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

Undersea Cables: Indispensable, insecure

Undersea Cables: Indispensable, insecure

We must do more to protect the indispensable yet insecure internet infrastructure provided by undersea cables, urges Rishi Sunak MP in a new report published by Policy Exchange, Undersea Cables: Indispensable, insecure. 97% of global communications and $10 trillion in daily financial transactions are transmitted not by satellites in the skies, but by cables lying deep beneath the ocean. Undersea cables are the indispensable infrastructure of our time, essential to our modern life and digital economy, yet they are inadequately protected and highly vulnerable to attack at sea and on land, from both hostile states and terrorists.

The New Netwar: Countering Extremism Online

The New Netwar: Countering Extremism Online

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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.

Foreign Policy and National Security in the New Parliament

Foreign Policy and National Security in the New Parliament

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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.

Latest Foreign Policy & Security Blogs

Ignore the straw men, the Commonwealth can still be a big part of our post-Brexit settlement

Ignore the straw men, the Commonwealth can still be a big part of our post-Brexit settlement

Ignore the naysayers – the Commonwealth can be a big part of the UK’s future. This is the message from Policy Exchange’s Ralph Buckle, also Director and Co-Founder of Commonwealth Exchange (CX), who argues that numerous straw men have been raised during CHOGM. On trade and co-operation, the UK has many friends outside the EU who will be eager to reinvigorate old ties.

The Good Friday Agreement is in relatively good health

The Good Friday Agreement is in relatively good health

20 years on from the Good Friday Agreement, Lord Bew – Emeritus Professor of Irish Politics, Queen’s University Belfast – finds the accord in relatively good health. Despite concerns generated by the UK’s decision to leave the EU, cross-party support for the Agreement has increased and there are signs that the DUP & Sinn Fein are gearing up to try to restore power sharing.

Latest Foreign Policy & Security News

Policy Exchange hosts a speech by the Hon Peter Dutton MP, Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

Policy Exchange hosts a speech by the Hon Peter Dutton MP, Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

Policy Exchange was delighted to welcome the Hon Peter Dutton MP, Australia’s immigration minister, who reflected on the need for a carefully managed migration system in order to maintain public support for continuing new arrivals. A packed audience heard how the Australian government’s approach has tackled people trafficking while also ensuring Australia has the skilled migrants it needs and maintaining a generous settlement programme for refugees.

Defence Secretary Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon MP speaks at Policy Exchange

Defence Secretary Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon MP speaks at Policy Exchange

The Defence Secretary, the Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon MP addressed a record crowd at Policy Exchange’s summer reception — kindly sponsored by CQS. Sir Michael’s remarks about the need for military values to be considered more by politicians made it the most widely reported Policy Exchange Summer Party ever, including by Sky News, the BBC and the Huffington Post. He also paid tribute to Policy Exchange for our work “on lawfare and to enrich the debate on national security” — in reports such as The Fog of Law and Clearing the Fog of Law.

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RT @AndrewBowie_MP Fascinating start to the week listening to @mikepompeo at @Policy_Exchange giving reflections on his time as US Secretary of State and his views on China, Iran, NATO and the future of Western Foreign Policy. pic.twitter.com/VmuT…

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RT @AndrewBowie_MP Fascinating start to the week listening to @mikepompeo at @Policy_Exchange giving reflections on his time as US Secretary of State and his views on China, Iran, NATO and the future of Western Foreign Policy. pic.twitter.com/VmuTtjyAZY

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