Global Strategic Partnership helps to inform UK defence

The Global Strategic Partnership (GSP) provides ongoing academic and analytical support to the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD)’s Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC) until the end of 2021. As the MOD’s think tank, DCDC helps inform defence strategy, capability development and operations, and provides the foundation for joint education.

The GSP consortium spans research, academia and industry and is led by RAND Europe, in partnership with the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and the University of Exeter (UoE). Additional GSP members include: Aleph Analytics, Newman & Spurr Consultancy (NSC), QinetiQ and Simplexity Analysis. The GSP is also advised by Prof. Hew Strachan.

Consortium Members

University of Exeter
International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)
Aleph Insights
Newman & Spurr Consultancy
Simplexity Analysis

GSP Projects

  • RAF Chinook and soldiers from 2nd Batallion The Duke of Lancaster Regiment at a vulnerable river bank working with the Environmental Agency to prevent flooding, photo by SSgt Mark Nesbit RLC/Open Government Licence

    How UK Defence could support societal resilience to crisis events

    21 Oct 2021

    Using case studies from five countries, researchers developed a conceptual framework that includes three phases of societal resilience: Prepare, Respond and Recover. The team identified a set of proposals to help UK Defence improve how it conceptualises and operationalises societal resilience.

  • An SAC working in the General Engineering Flight hanger at RAF Akrotiri, photo by SAC Jodie Ireland RAF/UK MOD Crown Copyright Open Government License

    Achieving global mobility for the UK Armed Forces

    14 Oct 2021

    Researchers propose a range of options that could help the UK MOD meet its global mobility requirements between now and 2040 while offering the mobility fleet both effectiveness and resilience.

  • Union Jack on British soldier's uniform, photo by MoiraM/Adobe Stock

    Understanding the value of defence

    13 Jul 2021

    Because various factors affect how different groups view the value of defence, researchers recommend six actions to help the UK defence establishment articulate a more compelling value proposition to multiple audiences.

  • Reservists from 7 Battalion, The Rifles Reinforcing a Dam During Flooding, photo by Cpl Richard Cave LBPPA/Defence Images

    Crisis response in a changing climate

    04 May 2021

    Researchers identified climate change challenges likely to emerge and propose five concrete policy actions that the UK Ministry of Defence could take to mitigate the impact of climate change on crisis response situations.

  • A Stormer vehicle in Silhouette during Ex Javelin, September 2014, photo by Sgt Mark Webster RLC/MOD Open Government Licence

    Towards a UK strategy for integrated air and missile defence (IAMD)

    30 Jul 2020

    The Global Strategic Partnership developed and tested alternative conceptual lenses for thinking about the specific challenges and opportunities of IAMD in the UK context. The research was used by the Ministry of Defence to inform strategy and policy development.

  • A Merlin helicopter comes in to drop off a Remover 3.1 mast during a snowy morning whilst on a helicopter flight trial at JADTEU, RAF Brize Norton, photo by 1st SAC David Turnbull/Royal Air Force Open Government License

    Implications of climate change for UK defence and security

    17 Jun 2020

    Looking to 2035, the Ministry of Defence could play a key role in developing robust policy and programming on climate change. Researchers identified six high-level recommendations to support the MOD in developing an approach to address climate-related issues.

  • First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin CB ADC Speaks to guests as HMS Prince of Wales arrives in Portsmouth, photo by LPhot Ben Corbett/Royal Navy Imagery Database

    The utility of military force and public understanding in today's Britain

    16 Apr 2020

    To generate a mature attitude to the use of armed force and, if necessary, to the utility of war itself, Britain will require a mature debate about defence—one that trusts and engages the public and allows the armed forces to participate in the discussion, and in which the government enables and enhances the structures to permit those conversations.

Additional projects to date

  • a three-part study evaluating China as an international security actor
  • an exploration of the future of UK combat air to 2040
  • a study modelling Russian foreign policy to 2030

GSP Impacts

As part of its partnership with DCDC, the GSP also delivers the tri-annual Chief of the Defence Staff’s (CDS) Strategy Forum, hosted by the IISS. The purpose of the Strategy Forum is to generate discussion and advice on specific policy questions or strategic topics, to inform and influence policy.

The CDS Strategy Fora have so far focused on thematic areas including:

  • How should Defence respond to the rise of China to protect, project and promote UK interests over the next five years?
  • Defence implications of autonomy
  • The purpose of Defence
  • Threats and opportunities of Grey Zone operations