Foreign Policy & Security

Sir John Jenkins

Western policy in Middle East fudges dangers of Islamism, says former UK Ambassador to Saudi Arabia

In the struggle against Islamist extremism, history matters. It is often under-appreciated how far the groups across the Islamist spectrum, from the Muslim Brotherhood to Daesh, are powered by a simplistic, yet powerful, historical narrative. In the inaugural Elie and Sylvia Kedourie Lecture, “The Importance of History: The Chatham House Version Revisited”, Sir John Jenkins – former UK Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, co-author of the UK Government’s review of British policy towards the Muslim Brotherhood and a Policy Exchange Senior Fellow – critiques the tendency towards shallow, one-dimensional thinking about the Middle East that infects much Western commentary and analysis on the region.

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The New Netwar: Countering Extremism Online

Nearly three quarters of the British public want the big internet companies to do more to locate and delete extremist content and believe that they are not doing enough to combat radicalisation, according to polling conducted for Policy Exchange’s latest report The New Netwar: Countering Online Extremism. Commenting on this Policy Exchange study, Home Secretary Amber Rudd noted on her Department’s official website that “We know that Daesh pose a threat online and this report helps to highlight the scale of the issue.” The report received widespread domestic and international media coverage: General David Petraeus, who wrote the report’s Foreword, appeared on the Today programme and wrote for the Times. Dr Martyn Frampton’s broadcast appearances included Good Morning Britain, BBC World Service, Radio 5 Live and LBC.

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Foreign Policy and National Security in the New Parliament

In a new report published last week, Policy Exchange stresses the vital role of Parliament in shaping debates about Britain’s place in the world, and urges the building of greater cross-party consensus on foreign policy. It stresses the role of the Defence and Foreign Affairs Select Committee in the context of a hung Parliament. The report was published alongside a new database of MPs’ voting records on key issues of national security since 2010, as well as their constituency positions on Brexit — the most detailed resource of its kind ever created. In a Foreword to the report, Tom Tugendhat MP, the new Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee said, ‘Policy Exchange is at the forefront of new thinking about national security and the UK’s place in the world’. The report was covered in The Daily Mail.

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DExEU’s paper on post-Brexit UK-EU security and defence cooperation: a question of influence

National Security Fellow Gabriel Elefteriu responds to the launch of the Government’s new paper on UK-EU security and defence cooperation after Brexit. The paper is a welcome starting point in efforts to improve the “mood music”, given recent acrimony in Brexit negotiations. It is right to stress areas of common interest with the EU27 and the UK’s vital role in European security, which is likely to continue for many years. However, there are still questions to answer about the proposed “deep and special relationship” with the EU, and how this is to be squared with renewed efforts to reinvigorate the NATO alliance.

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Geopolitics in the 21st Century

Policy Exchange was privileged to host Robert D Kaplan, one of the world’s leading thinkers and writers about global affairs, for a discussion on geopolitics and America’s changing role in the world. His remarks will build on insights from his latest book,Earning the Rockies: How Geography Shapes America’s Role in the World – which has been called a “masterpiece” by General David Petraeus

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Latest Foreign Policy & Security Publications

The UK and the Western alliance: NATO in the new era of realpolitik

The UK and the Western alliance: NATO in the new era of realpolitik

A new paper from Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World project, examining the future of NATO. The paper argues that current events, from Russian aggression to the EU’s internal politics, mean that NATO is weakening at a time when security challenges are growing

After Iraq: When to go to war?

After Iraq: When to go to war?

This lecture by Professor Nigel Biggar was delivered at Policy Exchange on 31 January 2017. The lecture reflects on some of the moral lessons we should and should not learn from the recent history of British military interventions abroad, in view of the challenges and dilemmas Britain is likely continue to face in the future. After Iraq, it asks, what are the circumstances in which Britain should go to war?

The Cost of Doing Nothing: The Price of Inaction in the Face of Mass Atrocities

The Cost of Doing Nothing: The Price of Inaction in the Face of Mass Atrocities

This report is based on work begun by Jo Cox MP (1974-2016) and Tom Tugendhat MP. It was completed by Alison McGovern MP and Tom Tugendhat MP

“There are few more complex questions than when to intervene overseas. Jo Cox was an inspirational humanitarian who cared deeply about preventing violence and protecting people around the world. It is a fitting part of Jo’s legacy that this paper will challenge politicians of all parties to consider how we can put such considerations at the heart of the decisions we take.” (Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Prime Minister.

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Latest Foreign Policy & Security Blogs

No Threat to the Common Travel Area from the UK

No Threat to the Common Travel Area from the UK

Dr Ray Bassett, Senior Fellow on EU Affairs at Policy Exchange and a former senior Irish ambassador takes a look at the Brexit discussions around the Common Travel Area (CTA). Despite the deadlock in Brexit negotiations, the UK Government continues to maintain a constructive and sensible attitude to the CTA, which should reassure British and Irish citizens living and working in those respective countries – who should be more concerned about the “glib” attitude for EU negotiators on the CTA and the border.

DExEU’s paper on post-Brexit UK-EU security and defence cooperation: a question of influence

DExEU’s paper on post-Brexit UK-EU security and defence cooperation: a question of influence

National Security Fellow Gabriel Elefteriu responds to the launch of the Government’s new paper on UK-EU security and defence cooperation after Brexit. The paper is a welcome starting point in efforts to improve the “mood music”, given recent acrimony in Brexit negotiations. It is right to stress areas of common interest with the EU27 and the UK’s vital role in European security, which is likely to continue for many years. However, there are still questions to answer about the proposed “deep and special relationship” with the EU, and how this is to be squared with renewed efforts to reinvigorate the NATO alliance.

The Prime Minister is right to assert that Islamist ideology is one of the key threats of our time

The Prime Minister is right to assert that Islamist ideology is one of the key threats of our time

Policy Exchange Director Dean Godson looks at the government’s renewed emphasis on Islamist extremism in the wake of the Borough attacks – and notes Theresa May’s focus on ideology as the “upstream” source of much of the problem. The Government’s task now is to ensure that its policy on counter-extremism is implemented throughout the public sector – which, as all Prime Ministers have found since 7/7, is easier said than done

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Latest Foreign Policy & Security News

New Anglo-American project launched with high-level conference in Washington

New Anglo-American project launched with high-level conference in Washington

Policy Exchange launched our new Anglo-American project with a high level conference in Washington to debate US-UK Relations in a Changing World. Both the US National Security Adviser Lt Gen HR McMaster and the National Security Adviser to the British Prime Minister, Mark Sedwill CMG, spoke at the event – the first time the two holders of these positions have appeared together in public. The event attracted widespread media coverage including from Bloomberg, Newsweek, ABC News, Voice of America, Washington Times, The National, Mail Online and the New York Times.

Niall Ferguson compares balance of power to Congress of Vienna at Policy Exchange’s Anglo-American conference

Niall Ferguson compares balance of power to Congress of Vienna at Policy Exchange’s Anglo-American conference

Professor Niall Ferguson, who spoke at the launch of Policy Exchange’s new Anglo-American project, argued that the best historical analogy for the current balance of powers is with the pentarchy of five great powers that dominated European (and hence world) affairs for a century after the Congress of Vienna of 1814-15. A modern pentarchy was created in the form of the permanent members of the UN Security Council. Professor Ferguson argues that “Whether or not these five great powers can make common cause once again is the great geopolitical question of our time.”

Warning on undersea cables attracts widespread media coverage

Warning on undersea cables attracts widespread media coverage

The new Policy Exchange report warning that undersea communications cables are vital to our economy but vulnerable to attached attracted widespread national and regional media coverage, including its author, Rishi Sunak MP, appearing on Radio 4’s Today programme and writing for the Telegraph.

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Latest Foreign Policy & Security Events

After Iraq: When to go to war?

After Iraq: When to go to war?

Jan 31, 2017

This lecture by Professor Nigel Biggar was delivered at Policy Exchange on 31 January 2017, with a Vote of Thanks by Lt Gen Mark Carleton-Smith CBE, Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Military Strategy and Operations), on behalf of the Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach GBE KCB

The Cost of Doing Nothing: The Price of Inaction in the Face of Mass Atrocities

The Cost of Doing Nothing: The Price of Inaction in the Face of Mass Atrocities

Jan 26, 2017

Former Prime Minister Rt Hon Gordon Brown launches Policy Exchange’s ‘The Cost of Doing Nothing’ report, which was started with Jo Cox, who believed ‘Britain must lead again’. Also joining us for this event, which was held at Policy Exchange on 26 January were Former Foreign Secretary Rt Hon Lord Hague (via recorded video message), Alison McGovern, MP for Wirral South, Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tonbridge and Malling and Professor John Bew, head of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World project

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