Written Evidence Submitted by RAND Europe
SSTG0016 Prepared for the House of Commons Liaison Sub-Committee on Scrutiny of Strategic Thinking in Government
Published in: UK Parliament Committees website (2023)
Posted on rand.org Oct 23, 2023
Global strategic trends, such as climate change, technological change and great power competition are creating major strategic challenges for governments, including the UK. Addressing the uncertainties created by this confluence of strategic trends requires governments to adapt their strategic thinking and planning. Establishing clear authorities with a high level of accountability and the powers to implement strategic objectives is essential. Evidence suggests that involving the public in strategy-making can contribute to strategic goals, increase public awareness of security matters and provide greater legitimacy for the strategy as well as the government. Most importantly, long-term thinking should be prioritised over short-termism to achieve long-term strategic advantage; however, this is constrained in most democracies by electoral cycles, partisan politics, and a contested information environment. As the below evidence suggests, there are measures that could improve strategic thinking and implementation in the UK (as in many allied and partner nations). Otherwise, failing to adapt our approach to strategy development, orchestration, implementation, adaptation, and evaluation to reflect the pressures of the current and future strategic environment will not only lead to lost opportunities, but also to greater risks to the UK's interests, values, and way of life.