* anything new - what we need are an "after-the-war" plan ready to go before things kick off, and civil service sp that's actually willing to have anything at all to do with the military in place. And in a nod to the "Britain is too risk-averse" thing, an acknowledgement that even if absolute security were possible, your reconstruction package will have to begin long before that's achieved - in fact, without it, it's unlikely you'll even get close.

Again, there seems to be another niche role for the TA here - specialist Civil Admin pool under the AG, anyone? ISTR the US military had a whole Civil Affairs department in WWII - which amounted to a military government-in-waiting. How's that for post-invasion planning?
 
#16
You dont have to look to the US for an example of post war planning, the UK contribution to Austria post war was a triumph of planning and execution and one which we all seem to have conveniently forgot. I like the idea of the TA being used for this role rather than as a glorified temping agency that it has turned into
 
#17
A lot of very naive stuff in this document that shows a worrying lack of depth. Just a couple of examples, some of which have already been alluded to in the thread. The standing reconstruction force problem is one, and I share the view that this looks like the Conservatives are getting ready to de-tune the Armed Forces so we become a bit like the Dutch or Germans - only prepared to turn up when things don;t look too iffy and the main job is handing out ration boxes. (I might have been unfair to the Cloggies & Boxheads there, but you get my drift).

The Cyber warfare thing is just tosh, and nothing new. Google "CSOC".....
 
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fozzy

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#18
jim30 said:
Have already emailed Liam Fox pointing out that the proposal to establish a permanent HQ for UK Ops happened 8 years ago and is now called HQ SJC(UK)...
Yes, I noticed that too. :roll: His Staff Work needs improving

It's a curates egg. I like the emphasis on CNI, and especially Energy Security, with a more joined up Border/UK Security Strategy (HQ SJC(UK) not withstanding), something like the US Northern Command would be a good model to follow, IMHO.

However, it's what isn't said that worries me. The glib "we'll have an SDR" is a cop out. I'd be a bit happier, if it was "We'll fully fund any uplift identified from the SDR".

Like dergeneral, I'm also worried that HMF will become so detuned, that it'll become essentially the armed wing of Oxfam - and we'll be out of the warfighting game for good
 

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