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Rethinking Security view on defence spending endorsed by Pax Christi (02 Dec 2020)

“Pax Christi England and Wales has supported Rethinking Security, a UK-based network of peace and security experts which has criticised the Government’s apparent decision to grant an exceptional increase to the Ministry of Defence’s budget while other government departments face cuts. 

Director Theresa Alessandro said Pax Christi agreed with Rethinking Security’s analysis. “In apportioning more money to the military, our government is revealed to be out of step with the now commonly-understood insight that military approaches cannot help us with the major risks we face, such as pandemics and climate change,” she said. 

View the article on The Tablet.

Rethinking Security cited in Devex report on Integrated Review (11 Sep 2020)

“The process of the integrated review this year has been very poor,” agreed Richard Reeve, coordinator of Rethinking Security, a network of NGOs focused on peace building and security.

Consultation has been “significantly worse” than previous government security reviews, despite “belatedly” increasing engagement with civil society in the last two weeks, Reeve said. “However, because we have no timeline for the review, we don’t know whether this is going to be taken into serious consultation or whether it’s an exercise that is happening … in parallel to the actual process,” he added.

View the article on Devex.


Our letter in the Financial Times (02 Dec 2019)

“The UK’s decline to 11th place in the Lowy Institute’s Global Diplomacy Index (UK falls in diplomatic rankings despite ‘Global Britain’ vision, 26 November) is indeed of concern for its influence in the world. However, the UK’s decline in diplomacy should be seen alongside the rise, under the ‘Global Britain’ brand, of its global military presence. […]

“At stake in this steady shift of resourcing is the UK’s role in the world. Does it want to prioritise projecting military power to enforce a precipitous status quo? Or should it seek to understand the world and tackle the issues that really make people and states feel insecure? Against such threats as climate change and inequality the UK’s rising global military presence is futile, costly and dangerous.

If we do want to change the world, we will have to change ourselves as well.”

view the full letter to the FT.


Our letters in the Guardian (18 Nov 2019)

Simon Jenkins (15 Nov) rightly highlights the lack of discussion of the many wars that the US and UK are fighting despite their failure and unpopularity among civilians and service personnel alike. But he is wrong to suggest that the UK faces no existential threats. Like the US and all other states, the UK faces the twin existential threats of climate breakdown and nuclear weapons use. However, the UK and US carry disproportionate responsibility for creating and mitigating them.”

view Diana Francis’ and Richard Reeve’s full letters on the Guardian site


Just Security (31 July 2019)

‘Military, technical, financial, and diplomatic “security” initiatives all over the world… often end up worsening and perpetuating the conflicts they are supposed to stop or prevent. All the while, the people worst affected have very little say about what’s going on around them.’

Article by our Coordinator, Celia McKeon, with Larry Attree and Konstantin Bärwaldt.

View the article on the Just Security site.


Women in leadership (Summer 2019)

‘National security must diversify leadership,’ writes our Coordinator, Celia McKeon.

View the article on pp. 74-77.


Our letter in the Times (16 May 2019)

‘The foreign secretary’s view that the UK should increase defence spending above 2 per cent of GDP overlooks two vital points: that GDP bears no relation a nation’s actual security needs, and that many of the most pressing causes of global insecurity cannot be tackled by increasing military expenditure. Prioritising spending over strategy may seem like an easy win but is flawed and outdated thinking.’

View the letter on the Times site (paywall).