Intervention: Why, When and How? - Defence Committee Contents

4  Conclusions

120. Intervention policy and decisions have the potential to be controversial and to polarise opinion. This Report is intended to assist the articulation of the rationale foran intervention strategy in the next National Security Strategy and the next Defence and Security Review which mightmake for better decision making by Government and assist in alleviating some of the controversy on decisions to intervene.

121. As a starting point the Government must articulate a realistic vision of the UK's place in the world, its level of strategic influence and the way the world is changing as well as the identification and prioritisation of the risks to it. The next Defence and Security Review should then translate this vision into defence planning assumptions and the development of the appropriate force structure. This would assist more strategic decisions on why, when and how to intervene.

122. The next National Security Strategy (NSS) and the Defence and Security Review (DSR) should define and communicate the circumstances in which the UK might intervene and the role of interventions, and set out the legal basis for the UK's interventions. The NSS andthe DSR should also set out what interventions the Government regards as non-discretionary and those which are discretionary. The Government should also outline the different approaches it might use such as defence engagement, conflict prevention and the projection of military force and how it ensures coordination and unity of purpose between the different Government departments and agencies and ensures that appropriate lessons are learned from previous interventions. This will lead to more effective intervention operations in the future.

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Prepared 28 April 2014