Weak contingency plans in security strategy are ‘dangerous and unwise’, say parliamentarians

The National Security Strategy (NSS) does not have sufficient contingency plans, creating a “dangerous and unwise” situation that could cause problems for the UK, a parliamentary committee warns today.

By CivilServiceWorld

30 Apr 2014

“An attitude of ‘no Plan B’ is dangerous when national security is at stake,” the report warns. It also suggests that the National Security Council (NSC) is focused on “operational matters and short-term imperatives, rather than strategic and domestic concerns.”

The chair of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy, Margaret Beckett MP, warned that the next NSS could be a weak document that avoids big challenges, unless there’s a substantial change in the government’s approach. “The prime minister has been helpful and candid with us about his approach to national security and vision for the UK’s future, but we think he is too focused on managing current events at the expense of looking ahead,” she said.

The report says that the recent flooding in London and Somerset, as well as ongoing problems in the Ukraine, underline the importance of long-term thinking. It calls on the NSC to examine the risks to the UK’s resilience from climate change, and also to consider EU matters.

“There is every sign that we are heading for another rushed job after the election and for a ‘motherhood and apple pie’ document that again avoids the big questions and is of little practical use in guiding government decision-making,” said Beckett. “That is not what this country needs at a time when resources are limited”.


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