Wednesday, 02 December 2020
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Noel-Hadjimichael-webIn the same week that France was dealing with the Nice Basilica terror killings and UK Labour suspended Jeremy Corbyn in the wake of the EHRC report findings, an important and insightful paper by Britain's leading defence think tank could have been missed. The Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) published a paper by its Deputy Director General Professor Malcolm Chalmers. The paper offers a sharp and sensible summary of the implications arising from the deferral of the original timetable for a comprehensive spending review.
The tag line A Reckoning Postponed is indeed powerful, comments Noel Hadjimichael.
Professor Chalmers spares the reader no illusions that the UK government's decision carries no serious implications for planners, leaders or strategists.

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The National Resilience Index 2020 is a study measuring how capable each of the D-10 club of democracies is in facing crises like pandemics or terrorist attacks.

Introducing it, the co-authors said :

"The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that the UK must do more to build up its national resilience. In the post-Brexit world, the UK needs to work on boosting public trust in central government, creating high-quality domestic supply chains for critical medical supplies, and improving social systems which help to protect the most vulnerable. " - Dr Rakib Ehsan Research Fellow, Centre on Radicalisation and Terrorism

"Public health events have the capacity to cause disruption similar in scale to that of terror or hostile state activity. It is important that government systems recognise this in their outlook." - Nikita Malik Director, Centre on Radicalisation and Terrorism

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Edoardo del PrincipeIMG E6202Reviewed by Edoardo Del Principe, Research Assistant 2020, U K Defence Forum

European documents between agenda-setting and real strategy

The European Commission recently set out a new EU Security Union Strategy (ESUS) for the 2020-2025 period. The document updates the previous security agenda of 2015-2020 , reprising cardinal points and adding depth to the European strategy. It is not the first time the word "strategy" appears in a European document; perhaps the most famous was in the European Global Strategy.

Such material can sound maybe generalist or vague, but this is an inner weakness of every "grand-agenda," which cannot cover every aspect in depth. It could be inappropriate to use the word "strategy": such documents usually set policy guidelines for future politics. However, in this case the ESUS has a little bit more of a strategic flavour.

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