Skip to main content

Formal meeting (oral evidence session): Defence concepts and capabilities: from aspiration to reality

International Relations and Defence Committee
Defence concepts and capabilities: from aspiration to reality

Wednesday 18 May 2022

Start times: 10.30am (private) 10.30am (public)

Add to calendar

Committee to assess the global threat environment and its implications for the UK

The House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee will continue taking oral evidence for its inquiry, “Defence concepts and capabilities: from aspiration to reality”. They will hear from four experts in potential state and non-state threats to national security.

The Committee meeting will consist of two panels of experts. The first panel will focus on the challenges posed by China and Russia, especially in  relation to the UK, while the second panel will focus on wider threats such as terrorism, pandemics and climate change. Questions to both panels will attempt to establish to what extent the Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper (both published in 2021) respond adequately to these multiple challenges.

Meeting details

At 10.30am: Oral evidence
Inquiry Defence concepts and capabilities: from aspiration to reality
Professor in Conflict and Security at King's College London
Senior Fellow for Chinese Defence Policy and Military Modernisation at International Institute for Strategic Studies
At 11.30am: Oral evidence
Inquiry Defence concepts and capabilities: from aspiration to reality
Lecturer in Global and Planetary Health at Royal Holloway University of London, and Associate Fellow at RUSI
Professor of International Relations and International Security at University of Loughborough

Possible questions:

  • The Integrated Review called Russia “the most acute direct threat to the UK” and China a “systemic competitor”. To what extent was this an accurate characterisation last year, and it is still valid today?
  • How do China and Russia assess their own security and threats? What are their priorities of their national security strategies? What impact has the war in Ukraine had in this respect?
  • Do Russia and China pose direct military threats to the UK, and if so, of what kind? Are our current and planned capabilities adequate to face that challenge, or do they need to be improved?
  • How would you assess the Integrated Review’s plans to counter radicalisation and terrorism? Should countering terrorism be more, less, or the same priority – vis-à-vis interstate defence – compared to, say, a decade ago?
  • How would you assess Defence’s contribution to the COVID-19 pandemic response? What are the key lessons learned? Might future pandemics pose even graver security challenges, and possibly compromise Defence’s operations?
  • The Integrated Review and the Defence Command Paper identify climate change and biodiversity loss as a “global challenge” and a “threat multiplier. How severe are these threats, and how might they manifest themselves vis-à-vis the UK? How prepared is the UK to respond to such challenges?


Room 4, Palace of Westminster

How to attend