Written submitted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (INR0054)




About Us:

The APPG on Drones is an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) established in 2012. The Group is cross-party, non-partisan and cross-House. In the past two years, the scope and work of the Group has expanded, looking comprehensively at the implications of drone use combined with other ‘remote’ measures, such as conventional airstrikes, explosive weapons in populated areas, and covert Special Forces operations, enabling comprehensive examination of the implications of current approaches to security challenges. The Group has 6 Officers, 55 official members, a range of active non-registered MPs and Lords, and an expert network of 50+ individuals and organisations.


          The Integrated Review is aimed at providing clarity and a decisive agenda for protecting UK citizens, exerting UK influence, and shaping global affairs in an increasingly uncertain world

          Its starting point must be a rigorous assessment of UK interests and ambitions across departments. This will allow the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to articulate a clear and holistic foreign policy baseline and long-term vision for action that focuses on tackling root causes of insecurity and vulnerability

          The Review should assess the significant mismatch between the ambitions, commitments and resourcing of the FCO, Ministry of Defence (MOD), and Department for International Development (DFID),  most significantly, the overemphasis on countering traditional threats and overreliance on military force when responding to security challenges. It should also address how this has sidelined and drawn resources away from other departments and non-traditional threats, despite the expertise that has been developed, warnings given, and the numerous soft power diplomacy and development tools available.

          The lack of a clear cross-departmental foreign policy baseline is rendering our policies inconsistent and ineffective: investigations, court cases and inquiries into UK operations over the past two decades have revealed fundamental shortcomings in UK policy that suggest that the UK is unable to understand the impact of its own and partnered action and that it is not achieving its objectives.

          The international rules-based order is increasingly under threat, as an increasing number of states disregard its regulations, operate in grey zones outside armed conflict, and blur the line between war and peace. It is in the UK’s direct national interest that this system is upheld by its allies and adversaries alike.

          For years, the APPG has warned that oversight mechanisms are being outpaced by UK military capabilities and commitments. This was echoed by the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) in 2019, which found that Parliament’s ability to scrutinise deployment of force needs to be strengthened.  

          The Integrated Review is an opportunity to correct critical gaps in strategy and evaluation. The current global health pandemic is a glaring example of the shortcomings of this traditional national security paradigm. The Integrated Review must support the development of a holistic foreign policy that emphasises tackling root causes of insecurity and vulnerability, and enshrines a human security approach that prioritises the long-term security of individuals over short-term military gains.




  1. The Role of the FCO in the Integrated Review Process

1.1.            The Integrated Defence, Security and Foreign Policy Review is aimed at providing clarity and a decisive agenda for protecting UK citizens, exerting UK influence, and addressing global challenges in an increasingly uncertain world. In this respect, the role of the FCO as the Department who defines these political goals is paramount.

1.2.            The first duty of any State is to protect its people. However in the wake of the devastation caused by COVID-19, states around the world are being forced to reassess what protecting their citizens really means. With national security infrastructures focussed on countering traditional threats - terrorism, great power competition and nuclear rivalry - military approaches have consistently sidelined and drawn resources away from preparing states to counter other existential threats not amenable to military solutions. 

1.3.            The UK is no different. One month before the coronavirus hit the UK, the government trumpeted a rise in military spending of £2bn to £41.5bn by 2020/21, citing the UK’s military force as “the tip of the spear for a resurgent Britain”[1]. This figure is more than twice that dedicated to current global emergencies including climate and ecological breakdown - and hundreds of times more than on pandemic prevention.[2]

1.4.            Successive policy documents from 2010-2015 assessed pandemics as an urgent and tier one risk for the UK.[3] The Integrated Review provides a crucial opportunity to ask why these assessments were not taken seriously. What rings clear from the hard lessons now being learnt, is that claiming something is a priority does not matter if this is not supported by decisive action, adequate resourcing and underpinned by clear strategy.

1.5.            The vital lessons that will play out about the nature of security post-COVID-19 will therefore need to be articulated across departments, creating an imperative for shared understanding of security outcomes that transcend traditional military criteria. As the FCO is the primary department responsible for defining the UK’s goals and actions on the global stage, the process and hierarchy of the Review will need to reflect this and provide adequate weight to this foreign policy baseline. Once these goals are defined, the methodological and capability decisions on how best they can be achieved will follow.

1.6.            The starting point for the Review therefore needs to be a rigorous assessment of UK interests and ambitions across departments to articulate a foreign policy baseline and vision for action. This would require political leadership from the FCO in conjunction with the Cabinet Office, but needs to ensure the individual contributions and strengths of all externally facing Government departments is elevated and effectively utilised. For example, DFID’s standing and proficiency is a significant source of soft power and influence at global institutions. Its world-leading initiatives and decades of expertise have made the UK a global development superpower, whilst meeting the highest standards of transparency and accountability needed to engender trust.

1.7.            The Pergau Dam scandal in 1994 should act as a warning, however, against the allure of merging or collapsing departments in the interests of efficiency. Each department brings its own lessons learnt, deep expertise and unique skills - and as evidenced by the cross-party consensus specifically de-linking aid from commercial interests to create DFID - each department has its own role to play as stand-alone national assets and checks on overall strategy.

1.8.            The Integrated Review provides a unique opportunity post-COVID-19 to not only clearly articulate cross-departmental goals and mechanisms for addressing global and national security threats at the strategic level, but to evaluate them by cross-departmental criteria. This will necessitate going beyond coordination and deconfliction between departments, and ensure that defence, foreign policy and developmental policies, methodologies and aims are properly integrated.


  1. The FCO as a strategy-led organisation: the need to bring together disparate initiatives and articulate a clear and holistic vision for “Global Britain”

2.1  The FCO has faced criticism that its vision for a ‘Global Britain’ as an indication of Britain’s foreign policy ambitions post-Brexit does not provide clarity on “what it means, what it stands for, or how its success should be measured”.[4] However, when looking at efforts across Government departments in recent years, it is undeniable that a lot of thought and investment has gone into developing what this foreign policy baseline could be, articulating a long-term, cross-departmental vision for security that should be encapsulated in the Review.

2.2  First, a central commitment to “strengthening the rules-based international order and its institutions” was last enshrined in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), and has been a central tenet of the UK’s foreign policy for decades. The 2015 SDSR reiterated the long-held view that the UK derives security, prosperity and influence from its position within the rules-based international system, particularly as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.[5] It argued it is therefore in the UK’s national interest to preserve and strengthen this system as a foreign policy priority, particularly through supporting multilateral institutions such as the UN.

2.3  Second, there has been significant investment in understanding and tackling the root causes of insecurity and conflict across Departments. The Government has shown strong support of the Sustainable Development Goals and Pathways to Peace Agenda. In 2016, DFID published its “building stability framework”. This was intended as a “new framework” shifting DFID decision-making away from short-term “development gains”, such as poverty reduction, as these gains were “insufficient to reduce instability and violence in fragile countries and regions”. Instead, the shift argued that “the highest development returns may lie in long-term foundations for a future free of violence”,[6] involving programmes dedicated to “peacebuilding, state-building and conflict reduction”. The 2015 SDSR bolstered this long-term view through stating a commitment to spend at least 50% of DFID’s budget in “fragile states and regions” as a “major investment in global stability”.[7]

2.4  In addition, there have been numerous individual initiatives focussed on tackling root causes of insecurity and vulnerability, and enshrining a long-term human security approach that prioritises the security of individuals over short-term military gains. Among the most significant initiatives are: the Review of the 2010 Protection of Civilians Strategy; producing and implementing a civilian casualty tracking policy as called for in Section 17 of the Chilcot Recommendations; resourcing and implementing Human Security as a strategic, cross-cutting government priority, understood as essential to military success; the UN Sustainable Development Goals; and initiatives on Preventing Sexual Violence; Freedom of Religious Belief, and; Women, Peace & Security

2.5  Third, there have been growing efforts to effectively join up thinking on tackling the root causes of insecurity and conflict. Following on from the new national approach to preventing atrocities, which already acknowledges many of these cross-cutting issues and emphasises the importance of joined up thinking on global challenges, the Integrated Review  offers an opportunity to move beyond joined up thinking, to joined up analysis and implementation. Current efforts are best demonstrated by the establishment of the Conflict Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) in April 2015 to better coordinate efforts. Directed by the National Security Council, it spans across departments, drawing on “the most effective combination of defence, diplomacy and development assistance at the government’s disposal”.[8] The work and growth of the Stabilisation Unit - set up in 2007 to “support more effective cross-government crisis response, stabilisation and conflict prevention in fragile states”[9] - also illustrates that a view of security that requires “patient, long-term work”[10] and aims to unpack the multiple facets involved in creating true stability and security has been building momentum, with the Unit, totalling 100 staff seconded from twelve government departments in 2017.[11]


  1. Mismatch between ambitions, commitments and resourcing

3.1  However, despite these efforts to join up thinking and invest in long-term understanding of security challenges, as it stands, most initiatives remain fragmented and limited. With none of the above initiatives or thinking substantively reflected in the concept of ‘Global Britain’, the role of the FCO, DFID and other departments remain eclipsed by the MOD. With the majority of UK spending going to military-led initiatives, the military remains the main enacter of security policy. A silver lining of the current lack of strategy and substance is that this gap leaves space for the creation of a truly cross-departmental, shared understanding on how the UK should best utilise its considerable resources and assets.

3.2  The division of resources among the three departments central to the Integrated Review - the MOD, FCO and DFID - does not accurately reflect the cross-departmental agenda outlined above. The massive disparity in funding is clearly set out in the budget, published in March 2020, which allocated £30.8[12] billion to the MOD for the fiscal year of 2020-21, and set to increase to £41.5 billion by 2021.[13] By comparison the FCO’s and DFID’s budgets for the same year are £1.1 and £9.6 billion, respectively.[14] Whilst acknowledging that the MOD requires expensive equipment and service personnel, the discrepancy in resources between the MOD and FCO is stark also when comparing their civilian staff: the MOD had 57,140 employees as of May 2018, whereas the FCO employs 4557 people,[15] a number which increases to 7491,[16] if employees at all its affiliate organisations are included.[17]

3.3  The lack of resources at the FCO’s disposal hampers its ability to effectively steer cross-departmental foreign policy direction. The gap between ambitions and outcomes remains significant. Despite best intentions in coordinating a more effective and holistic approach through the CSSF, an evaluation by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact found the CSSF’s programmes were of varying quality, with weak management of results and that insufficient learning undermined its contribution.[18] UK foreign and security policy has been dominated by the capabilities and tools that have been best funded and equipped: military analysis and approaches, with policy effectiveness and objectives evaluated along narrow, often short-term military criteria. However, considering the widely different security threats facing the UK in the future - from climate change[19] and pandemics[20] to instability in some of the world’s most volatile regions[21] - combined with the reported limitations of hard power solutions alone,[22] is essential that the UK invest in and expand its soft power arsenal.


  1. Implications of inconsistency between cross-departmental ambitions and outcomes: ineffectiveness, counter-productive policy and loss of agency

4.1  The political baseline that is supposed to inform all UK foreign-facing policy and ensure it is consistent and effective is unclear and has critical gaps. This has had significant negative implications on effectiveness and consistency of UK foreign policy actions, and their outcomes. As a result, our foreign policy actions are not producing the intended results.

4.2  How should we define success?: The lack of a political baseline that clearly sets out the priorities and obligations by which the UK intends to measure its actions across all departments, coupled with the over-reliance on military responses to security challenges, has skewed the way we measure success. Operation Shader in Iraq and Syria is a good example: overall the operation has been considered successful, evaluated in terms of securing territory from ISIS. However, at what cost? The aerial bombing of Mosul and Raqqa caused a high number of civilian casualties and a significant loss to essential civilian infrastructure, with widespread implications for post-conflict recovery. Success, as defined by the aims of the CSSF, or along the lines pioneering UK initiatives such as  the Women, Peace and Security agenda; Human Security Centre; the Safe Schools initiative and in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals, would consider a more holistic approach to instability and conflict, that emphasises the complex and intersectional root causes, and how to address these in a sustainable way.

4.3  Challenges to the rules-based order: The rules-based international order is increasingly under threat. The lack of clarity as to when states are entering into war, and the increasing use of military force in ‘grey zones’ outside defined armed conflict, is blurring the lines between war and peace.[23] Coupled with an overly permissive environment for the use of force, this is risking peace and stability. The US airstrike that killed Iranian General Soleimani, and the considerable global uncertainty that followed, is the most recent, and extreme, example. Underpinned by the US’ expansive legal interpretation of the right to self defence and definition of imminence, this strike has set the stage for the normalisation of assassinations, violations of state sovereignty, and the hollowing out of established protections on when, where and against whom States may use force. Whereas the UK has not endorsed the US position, public statements[24] indicate it is sliding closer. This undermining of international law sets a dangerous precedent and encourages copycat behaviour. For example, President Erdogan recently justified his intention to extrajudicially kill a political opponent by referencing the US targeted killing programme. For years, the APPG on Drones has warned of the dangers to UK and international security that comes with letting violations go unchecked. The FCO will need to play a crucial role in the Integrated Review in steering cross-departmental positions determining the parameters guiding UK action, defining the rules by which the UK intends to work - whether alone or with allies -  and the global environment it wishes to see. This will need to be done in an open and inclusive manner, engaging both Parliament and the public in order to secure buy-in.

4.4  Loss of UK agency in volatile partnerships: As outlined by General Barrons’ testimonial during the APPG on Drones’ 2018 Inquiry, ever closer collaboration and assistance to a range of military partners has become an “inescapable strategic imperative” for UK security.  However, it is crucial that this “imperative” does not overshadow the UK’s strategic commitments to the rules-based order. Partnerships with the Saudi-led Coalition in Yemen, and the US drone programme have received sustained criticism suggesting that the UK is turning a blind eye to partners’ violations of international law, in favour of trade and military relationships. Recent court cases in the UK - on arms sales to Saudi Arabia - and in Germany - on similar German assistance to the US drone programme in Yemen - have found that only relying on assurances from partners that assistance is being used lawfully is “legally unsustainable”, with the courts pointing to substantial open-source evidence of unlawful behaviour. The knock-on effects of bombing campaigns and proxy wars in countries like Libya, Syria and Yemen have created immense vulnerable populations. Support of the Saudi-led coalition has led to the destruction of 83 medical facilities in Yemen, contributing to the largest cholera outbreak in history and leaving 22.2 million people already in need of humanitarian assistance exposed to COVID-19. Until now, the West has been insulated from these impacts. COVID-19 exemplifies the way in which fragile states and the lack of essential infrastructure in one part of the world, has implications for us all.

4.5  Civilian protection as a strategic priority: Today’s conflicts are not just about fighting to win territory, but as much about the need to protect, secure and win over vulnerable and affected populations. Aiding partners’ unlawful behaviour undermines the UK’s own power and agency in a fragile international environment. This is a decisive time in UK foreign policy, when consistency and adherence to international law is essential to gain trust and influence internationally. Civilian protection should be a strategic as well as value-led priority, equal to achieving the military objective. This review should provide an important opportunity to debate the means, together with the ends, making sure that the former supports the latter. Through its many aid and development initiatives, the UK has emphasised the importance of investing in fragile states: doubling down on these efforts have never been more important.


  1. The Integrated Review as an opportunity to correct critical gaps in strategy and evaluation

5.1  Since its inception in 2012, the APPG on Drones has highlighted the significance of the gaps in policy and parliamentary scrutiny concerning the use of force and military assistance. For example, in claiming responsibility for only one civilian casualty out of more than 1700 strikes taken in Iraq and Syria, the UK has exposed the lack of structures in place to meaningfully evaluate UK action, or monitor and prevent harm. This figure has been disputed as vastly inaccurate - even by the US. Similarly, the reliance on assurances precludes any robust assessments on how UK arms and assistance are used by partners.[25]

5.2  A recent Inquiry Report by the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee found that Parliament should play an essential role in deciding when and how force can be deployed, particularly in the face of increasing “sub-conflict confrontations”.[26] However, it warned that Britain’s military capabilities and commitments are outpacing the existing procedures for Parliamentary scrutiny and oversight.[27] The lack of any one Parliamentary Committee that is able to scrutinise all aspects of the use of force; and the lack of clear requirements forcing the government to report partner assistance to parliament has enabled successive governments to largely sidestep scrutiny. This lack of debate and scrutiny has had a significant negative impact on the effectiveness and consistency of UK foreign policy.

5.3  In 2015, the House of Lords Committee on Soft Power and the UK’s Influence emphasised that soft and hard power should not be viewed as opposing, or alternative strategies, but rather utilised in concert. It is essential that responses to security threats take into account short and long-term outcomes and are informed by lessons learned from past actions. The Integrated Review is an opportunity to consider everything the UK has learned about its operations over the two past decades. Recent Inquiries into UK overseas operations, such as the Iraq and ISC torture and rendition inquiries, have revealed substantial strategic shortcomings and gaps in the way the UK conducts military operations. They have highlighted fundamental flaws that question the UK’s overall understanding of its own activity and its effect, pointing to decision-making based on ‘flawed intelligence assessments’; the failure to achieve operational objectives; large, unaccounted for numbers of civilian casualties, and; collusion in unlawful behaviour. These outcomes are counter-productive and create substantial backlash against the UK. Commentary on more recent activities, such as the operations against ISIS, suggest that the mistakes from Iraq are being repeated today.

5.4  The Review provides an opportunity to not just articulate the UK’s policy aims and underpinning strategy - but also to establish the necessary measures to ensure their effective and continuous evaluation. This would instate a feedback loop which would not only serve to improve policy, evolve benchmarks of success, and highlight any emerging risks; but also ensure political buy-in and support of government action. By informing Parliament of the process behind the Review, and including Parliamentarians in its substantive discussion, the government can create buy-in and support from an early stage. Moreover, it can check policies, enabling the creation of a cohesive and actionable review.


  1. Conclusion and recommendations

6.1  The effectiveness of the UK’s involvement in tackling insecurity across the world - whether directly or through trade and military partnerships - is subject to the strength of UK strategy. The ongoing humanitarian and security crisis in Yemen is a clear example of the UK’s failure to develop an integrated strategy, resulting in outcomes no government wishes to see. Without a clear and cross-departmental integrated strategy, informed by a rigorous foreign policy baseline, inconsistencies in UK strategy will continue to have devastating consequences. Beyond direct threats to state sovereignty, global health, climate change, migration, food and water security represent common goods whose fragility affects us all. Whilst protection of the state remains a key responsibility, the COVID-19 crisis reminds us that the most fundamental duty is to ensure the safety and security for their citizens against all threats - not just the threat of armed force.

6.2  We are heading into an unpredictable era where imperatives for partnerships are only increasing. The UK is influential - but it is not able to secure UK security, or protect global stability on its own. Challenges in new cyber and space domains and rapid advances in military technology including artificial intelligence and increasingly autonomous weaponry will continue to evolve the nature of warfare, and further test the limits of and strength of the rules-based system.

6.3  In order to face these challenges and adapt to a complex and changeable global landscape, the Integrated Review needs to address the current gaps in UK strategy, set out the parameters guiding UK actions and collaboration, and correct inconsistencies between foreign policy intention and UK action. To do this effectively, we set out the following recommendations in the annex below.


Annex: Recommendations for Integrated Defence, Security and Foreign Policy Review


Section 1: Recommendations for effectiveness of the Integrated Review process


Role of the FCO in the Review

       The FCO should play the leading role in articulating a foreign policy baseline, from which a truly integrated security, defence and foreign policy can be developed.

       The FCO should use its expertise to set out a long-term strategic narrative that considers the complex and disparate drivers of instability and how best to address these to achieve long-term security.

       The FCO has developed a unique set of tools that are essential to the continued preservation of security and stability in the world. It is essential that these are elevated and invested in.


Role of other Departments in the Review (cross-departmental)

       Disparate initiatives across the FCO, DFID and MOD show commitment to a broad security agenda. However, the lack of cross-departmental cooperation and consistency renders the initiatives less effective. As such, the Review should bring these together and bridge the gaps between them, to create a holistic and effective strategy.

       The resources dedicated to the MOD far eclipse those of the FCO and DFID. The Review must elevate all departments and ensure that the expertise and tools at each department are enforced and available.  Today, those of the FCO and DFID are routinely undermined, despite the UK’s position - and influence - as a global aid superpower.

       With a truly holistic approach, there should be added incentives for a cross-departmental understanding of success that prioritises global peace and security, and integrated measures in place to monitor and evaluate progress; capture best practice and lessons learnt; and implement changes to improve policy and process.


Ensuring the Review process is inclusive and transparent

       Parliament and its committees are a big source of institutional knowledge and expertise. By informing Parliament of the process behind the Review, and including Parliamentarians in its substantive discussion, the government can secure buy-in and support at an early stage. Moreover, it opens up for rigorous scrutiny which ultimately will produce a cohesive and actionable review. The Committees provide additional competence and could be engaged in dialogue or used as sounding boards during the development of specific issue-area policies.

       The UK is home to a wealth of expertise and knowledge. The government should take advantage of this by ensuring that civil society and other experts are invited to participate in the review. The inclusion of expertise from outside government will increase the perspectives reflected, strengthening the review.

       The Integrated Review comes at a decisive time in UK history, and it is likely to attract widespread public scrutiny, interest and questions about the UK’s response to non-traditional security threats such as COVID-19. It is important that the Review engages with concerns and questions raised by the public.


Section 2: Recommendations for Integrated Review scope and priorities


Reassess current approaches to national security

       The Integrated Review provides a crucial opportunity to ask why policy recommendations assessing pandemics and other human security issues as tier one risks were not taken seriously.

       The vital lessons that will play out about the nature of security post-COVID-19 will need to be articulated across departments, creating an imperative for shared understanding of security outcomes that transcend traditional military criteria.

       The scope of national security policy should transcend traditional defence and law enforcement models by comprehending climate change, human security against pandemics, environmental degradation, food security, water shortages and refugee flows – to identify just a few issues.

       Complementary to the use of hard power, a wide variety of alternative soft power tools including foreign aid, development and diplomacy aimed at conflict prevention and resolution should be used to achieve security goals. 

       Acknowledging that today’s conflicts are not just about fighting to win territory, but as much about the need to protect, secure and win over vulnerable and affected populations, the Review should address civilian protection as a strategic as well as value-led priority in the Review, equal to achieving the military objective.

       This Review should examine the means of guaranteeing security, together with the ends, making sure that the former supports the latter.


The Review as an opportunity to gain clarity on key areas that will underpin effective strategy:

       Legal positions and values driving UK strategy

        The FCO will need to play a crucial role in the Integrated Review in determining the red lines and parameters guiding UK action, defining the rules by which the UK intends to work - whether alone or with allies -  and the global environment it wishes to see.

        This should include clarifying legal positions and overarching values that would underpin any use of force or international collaboration, e.g. the Government’s policy on targeted killing; the UK’s position on legal principles including: scope of an armed conflict, distinction of combatants, the principle of imminence and the right to self-defence.

       Collaboration with and assistance to partners

        The Integrated Review should consider the conditions necessary to ensure UK military partnerships promote British aims and are conducted lawfully and set out parameters guiding the limitations of UK support.

        The Integrated Review should address the shortcomings of relying purely on assurances and set out a broader spectrum of diplomatic, developmental and economic tools that can be used to influence change and remedy bad conduct.


Resourcing and capabilities

       The Review should create a cross-departmental understanding of how the UK should best utilise its considerable resources and assets to better reflect integrated, cross-departmental aims

       The Review should assess the significant mismatch between the ambitions, commitments and resourcing of the MOD, FCO and DFID and recommend the division of resources needed to reflect a truly integrated and cross-departmental strategy.

       The UK should work to better leverage its soft power - “the attributes, values and outputs that gain for the UK both attractiveness and respect in the eyes of people abroad” through supporting political, financial, scientific and cultural institutions abroad

       The Review should mandate the strengthening of resources available to the UK’s embassies to ensure that they remain “dynamic centres of commercial, diplomatic and cultural activities.”


Transparency and evaluation

       The Review provides an opportunity to create a cross-departmental metric for evaluating success as defined by cross-cutting aims, and also establish the necessary measures to ensure their effective and continuous evaluation.

       The Review should mandate the means to accurately record civilian harm caused by the UK in pursuit of military objectives in order to meaningfully evaluate the immediate and long-term impact of military solutions to security challenges.

       The Review should address the shortcomings of relying on assurances and mandate robust structures and processes to monitor the impact of any joint military actions on the ground - both regarding combatants and the impact on civilians.

       The Review should establish a structured, government-wide mechanism by which lessons learnt can be applied uniformly and systematically benefit future strategy and operations. By applying what the UK has learned from the past, it can evolve its strategy to meet UK interests cohesively.





May 2020





[1] Ministry of Defence,  Defence in Numbers 2019, 27 February 2020

[2] George Monbiot, What does ‘national defence' mean in a pandemic? It's no time to buy fighter jets, The Guardian, 8 April 2020

[3] National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies 2010; National Security Strategies 2010 and 2015

[4] Foreign Affairs Committee, Global Britain, 12 March 2018

[5] Prime Minister’s Office et al, National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015, p.14

[6] DFID, Building Stability Framework, 2016, p.3

[7] National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015, p.64 

[8] House of Lords Research Briefing, Reconciliation in British Foreign, Defence and International Development Policy 2018, p.6

[9] Prime Minister’s Office et al, National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015, p.64, 23 November 2015

[10] Ibid.

[11]See Stabilisation Unit Annual Review 2018/19     

[12] Resource DEL excluding depreciation, p.29  

[13] BUDGET 2020, p.29,

[14] BUDGET 2020, p.29,  

[15] CSSF, Transparency data FCO's headcount and payroll data for July, 23 August 2018 

[16] Ibid.

[17] Wilton Park Executive Agency, British Council, Great Britain - China Centre, Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission, Westminster Foundation for Democracy and FCO Services. FCO, Departmental Overview, 2018

[18] ICAI, the CSSF’s aid spending

[19] Met Office, Effects of climate change; UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017; Friends of the Earth, How is global warming affecting the UK?

[20] The National Security Strategy 2010 and 2015

[21] CSSF; The National Security Strategy, 2010

[22] Seth G. Jones and Nicholas Harrington, The Evolution of the Salafi-Jihadist Threat, CISS, 20 November 2018; see also Michael Collyer et al., The impact of overseas conflict on UK communities, JRF; George Monbiot, Nato’s bombs fall like confetti, not containing conflict but spreading it, The Guardian, 6 October 2015

[23] These types of covert and limited operations have largely been shaped through two decades of the US’ counter-terror programme, through lethal strikes against individuals outside of armed conflict, Special Forces operations, extraordinary rendition and even torture.

[24] Jeremy Wright QC MP, Speech at the International Institute for Strategic Studies on the modern law of self-defence, 11 January 2017; see also APPG on Drones, The UK’s Use of Drones: Working with Partners, 2018, p 10-12; Select Committee on Human Rights, the Government's policy on the use of drones for targeted killing: Government Response to the Committee's Second Report of Session 2015-16, and the Government’s policy on the use of drones for targeted killing, 2015

[25] For more details see the APPG on Drones Submission to the Defence Committee’s Inquiry on the Integrated Review

[26] Paragraph 96

[27] PACAC, The Role of Parliament in the UK Constitution: Authorising the Use of Military Force; APPG on Drones Submission