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

Getting Over the Line: Solutions to the Irish border

Getting Over the Line: Solutions to the Irish border

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The Irish border is not the insoluble obstacle to Brexit negotiations that it has been made out to be and the UK can leave the single market and customs union while preserving a frictionless border in Ireland. This can be achieved by the use of new technology and in the context of a Free Trade Agreement between the UK and EU, in an arrangement that goes beyond the Customs Partnership and in no way threatens the Good Friday Agreement.

In Defence of Collective Security

In Defence of Collective Security

As Putin celebrates another election victory, today’s Labour party should remember that there can be no coherent response to the Russian provocation without an appreciation of how our collective security is underscored by NATO and the role Labour played in its creation. In a new essay, In Defence of Collective Security, Professor John Bew, Head of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World project and an award winning biographer of Clement Attlee, argues that our current system of Western security, based on NATO, was painstakingly put in place by Attlee and Ernest Bevin and that the current Labour leadership betrays that legacy.

Beyond Brexit: Essential reading on international affairs and security in a changing world

Beyond Brexit: Essential reading on international affairs and security in a changing world

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Policy Exchange is delighted to announce that Professor John Bew, Head of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World Project, has been appointed as a specialist adviser to the Foreign Affairs Committee’s inquiry into ‘Global Britain’. To mark that appointment, we publish a new reading list, Beyond Brexit: Essential reading on international affairs and security in a changing world, compiled by Professor Bew, Gabriel Elefteriu, Jamie Gaskarth and Patrick Porter.

Latest Foreign Policy & Security Blogs

Don’t listen to the doom-mongers – why the UK (including Northern Ireland) can leave the Customs Union, avoid a hard border and preserve the Good Friday Agreement

Don’t listen to the doom-mongers – why the UK (including Northern Ireland) can leave the Customs Union, avoid a hard border and preserve the Good Friday Agreement

Graham Gudgin, Chief Economic Adviser to Policy Exchange and a former special adviser to the Northern Ireland First Minister, and Ray Bassett, Senior Fellow for EU Affairs and a former Irish Ambassador to Canada, demonstrate that the UK can leave the Customs Union, avoid a ‘hard’ Irish Border and preserve the Good Friday Agreement.

Latest Foreign Policy & Security News

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.”

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

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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RT @MrPaulStott My article in The Times on the #Prevent Review, William Shawcross and the challenge posed by Islamist and far-right extremism. The status quo is not an option: thetimes.co.uk/artic…

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RT @MrPaulStott My article in The Times on the #Prevent Review, William Shawcross and the challenge posed by Islamist and far-right extremism. The status quo is not an option: thetimes.co.uk/article/extrem…

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