Who does UK national strategy?: first report of session 2010-11, report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence

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The Stationery Office, Oct 18, 2010 - Political Science - 143 pages
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A lack of strategic thinking at the heart of Government threatens the UK's national interests, the Public Administration Committee warns. The MPs note Whitehall's tendency to 'muddle through' and point to the UK's military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, as examples where there has been a lack of overarching strategy. The report says clear strategic leadership is indispensible to advance British interests in an increasingly fast changing world. But it raises serious concerns about Whitehall's capacity to support the Foreign Secretary's aspiration to extend the UK's 'global reach and influence' with the necessary strategic analysis and assessment. This applies particularly to the Government's Strategic Defence and Security Review and the MPs question how far this can actually be 'strategic'? The Committee calls for: ministers to invest more time and energy into strategic leadership; the creation of a 'community of strategic thinkers' across Whitehall, to provide ministers with the capacity for strategic analysis and assessment; the National Security Council's remit to encompass national strategy; greater emphasis to be placed on strategic studies and training both within Whitehall and in academia; Parliament's Joint Committee on National Security Strategy to extend its remit to include national strategy; a small central budget to be established to fund central coordination of departmental contributions to national strategy.

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