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  • Author: Paul Cornish, Andrew M. Dorman
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Whichever party or parties form the next UK government, a Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) is expected to begin soon after the general election in May. The review might be a 'light touch' exercise—little more than a reaffirmation of the SDSR produced by the coalition government in 2010. It seems more likely, however, that the review will be a lengthier, more deliberate exercise and one which might even last into 2016. For those most closely engaged in the process the challenge is more complex than that confronted by their predecessors in 2010. The international security context is more confused and contradictory; the UK's financial predicament is still grave; security threats and challenges will emerge that cannot be ignored; the population's appetite for foreign military engagement appears nevertheless to be restricted; and prevailing conditions suggest that the risk-based approach to national strategy might be proving difficult to sustain. Two key questions should be asked of the review. First, in the light of recent military experiences, what is the purpose of the United Kingdom's armed forces? Second, will SDSR 2015–16 sustain the risk-based approach to national strategy set out in 2010, and if so how convincingly? Beginning with a review of the background against which SDSR 2015–16 will be prepared, this article examines both enduring and immediate challenges to the national strategic process in the United Kingdom and concludes by arguing for strategic latency as a conceptual device which can complement, if not reinvigorate, the risk-based approach to national strategy and defence.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: Anthony Richards
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article argues that there has been an increasing convergence of the discourses of terrorism, radicalization and, more lately, extremism in the UK and that this has caused counterterrorism to lose its focus. This is particularly evident in the counterterrorism emphasis on non-violent but extremist ideology that is said to be 'conducive' to terrorism. Yet, terrorism is ineluctably about violence or the threat of violence; hence, if a non-violent ideology is in and of itself culpable for terrorism in some way then it ceases to be non-violent. The article argues that there should be a clearer distinction made between (non-violent) extremism of thought and extremism of method because it is surely violence and the threat of violence (integral to terrorism) that should be the focus of counterterrorism. The concern is that counterterrorism has gone beyond its remit of countering terrorism and has ventured into the broader realm of tackling ideological threats to the state.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: Richard J. Aldrich
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The 'Five Eyes' alliance, led by the United States, spends close to 100 billion dollars a year on intelligence. This review article argues that western countries are distinguished by their sophisticated approach to the making of intelligence-led national security policy. Political leaders and policy-makers who access this sensitive material are often involved in elaborate systems that constitute part of the core executive and which seek to task and improve the intelligence leviathan. Western intelligence therefore has a 'central brain' that devotes considerable energy to both analysis and management. By contrast, in the majority of other states around the world, the orientation of intelligence has often been inward facing, with a high priority given to regime security. Some would suggest that intelligence has been an important component of western power projection, while others would argue that this process has been over-expensive and has under-delivered, not least in the last decade. Either way, the debates about development of the central intelligence machinery that supports western security policies are of the first importance and fortunately this discussion has been advanced by the appearance of several valuable new studies: these are discussed in this review article.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom
  • Author: Colin Fleming
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: As Charles Tilly famously argued, 'War made the state, and the state made war'. This symbiosis between the state and its ability to wage war has long been synonymous with statehood itself, and what it means to be independent within the international state system. It is an idea that has underpinned realist accounts of international relations and remains widely accepted, despite changing norms and closer dependencies between states. Indeed, in the context of the Scottish independence debate Malcolm Chalmers has argued that: 'Having independent armed forces is at the heart of what it means to be a sovereign country.' This raises the question whether the Scottish government's favoured cooperative approach to defence would undermine Scotland's new-found sovereignty at the very time that it seeks its own independent voice in international affairs.
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Scotland
  • Author: Mark Webber, Ellen Hallams, Martin A. Smith
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: When NATO heads of state and government convene in Newport, Wales, in September 2014, it will be their first meeting in the UK since the London summit of July 1990. A quarter of a century ago, NATO was reborn. The London Declaration on a Transformed Alliance was NATO's keynote statement of renewed purpose, issued in 1990 as the Cold War was drawing to a close. In it we find the beginnings of the tasks which would come to define the alliance in the post- Cold War period, along with an appreciation of a fundamentally altered strategic landscape. Europe had 'entered a new, promising era', one in which it was thought the continent's tragic cycle of war and peace might well be over. The 2014 summit communiqué is unlikely to reflect such optimism, but what it surely needs to do is to recapture the spirit of enterprise that NATO has on occasion been able to articulate in demanding times.
  • Topic: NATO, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, London
  • Author: Malcolm Chalmers
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Britain's 2010 National Security Strategy, published shortly after the coalition government took office, was entitled 'A Strong Britain in an Age of Uncertainty'. It made no mention of the two existential challenges—the possible secession of Scotland from the United Kingdom, and the risk of a British withdrawal from the European Union. Yet either event would be a fundamental transformation in the very nature of the British state, with profound impact on its foreign and security policy.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom, Europe, Scotland
  • Author: Colin Fleming
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Scotland's referendum saw Scots vote to remain part of the United Kingdom with 55 per cent of voters rejecting independence. However, a narrowing of the polls in the weeks leading up to the vote resulted in promises of significantly more powers for Scotland if it decided to stay part of the Union. With one You Gov poll suggesting a narrow win for the Yes movement–51 per cent to 49 per cent–Britain's three Unionist party leaders promised more powers with a timetable for action to be implemented the day after a No vote. These promises may be hard to keep. Only a few days on, it would appear that agreement on the timetable for change is lacking.
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Turkey, Scotland
  • Author: Michael Williams
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Some months ago while clearing my late mother 's house I came across a stamp album from my school days in the 1960s. There were stamps from 'Croatia ', in reality produced by extremist groups in Argentina, but testifying to the existence of the Nazi puppet state of Croatia (NDH) in the 1940s. But to my surprise, I also found stamps from the 'Alawite State of Syria '. An independent Croatia is now a reality and soon to become a member of the European Union. For that matter we also have states of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Kosovo. And the former Soviet Union has broken up into its constituent republics. Who would have imagined this as late as 1990? But maybe the break up of states, whether Yugoslavia or Czechoslovakia, and possibly the United Kingdom if Scotland opts for independence in 2014, is a purely European phenomenon?
  • Topic: Government, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United Kingdom, Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Argentina, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Syria, Scotland
  • Author: Bruce Clark
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: As G8 leaders meet for the first time in Northern Ireland, Bruce Clark visits the divided city of Derry-Londonderry to find out if culture can effect reconciliation after decades of violence
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, North Ireland
  • Author: Paul Cornish, Andrew Doorman
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: When the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition was formed in May 2010 it was confronted with a Ministry of Defence (MoD) in crisis, with armed forces committed to intensive combat operations in Afghanistan and with an unenviable financial situation. Yet within five months the coalition government had published a new National Security Strategy (NSS—the third in three years), a new Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) and a spending review. Among the United Kingdom's allies, France and Australia had prepared their defence white papers of 2008 and 2009 respectively in the context of a more benign global economic environment, while the United States used its national security policy of 2010 to provide a strategic overview without setting out in much detail what it would require of the relevant departments. The UK was effectively, therefore, the first western state to undertake a complete defence and security review in the 'age of austerity'. To add to the challenge, the coalition recognized that there were also problems within its own machinery of government, and came up with some novel solutions. In a radical step, it decided that national security would henceforth be overseen by a new National Security Council (NSC) chaired by the Prime Minister. A National Security Advisor—a new appointment in UK government—would lead Cabinet Office support to the NSC and the review process. The novelty of these arrangements raised questions about whether a more established system might be required to manage such a major review of UK national security. Nevertheless, the strategy review proceeded apace.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, United Kingdom, Australia
  • Author: Trevor Taylor
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: In terms of press coverage and political debate, the story of British defence since the end of the Cold War has been marked by three themes: policy (direction and review), management (shortcomings and initiatives), and military operations, although academic studies and courses tend to neglect the management domain. In principle, these three elements should be closely linked, with policy defining the evolving state of the world and constraining the direction of the country's military response, management delivering the leadership, organization and coordination to build the forces to enable the policy to be implemented, and military operations being undertaken in line with the policy guidance and management preparations made. In practice, however, there have been significant disjunctions between the operations mounted and the policy and management. Military operations launched since 1990 have all been something of a surprise, most of them requiring significant extra funding to be obtained through Urgent Operational Requirements (UORs) to enhance and modify British capabilities before the operations could begin. The concept of Force Elements at Readiness (FE@R), the key output of the mainstream defence budget, came to be recognized in the MoD as of only limited utility unless consideration of the specific attributes of a particular adversary, the physical environment of the envisaged operation and the contribution of allies were also included in the equation.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: Timothy Edmunds
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The theme of risk pervades the western security discourse at the beginning of the 2010s. The United Kingdom's 2010 National Security Strategy (NSS) employs the term 'risk' no fewer than 545 times, while its 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) mentions the word 96 times. The United States' 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) uses the words 'risk' or 'risks' 95 times over the course of its analysis. Risk is an explicit theme in the Australian Defence White Paper of 2009, Germany's Defence Policy Guidelines of 2011, The French White Paper on Defence and National Security of 2008 and the Spanish Security Strategy of 2011. It is also implicit in almost all other western security documentation since 2001 in one way or another.
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia
  • Author: Anthony Forster
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The term 'juridification' was first used by Gerry Rubin over a decade ago to describe ways in which the British court-martial system was being altered by civil judgments that civilianized the military legal system and reduced the autonomy of the armed forces. Since then, little scholarly attention has been focused on legal developments and their impact on traditional forms of governance of the British armed forces—especially its hierarchical and tradition-based approach to the conduct of its business. More recently, Christopher Dandeker has explored the 'right' of, versus the 'need' for, the British armed forces to be different from the society they serve, and I have explored the impact of wars since 1997 on the three branches of the British state and on the relationship of the state to its citizens. The focus in the present article is on the consequences of changes to the legal framework for the British armed forces. This is of interest not just because the armed forces have been so regularly deployed in combat over the last decade and a half, but also because as an organization the British military has been based on strong hierarchies, self-referential judgments, strong internal (but poor external) transparency and, above all, certainty of process and basic presuppositions that underpin all its activities.
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: Klaus Dodds
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: On 18 January 2012 the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, updated the House of Commons about his government's position on the Falkland Islands: The absolutely vital point is that we are clear that the future of the Falkland Islands is a matter for the people themselves. As long as they want to remain part of the United Kingdom and be British, they should be able to do so. That is absolutely key. I am determined to make sure that our defences and everything else are in order, which is why the National Security Council discussed the issue yesterday. The key point is that we support the Falkland Islanders' right to self-determination. I would argue that what the Argentinians have said recently is far more like colonialism, as these people want to remain British and the Argentinians want them to do something else.
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom
  • Author: Raymond Suttner
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The current political pre-eminence of the African National Congress in South Africa was not inevitable. The ANC was often overshadowed by other organizations and there were moments in its history when it nearly collapsed. Sometimes it was 'more of an onlooker than an active participant in events'. It came into being, as the South African Native National Congress (SANNC), in 1912, at a time of realignment within both the white and the conquered black communities. In the aftermath of their victory over the Boers in the South African War (1899-1902), the British were anxious to set about reconciling their former enemies to British rule. This included allowing former Boer territories to continue denying franchise and other rights to Africans, thus disappointing the hopes raised by British under - takings to the black population during the war years. For Africans, this 'betrayal' signified that extension of the Cape franchise, which at that time did not discriminate on racial grounds, to the rest of South Africa was unlikely. Indeed, when the Act of Union of 1910 transferred sovereignty to the white population even the Cape franchise was open to elimination through constitutional change—and in course of time it was indeed abolished.
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Kingdom, South Africa
  • Author: Alice Hills
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The transfer of western norms and practices to police forces in West Africa is a substantial part of a billion-dollar business. Out of the US$452 million the Obama administration requested for law enforcement and narcotics control in Africa during the financial year 2010, US$8 million was allocated to United States officials and contractors for police training, infrastructure and equipment in Liberia alone, while between 2002 and 2009 the United Kingdom channelled some £37 million to reforming or improving the security and justice sector of Nigeria, a key anchor state for UK policies in sub-Saharan Africa (hereafter Africa).
  • Topic: Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, United Kingdom, Liberia, Nigeria
  • Author: Chad Michael Briggs
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The effort to tie together environment and security is not a new endeavour. The Epic of Gilgamesh spoke of floods, possibly referring to actual changes in the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, resulting in clashes over water access and land use. Stories from the Third Punic War (albeit of disputed veracity) spoke of the Romans sowing the fields of Carthaginians with salt in order to prevent the communities from rebuilding. Environmental factors have been crucial in warfare throughout history, from storms warding off the Spanish Armada in Elizabethan times to the decimation of European troops by disease during the Crusades. Later colonial powers, recognizing that the conquest of land overseas required also the conquest of nature, established schools of tropical hygiene and medicine to provide adaptation strategies for new environmental conditions.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Oliver Daddow
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This may be the most important proposition revealed by history: 'At the time, no one knew what was coming.' With Britain's main parties of government deeply divided on the question of European integration, the country's politicians have been reticent to the point of paranoia about opening up national debates about the European Economic Community/European Union. The national media, by contrast, have had no such qualms about professing their opinions on the merits and downsides of the European project and Britain's contribution to it. This article argues that on the issue of 'Europe' most organs of the British media have, in a variety of ways and for various reasons, been on a journey between 1973 and the present from permissive consensus to destructive dissent. In putting forward this interpretation the article adapts Liesbet Hooghe and Gary Marks's judgement that, since the signing of the Treaty of Maastricht in 1991, European policy-making elites have increasingly had to 'look over their shoulders when negotiating European issues'. This is because public interest in notionally European-level affairs has risen in proportion to the number and contentiousness of landmark decisions being taken at the supranational level. Crucially, there has been a marked rise in Euroscepticism across the Continent, with national politicians having to 'make room for a more Eurosceptical public' when coming to decisions on European integration, especially on sensitive topics such as fiscal union and constitution-building.2The title of this article reflects the specificity of the British case, where a seismic shift took place during the 1980s. Widespread (but by no means total) media support, sometimes manifest as quiet or just plain uninterested acquiescence in the European project in its 'common market' guise, has given way to a vigorously partisan hostility bordering on a nationalist and in some arenas xenophobic approach to the coverage of European affairs.
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: James Spence
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Shadows of 'bougets', in the old sense of moneybags, loom over Britain's stance on the EU budget today, as they did over EC budgets 40 years ago. Three of the make-or-break issues for the UK in the negotiations over the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the period from 2014 to 2020 concern the direct cost of UK membership. The first is maintaining the British correction or 'rebate', while also maintaining member state sovereignty over budget revenue decisions. (The current rebate, some claim, was finally gained by another 'bouget', Mrs Thatcher's fabled handbag, in 1984.) Cutting finance to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the second, and closely linked to the first. At the time Britain was negotiating its terms for accession, its less Eurocentric agricultural trade patterns, and its higher dependence on cheap food imports from outside the Communities, marked it off from the six founding EC member states for which food security was a high priority. UK food prices were relatively low compared to Continental prices. Agriculture was a smaller economic and employment sector in the UK than it was in Continental Europe, and land ownership patterns also differed markedly. The third, and again related, issue is reducing the overall size of the MFF: that is, limiting the amounts available for the EU's annual budgets over several years, and therefore reducing the UK's contributions.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Malcolm Levitt
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The City of London's leading position in international financial markets is the basis of its central role in the UK economy in terms of its contribution to UK GDP and tax revenue and the City's own balance of payments surplus. The City's prosperity has long been associated with its international role and openness to foreign business, as illustrated eight centuries ago by the Magna Carta.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, London
  • Author: Julie Smith
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: European integration is a cross-cutting political issue that has divided British political parties for over half a century. When Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath sought to take Britain into the then Common Market, he relied on the votes of 69 pro-European rebel Labour MPs to get the European Communities Bill through the House of Commons in 1971—an early sign of the divisive impact membership of the European Union would have on British party politics. Barely a decade after accession, the Labour Party had sought to renegotiate the UK's terms of membership, held a referendum on whether the UK should remain in the Common Market, split in part over the issue and finally fought an election in which it called for withdrawal. Fast forward another three decades and the Labour position was broadly pro-European, while Tory rebels, alongside a party established to oppose membership, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), were advocating withdrawal from the Union. And if withdrawal was not the official Conservative position, Euroscepticism has certainly become prevalent in that party, leading one Conservative parliamentarian to claim: 'The dividing line in the Conservative Party is now in/out.'
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, England
  • Author: Sven Biscop
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The problem of European defence is that it does not work with the United Kingdom, but would not work without it either. Unlike in other policy areas, in defence the issue is not British resistance to Brussels directives. Populist outcries against a mythical 'Euro-Army' notwith-standing, British sovereignty is not under threat. The real issue is that other European countries are not doing enough in spite of being urged from both sides of Brussels—by the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). 'Too many countries are failing to meet their financial responsibilities to NATO, and so failing to maintain appropriate and proportionate capabilities. Too many are opting out of operations or contributing but a fraction of what they should be capable of ', in the words of Defence Secretary Philip Hammond. Britain, on the contrary, is the leading European military power, accounting for 22.4 per cent of defence expenditure and 11.8 per cent of armed forces, and it is more willing than most to deploy those forces (providing 20.8 per cent of the average number of troops deployed), including for combat operations. Its military clout enables the UK to lead the others—any scheme for European defence without it would indeed be severely handicapped. But does Britain want to lead? The paradox is that while the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) would not have come into being without British leadership, it would be much more effective without British reluctance to make full use of it. In contrast to most European countries, the UK has never stopped seeing European defence and the continued assurance of transatlantic partnership (in the shape of its special relationship with the United States and the NATO alliance) as a zero-sum game.
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe, North Atlantic
  • Author: N. Piers Ludlow
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Recent trends in both Britain and Continental Europe have made the question of the United Kingdom's position as a fully fledged member of the European Union more contentious than it has been for decades. The almost unchecked rise of Euroscepticism among both the British political elite—especially within the governing Conservative Party—and the media means that the possibility of British withdrawal from the Union, or at very least the renegotiation of its position within it, is discussed more openly and in more mainstream political circles than at any time since the 1970s. On the other side of the Channel, meanwhile, the perceived need to address the weaknesses of the single currency by increasing integration, whether across the EU as a whole or simply among those countries that share the euro, has helped create a situation in which many of the key decisions are taken in forums within which the British are either not represented at all or are marginal players at best. Few European governments openly aspire to a situation in which the United Kingdom moves away from the core European decision-making system, and several have publicly deplored the possibility. But faced with the need to press ahead, and the ever decreasing likelihood of the British being able to follow any such advance, European governments are being forced to contemplate the prospect of a core Europe without Britain.
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
24. Letters
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: Jamie Gaskarth
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The global war on terrorism gives rise to a range of legal, political and ethical problems. One major concern for UK policy-makers is the extent to which the government may be held responsible for the illegal and/or unethical behaviour of allies in intelligence gathering—the subject of the forthcoming Gibson inquiry. The UK government has been criticized by NGOs, parliamentary committees and the media for cooperating with states that are alleged to use cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment (CIDT) or torture to gain information about possible terrorist threats. Many commentators argue that the UK's intelligence sharing arrangements leave it open to charges of complicity with such behaviour. Some even suggest the UK should refuse to share intelligence with countries that torture. This article refutes this latter view by exploring the legal understanding of complicity in the common law system and comparing its more limited view of responsibility—especially the 'merchant's defence'—with the wider definition implied in political commentary. The legal view, it is argued, offers a more practical guide for policy-makers seeking to discourage torture while still protecting their citizens from terrorist threats. It also provides a fuller framework for assessing the complicity of policy-makers and officials. Legal commentary considers complicity in relation to five key points: identifying blame; weighing the contribution made; evaluating the level of intent; establishing knowledge; or, where the latter is uncertain, positing recklessness. Using this schema, the article indicates ways in which the UK has arguably been complicit in torture, or at least CIDT, based on the information publicly available. However, it concludes that the UK was justified in maintaining intelligence cooperation with transgressing states due to the overriding public interest in preventing terrorist attacks.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: Anthony Richards
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article questions the utility of the term 'radicalization' as a focus for counterterrorism response in the UK. It argues that the lack of clarity as to who the radicalized are has helped to facilitate a 'Prevent' strand of counterterrorism strategy that has confusingly oscillated between tackling violent extremism, in particular, to promoting community cohesion and 'shared values' more broadly. The article suggests that the focus of counterterrorism strategy should be on countering terrorism and not on the broader remit implied by wider conceptions of radicalization. This is not to diminish the importance of contextual or 'root cause' factors behind terrorism, but, if it is terrorism that is to be understood and countered, then such factors should be viewed within the terrorism–counterterrorism discourse and not a radicalization–counter-radicalization one. The article goes on to consider the characterization of those presenting a terrorist threat to the UK as being 'vulnerable' to violent extremism. While it argues that the notion of vulnerable individuals and communities also lends itself to a wider 'Prevent' remit, it cautions that the impetus towards viewing terrorism as the product of vulnerability should not deflect us from what has generally been agreed in terrorism studies—that terrorism involves the perpetration of rational and calculated acts of violence.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: Geoffrey Warner
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The Cambridge history of the Cold War is a three-volume work by 75 contributors, mostly from the United States and the United Kingdom, and is intended as 'a substantial work of reference' on the subject. The bulk of the text deals, in frequently overlapping chapters, with the main protagonists of the conflict—viz. the United States, the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China—and the areas in which they clashed. At the same time, it aims to go 'far beyond the narrow boundaries of diplomatic affairs', although it is not always successful in doing so. In analysing the origins of the Cold War, the contributors pay perhaps too much attention to ideology as opposed to geopolitics, a flaw which is made easier by the absence of sufficient historical background. On the other hand, the duration of the conflict and the failure of various attempts at détente is more successfully explained in terms of the zero-sum game nature of the conflict and its progressive extension from Europe across the rest of the world. When it comes to the end of the Cold War, the overall conclusion is that this came about through both a shift in the international balance of power following the Sino-Soviet split and the political and economic problems of the Soviet bloc. It is generally agreed that Mikhail Gorbachev's willingness to abandon old shibboleths both at home and abroad was a major factor in bringing about the end of the conflict. The three volumes, while not always an easy read, are the outcome of considerable research and expertise in both primary and secondary sources and will repay careful study.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, China, United Kingdom, Europe, Soviet Union
  • Author: Stuart Griffin
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have had profound effects on both the British and US militaries. Among the most important is the way in which they have challenged traditional assumptions about the character of unconventional conflict and the role of the military within comprehensive strategies for encouraging sustainable peace. In the UK, the most important doctrinal response has been JDP 3-40 Security and Stabilisation: the military contribution. Security and Stabilisation is an ambitious attempt to synthesize elements of counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, peace support and state-building within a single doctrine that reflects the lessons learned from recent British operational experience. This article examines the purpose, impact and potential value of this important innovation in British doctrine. To do so, the article explores the genesis of Stabilization; analyses its impact upon extant British doctrine for counterinsurgency and peace support; discusses its relationship with the most important related US doctrines, FM 3-24: the counterinsurgency field manual and FM 3-07: the stability operations field manual; and debates the function of doctrine more broadly. It concludes by summarizing the primary challenges Security and Stabilisation must overcome if it is to make a serious contribution to the theory and practice of such complex interventions.
  • Topic: Security, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, United Kingdom
  • Author: Nick Ritchie
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: In 2010 the coalition government conducted a major review of defence and security policy. This article explores the review process from a critical perspective by examining and challenging the state-centrism of prevailing conceptions of current policy reflected in the quest to define and perform a particular 'national role' in contrast to a human-centric framework focused on the UK citizen. It argues that shifting the focus of policy to the individual makes a qualitative difference to how we think about requirements for the UK's armed forces and challenges ingrained assumptions about defence and security in relation to military operations of choice and attendant expensive, expeditionary war-fighting capabilities. In particular, it confronts the prevailing narrative that UK national security-as-global risk management must be met by securing the state against pervasive multidimensional risk through military force, that military power projection capabilities are a vital source of international influence and national prestige and that the exercise of UK military power constitutes a 'force for good' for the long-term human security needs of citizens in both the intervened and intervening state.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: John Heathershaw, Nick Megoran
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Western geopolitical discourse misrepresents and constructs Central Asia as an inherently and essentially dangerous place. This pervasive 'discourse of danger' obscures knowledge of the region, deforms scholarship and, because it has policy implications, actually endangers Central Asia. This article identifies how the region is made knowable to a US-UK audience through three mutually reinforcing dimensions of endangerment: Central Asia as obscure, oriental, and fractious. This is evidenced in the writings of conflict resolution and security analysts, the practices of governments, the activities of international aid agencies and numerous lurid films, documentaries and novels.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Central Asia
  • Author: Martin A Smith
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: NATO has been a source of influence on British nuclear policy and strategy since the 1950s. The nature and extent of its influence has, however, been kept limited by successive British governments. This article considers how and why this has happened. It discusses evolving British attitudes towards NATO command and planning, and shows how these were reflected with regard to strategic nuclear issues from the late 1950s. The evolution of the key notion that the United Kingdom is a second centre of nuclear decision within NATO is traced, and both its utility and contradictions are examined. Overall it is argued that, both during and since the Cold War, NATO has neither been a central factor in shaping British nuclear strategy and policy, nor have British nuclear weapons been other than of limited importance and relevance for most NATO members.
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom