ORG has signed a joint open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron calling for a rethink of the UK's National Security Strategy (NSS) and the Defence and Security Review (DSR). This followed the report of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee, Towards the Next Defence and Security Review, published on 7 January, to which ORG submitted evidence, and the Government’s official response, published on 26 March.

The letter urges Mr Cameron and other party leaders to ensure that the NSS and DSR processes help to shape the UK's strategy in the world in a coherent manner.

1) The NSS needs to address some fundamental questions that have been neglected in the past, in particular the importance of addressing the root causes of conflict and threats to security.

2) There is a need to be honest about the UK’s capability to contribute to tackling security challenges, and the Government needs to be prepared to change its approach, not simply focusing on dealing with the symptoms of insecurity.

3) This discussion needs to be frank, inclusive and (as far as possible) take place in the public realm.

4) The DSR needs to sit clearly and transparently within the NSS, with its decisions justified by reference to the NSS.

The letter has been co-signed by representatives from 14 organisations including:
British American Security Information Council, Campaign Against the Arms Trade, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Greenpeace, Scientists for Global Responsibility and War on Want.

The letter has also been sent to Labour leader, Ed Miliband, and Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg.


Photo: Prime Minister David Cameron visits British troops in South Afghanistan, 10 June 2010. Source: No. 10 (Flickr)