Global Strategic Partnership helps to inform UK defence
The Global Strategic Partnership (GSP) provides a multi-year programme of academic and analytical support to the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD)’s Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC). This includes research, advice and organisation of high-level conferences such as the UK Chief of Defence Staff’s Strategy Forum.
As the UK MOD’s think tank, DCDC helps inform defence strategy, capability development and operations, and provides the foundation for joint professional military education. DCDC also doubles as the Swedish Concepts and Doctrine Centre.
The GSP spans academia, think-tanks and industry and is led by RAND Europe. Its members include King’s College London (KCL), the University of Exeter, Chatham House, the Council on Geostrategy, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the Network for Strategic Analysis, Aleph Insights, Opimian, and QinetiQ Training and Simulation Ltd.
Examples of GSP projects
Researchers examined the factors influencing the implementation of the Defence Space Strategy to 2030 as well as the unique attributes of the UK space enterprise—including its strengths and weaknesses. They include a decision support tool to help decision makers navigate capability management choices along the 'own-collaborate-access' framework articulated in the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy.
To influence the development of the UK’s approach to multi-domain integration, a series of case studies explored Russia, China, Iran and North Korea’s approaches to integrating activities across maritime, land, air, space, cyber and electromagnetic warfare, as well as across government and with external allies, partners and industry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- a study of the future of command and control
- workshops to explore the ethical implications of AI and autonomy
- Red Teaming and support to development of future concepts for Defence
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 Chatham House. 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:
- The rise of China
- The impact of artificial intelligence
- The role of Defence in the Arctic and High North
- The challenges of climate change
- The UK military’s ambitions in outer space
- The threats and opportunities of Grey Zone operations