First Sea Lord speech at the International Institute for Strategic Studies Conference

DS is pleased to publish this MOD verbatim script of the recent speech by the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir  Philip Jones given on 28th June 2018 at the International Institute for Strategic Studies Conference. 

Speech made by Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London on 28 June 2018, alongside the US Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John M Richardson USN. The subject of the conference was: “What’s Past is Prologue: Global Navies and Security, Order and Prosperity”.

Published 28 June 2018: MOD Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered (more…)

HoCDC Report Indispensable allies: US, NATO and UK Defence relations


NATO is the cornerstone of UK defence. The 2018 NATO summit is taking place against a backdrop of increasing political uncertainty and potential military threat. As in previous times of danger, the UK Government must work with allies to ensure the country’s security. NATO has responded to the change in threat following the annexation of Crimea by Russia, but there is more to be done. The UK is a major contributor to NATO and therefore one of the guarantors of overall European security. In this Report we examine the UK’s priorities for the forthcoming NATO summit and determine how the UK can provide further support to NATO in improving its response to the deterioration in relations with Russia. (more…)

HW Commentary MOD Funding

DefenceSynergia (DS) is indebted to Howard Wheeldon for this excellent appraisal and analysis of the current media driven speculation regarding the funding of Defence. The ‘he said she said’ style of reporting. DS agrees with Howard that it is not possible to say what alleged statements have been made only that the ‘piggy in the middle’ is the British Armed Forces.

In the absence of desperately needed extra cash the Ministry of Defence must find ways of using what it has more wisely whilst providing public justification for the way it is spent. Indeed, in agreeing with Howard, DS has long argued that a percentage of national product, albeit it a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) requirement, is a blunt instrument which may or may not represent the actual needs of United Kingdom (UK) defence at any particular time. As Howard alludes in his final paragraph, UK defence is not a finger to the wind, what threat can we afford, calculation but the ways and means to meet the Strategic Aim/s set by Government – Mrs May, The Secretary of State for Defence, the National Security Adviser and the Chief of the Defence Staff need to open the book at the same page or are in danger of arguing at cross purposes. (more…)

DefenceSynergia Comment – Government Spending The NHS and Defence

The House of Commons Select Committee on Defence (HCDC) has this week published its preliminary findings ahead of Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) and Ministry of Defence (MOD) report into the Modernising Defence Programme (MDP). The bottom line from the HCDC is that HMG should be funding MOD with a minimum of 3% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). DefenceSynergia (DS) supports this view but is not optimistic in the light of current political circumstances. Were the Defence capability deficiencies more widely known the public might well be willing to pay but they are never informed or asked. (more…)