Security matters to everyone, but much that governments do in its name is making us all less safe, at home and around the world. It’s time for a rethink – here’s why.
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Our organisational affiliates challenge different aspects of the current approach to national and global security and support practical alternatives. Here’s some information about four of them.
Campaign Against Arms Trade works to end the international arms trade. It currently has a strong focus on challenging UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia.
Saferworld researches the impact of counter-terror approaches, and promotes long-term responses to crises and threats, with a focus on addressing the causes of conflict and prioritising peace, rights and development.
Conciliation Resources supports people and groups affected by conflict to address the causes and make progress towards a lasting and just peace.
Oxford Research Group provides research and analysis on underlying causes of global insecurity and advocates more strategic approaches to security and peacebuilding.
Eighteen months into the pandemic, Paul Rogers sees a stark contrast between the complacency setting in among countries with successful rapid vaccination programmes and large areas of the world experiencing a devastating third wave. Vaccine nationalism, hoarding and export controls threaten not just the unvaccinated as dangerous new viral mutations develop.
Marwan Darweish and Andrew Rigby discuss the current crisis in Israel and Palestine in the context of 75 years of violence, occupation, protest and resistance. They conclude that equal human rights for all is the only basis on which sustainable peace and shared security can be built.
As the UK Government prepares to announce its new Sovereign Borders Bill in parliament, David Forbes argues that the very idea of ‘sovereign borders’ is false and ignores both the reality of international legal commitments and the disastrous precedent of Australia’s flirtation with the concept.
Refugees seek safety in the UK but what they understand by ‘security’ can be different to the understanding of those who have never had to flee. Alice Herve makes the case for putting refugees’ experience of security at the heart of reformed migration policy.
The United States has made a radical change in its approach to climate change since Joe Biden succeeded Donald Trump to the presidency in January. Paul Rogers argues that Washington is still doing too little but its recognition of the urgency of climate breakdown should encourage other leaders and activists to push for accelerated global action, including at UK-hosted G7 and COP26 summits.
The UK’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan went badly wrong, but who was to blame? In response to Simon Akam’s controversial new book The Changing of the Guard, Paul Dixon questions why the military command’s undemocratic political influence in promoting these wars has not been discussed more widely.
The view from below: how the UK’s approach to national security is affecting people.
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.
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.