Foreign Policy & Security

Romania and Moldova are now critical to Western defence and British strategy

For over two hundred years every single European war that Britain has been involved in has originated in the eastern half of the continent. From the Greek War of Independence in the 1820s, to the Crimean War in the 1850s, and from both World Wars – starting with Austro-Hungary’s shelling of Belgrade in late July 1914 and Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland in September 1939 – to the Bosnian and Kosovo Wars in the 1990s, it has been an iron rule of modern British history that military crises in Europe always come upon us from these eastern lands “of which we know little”.

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The United Kingdom – A Strangely Reluctant Nuclear Power

Owning nuclear weapons changes everything. Officers from militaries that are solely conventionally armed ask what it feels like in tones of awe. But, for the vast majority of British officers it is an almost impossible question to answer. Uniquely amongst our peers and allies we push our nuclear forces out into a specialist niche, cloak them with secrecy, and pretend they are nothing to do with ‘us’. 

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An Attack on Ukraine and World Order

The world was shocked this week by a barbaric and unprovoked full-scale attack on a sovereign, European and most importantly, peaceful member of the community of nations. Ukraine had already been a victim of Russia’s aggression since 2014. Now the Kremlin wants to finish the job, although its leadership might have severely underestimated the type and strength of the resistance it would meet.

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The MoD’s newly independent ‘net assessment’ capability can make a huge difference

The Ministry of Defence hit a milestone this week with the establishment of the Secretary of State’s Office of Net Assessment and Challenge (SONAC), a little over three years since Policy Exchange first laid out the full case for it in our report, A Question of Power: Towards Better UK Strategy Through Net Assessment.

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A “Washington Strategy” for British Diplomacy

The UK’s Washington embassy – the flagship for its global diplomatic operation – needs a shake-up to secure British influence with the Biden administration and a Democrat-controlled Congress. A ‘Washington strategy’ for British diplomacy, authored by the journalist and think-tanker Ben Judah, urges the Government to “recognise the need for radical diplomatic change in a post-Brexit and post-Trump world”.

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Latest Foreign Policy & Security Publications

A “Washington Strategy” for British Diplomacy

A “Washington Strategy” for British Diplomacy

The UK’s Washington embassy – the flagship for its global diplomatic operation – needs a shake-up to secure British influence with the Biden administration and a Democrat-controlled Congress. A ‘Washington strategy’ for British diplomacy, authored by the journalist and think-tanker Ben Judah, urges the Government to “recognise the need for radical diplomatic change in a post-Brexit and post-Trump world”.

A Very British Tilt

A Very British Tilt

Policy Exchange has convened a distinguished international Indo-Pacific Commission of current and former political leaders, military leaders, and thought leaders to help frame the scope of what a new UK strategy in the Indo-Pacific should be. Chaired by Rt Hon Stephen J Harper, the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada, Policy Exchange’s Indo-Pacific Commission represents the UK, Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Each commissioner brought their particular expertise and experience to the Commission’s discussions and drafting, and this report reflects a broad consensus of views on Britain’s role in the Indo-Pacific region.

Shinzo Abe and Japan’s Strategic Reset

Shinzo Abe and Japan’s Strategic Reset

On Friday 28 August 2020 Japan’s longest serving Prime Minster, Shinzo Abe, announced that due to deteriorating health conditions he had to step down. During his tenure, Abe arguably conducted the most significant strategic reset of Japanese foreign and security policy since the 1950s. This paper reviews how Abe brought about such changes and why these matter to the UK. Experts have already started to examine different aspects of Abe’s policy reforms, their shortcomings, and their impact in the foreseeable future. This paper benefits from this literature – which includes fair criticisms of Abe’s reforms but it also agrees that their most significant legacy rests on a strengthened international outlook. Yet, the paper seeks to draw specific attention to why and how Abe’s Japan should be a case of particular relevance to the UK.

Latest Foreign Policy & Security Blogs

Romania and Moldova are now critical to Western defence and British strategy

Romania and Moldova are now critical to Western defence and British strategy

For over two hundred years every single European war that Britain has been involved in has originated in the eastern half of the continent. From the Greek War of Independence in the 1820s, to the Crimean War in the 1850s, and from both World Wars – starting with Austro-Hungary’s shelling of Belgrade in late July 1914 and Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland in September 1939 – to the Bosnian and Kosovo Wars in the 1990s, it has been an iron rule of modern British history that military crises in Europe always come upon us from these eastern lands “of which we know little”.

The United Kingdom – A Strangely Reluctant Nuclear Power

The United Kingdom – A Strangely Reluctant Nuclear Power

Owning nuclear weapons changes everything. Officers from militaries that are solely conventionally armed ask what it feels like in tones of awe. But, for the vast majority of British officers it is an almost impossible question to answer. Uniquely amongst our peers and allies we push our nuclear forces out into a specialist niche, cloak them with secrecy, and pretend they are nothing to do with ‘us’. 

An Attack on Ukraine and World Order

An Attack on Ukraine and World Order

The world was shocked this week by a barbaric and unprovoked full-scale attack on a sovereign, European and most importantly, peaceful member of the community of nations. Ukraine had already been a victim of Russia’s aggression since 2014. Now the Kremlin wants to finish the job, although its leadership might have severely underestimated the type and strength of the resistance it would meet.

Latest Foreign Policy & Security News

Policy Exchange hosts the Colin Cramphorn Memorial Lecture

Policy Exchange hosts the Colin Cramphorn Memorial Lecture

Policy Exchange was delighted to welcome Matthew Pottinger, Deputy National Security Advisor to the President of the United States, for the first of two Colin Cramphorn Memorial Lectures this year. He delivered his lecture, titled “The Importance of Being Candid: On China’s Relationship with the Rest of the World”, in Mandarin, speaking of a “new consensus” in the US, which bridges political divides and unites the whole of society, on the threat posed China’s “technologically enhanced totalitarianism”. Watch the speech here.

Policy Exchange hosts US Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary

Policy Exchange hosts US Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary

Policy Exchange was delighted to welcome Hon Michael R. Pompeo, US Secretary of State, to speak on “The Future of the Special Relationship”, in conversation with Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, the Foreign Secretary, at an event in Westminster. The discussion – which ranged from Brexit to the rise of China – was moderated by Dean Godson, Director of Policy Exchange. Watch the full video here, and read coverage in The Express

Latest Foreign Policy & Security Events

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  • Wednesday, 26 June, 2019
    15:30 - 16:30

The rise of China – and its relationship with the United States – is the most important geopolitical issue in world affairs today and is likely to become ever more significant in future decades. The United Kingdom has been slow to awaken to the implications of this profound change in the global balance of power. Recent debates over joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank or the use of Huawei technology are glimpses of the types of dilemma that will become increasingly common in the near-term future. Meanwhile, the UK promises an increased presence in the Indo-Pacific, taking it an area where great power tensions are rising. Is it time to revisit the UK’s approach to the rise of China? What does the next Prime Minister need to know about the changing world order and how should he respond?

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  • Thursday, 20 June, 2019
    14:30 - 15:30

Policy Exchange put this issue on the national agenda and now, in this high-profile event, brings together leading voices from the military and legal contexts for a discussion looking at its causes and its consequences for UK forces and operations.

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  • Monday, 11 March, 2019
    18:00 - 19:30

The problem of jihadi brides and ISIL fighters has made discussions about reform of the law of treason a matter of high public importance. Policy Exchange is proud to have led the public conversation about this issue, beginning with publication in July 2018 of a major cross-party report on modernisation of the law.

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  • Wednesday, 12 September, 2018
    18:00 - 19:30

A discussion to mark the launch of “Oceans Ventured: Winning the Cold War at Sea” – the new book by former US Secretary of the Navy John Lehman.

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  • Wednesday, 5 September, 2018
    18:00 - 19:30

Hon Michael Chertoff, Former US Secretary of Homeland Security in conversation with Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, Former UK Home Secretary to discuss his new book Exploding Data: Reclaiming Our Cyber Security in the Digital Age.

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  • Thursday, 26 July, 2018
    11:30 - 13:00

United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs His Excellency Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash spoke at Policy Exchange on “The Role of the Arab Gulf in Building Peace in the Middle East”.

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  • Thursday, 28 June, 2018
    13:00 - 14:30

Secretary of State for International Development Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP and Brigadier John Deverell spoke on the strategic role of soft power, outlining how her vision for the future of UK development policy applies in the context of civilian–military cooperation, the interplay between hard and soft power, and the importance of development’s role alongside defence and diplomacy.

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  • Wednesday, 27 June, 2018
    11:00 - 12:30

At a time of growing international instability, the Five Eyes intelligence arrangements (which brings the UK together with the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand) is of vital important to the security of Britain and its allies. While questions are being raised over the long-term future of NATO, Five Eyes represents another crucial pillar of our national security – mitigating threats from hostile states, terrorism, and other non state actors. Why does the continuation of the Five Eyes matter and what can be done to support and enhance it for the challenges ahead?

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Watch the full event back here 👇 What do we want from the next Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police? With 🟠 @CommissBratton 🟠 @TrevorPTweets 🟠 @NJ_Timothy 🟠 Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington QPM youtube.com/watch?v=…

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Watch the full event back here 👇 What do we want from the next Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police? With 🟠 @CommissBratton 🟠 @TrevorPTweets 🟠 @NJ_Timothy 🟠 Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington QPM youtube.com/watch?v=nk-ASN…

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