Rethinking Security is a network of organisations, academics and activists working together for security based on justice, cooperation and sustainability. We invite you to join us.

Vaccine Inequality: We are not all safe

The unfolding tragedy of Afghanistan has eclipsed reporting of the COVID pandemic while a fourth wave of infections is sweeping the Earth. Paul Rogers argues that global vaccine inequality risks those in all countries as the Delta variant tests the limits of current vaccines.

Afghanistan: Spinning an Unwinnable War

Is a lack of political stamina to blame for the catastrophic failure of the West’s 20-year war in Afghanistan? Or, as Paul Dixon argues, did the generals spend decades spinning an unwinnable war as unlosable?

Reclaiming the Right to Fight: Global Britain and International Law

A flurry of diplomatic and military initiatives has recently heralded the implementation of the Global Britain strategy set out in March’s Integrated Review. Richard Reeve analyses the New Atlantic Charter between UK and US and finds a gaping hole where the commitment to delegitimise use of force once stood.

Shadows in the Summer Sky: US military drone tests in the UK

The MOD is investing heavily in US-built armed drones and is about to begin testing them in heavily congested skies over populous areas of England and Scotland. Tim Street argues that undue corporate and military influence on regulators is putting civilians at unacceptable risk.

Security in Community: Finding a Home in the Hostile Environment

Rethinking Security’s new Outreach Coordinator Joanna Frew and her partner live in Martha House*, a ‘house of hospitality’ in north London with forced migrants who have no other means of support. Here she shares what she’s learnt about the value of a community setting for security over the last seven years.

Pandemic and Protest: The Evolution of Covid Politics

Many rich states believe they are finally getting COVID-19 under control but with new viral variants, most of the world’s population far from being vaccinated, and local tensions building over impact on livelihoods and liberties, the political impact of the pandemic is far from played out.

Who pays the price?

The view from below: how the UK’s approach to national security is affecting people.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is well known for its authoritarian government and widespread repression. Despite talk of reforms under Crown Prince Mohamed Bin-Salman, there has been a recent increase in imprisonment, torture and executions.

While the decision to finally allow women the right to drive attracted global publicity, it has been accompanied by a crackdown on the women’s rights movement.

The government is also leading a coalition military campaign in Yemen, which is responsible for widespread civilian casualties.

Ameen Nemer is a human rights activist from Saudi Arabia who was forced to seek asylum in the UK.

Northern Ireland

More than 3,600 people were killed in the conflict known as The Troubles.

Republican and Loyalist paramilitary groups carried out most of the killings; the UK security forces are estimated to be directly responsible for about 10 percent of the deaths, but there is also evidence of numerous instances of collusion between these forces and paramilitaries.

One of these cases was Gerard Slane, who was murdered by a loyalist paramilitary group, the UDA, in a killing linked to the security forces.

His wife Teresa is still fighting for truth and justice.


The Gulf state of Bahrain has a long history of authoritarian government and political repression. In the Arab Spring of 2011, popular uprisings were crushed with the support of the Saudi military and there were widespread human rights violations by the Bahraini state.

During and since this time, the UK government has provided security and justice training to institutions that are implicated in severe abuses. It has also supported arms exports, despite Bahrain featuring on its own human rights watch list. Sayed Alwadaei is a Bahraini human rights activist who has suffered for speaking out against the dictatorship.