25 May saw the launch at the House of Lords of a discussion paper by the Ammerdown Group, in which Oxford Research Group (ORG) participates. Rethinking Security explores the security strategies of Western States, in particular the UK, and proposes principles for a more effective approach to security, one which works in the common interest.
Of the new paper, ORG’s founder Dr Scilla Elworthy says:
‘This profoundly useful document constitutes essential reading for every minister, every military planner, every official and every supplier concerned with British defence and security policy. Why? Because if the findings in this report are not digested and applied, this country will continue to waste money on defence projects that simply do not – and cannot – address current challenges and future threats.’
Advisor to ORG’s Sustainable Security Programme Maj Gen (Retd) Patrick Cordingley adds:
‘The West’s self-defeating approach to security since the end of the Cold War is examined in detail throughout this important work. The paper spells out the case for this country to stand with those who need our help and not stand over them. As someone who believes that our armed forces should be designed to meet the real threats of climate change, scarcity, inequality and for conflict resolution, I found the study compelling.’
The Ammerdown Group brings together practitioners and academics in search of a new vision for the future of our common peace and security. The group includes participants from Oxford Research Group as well as Campaign Against the Arms Trade, Conciliation Resources, International Alert, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Quaker Peace and Social Witness, Saferworld, and Three Faiths Forum, as well as independent practitioners, and academics from the universities of Bradford, Coventry, Kent, Leeds Beckett and Oxford Brookes.
In 2014 the Group launched the Ammerdown Invitation, which invited participation in a public conversation about alternatives to current approaches to national security. Rethinking Security is a contribution to that debate. The group welcomes feedback on the paper and is interested in working with others to promote further discussion about the security challenges of the 21st century. For more information, visit www.rethinkingsecurity.org.uk
An Executive Summary of the discussion paper is also available.
Image by World Bank via Flickr