Examination of Witnesses (Question Numbers
Dr Lee Willett and Mr Jason Alderwick
21 JANUARY 2010
Q157 Chairman: Dr
Willett and Mr Alderwick, can I welcome you to the Committee,
and thank you very much for the time you have given us this morning.
Perhaps if I could just go through a couple of housekeeping things,
we are being webcast, and of course, this is a public evidence
session. The notes that are taken of the meeting will be sent
to you for you to look through, and of course, if there are any
factual errors we have made in terms of transcription, then you
will be able to change those, but obviously not things that have
actually happened or are part of the process. As I mentioned to
you before, you know or you have an idea of the sort of questions
that we are going to ask, but you do not both have to answer all
the questions, and I will leave it very much to you to decide
who answers what questions, and whether you both have a contribution.
Just to be clear, this is part of a very specific inquiry looking
at the EU Atalanta Operation. It is a frustration to all of us
that we are not able to look more deeply at the deep-rooted problem
of Somalia as a whole, but it is primarily around the operation
there. I do not know whether either of you have a short opening
statement that you would like to make, but I am sure the Committee
would be pleased if you would like to introduce yourselves, and
just briefly to give a very quick background in this area, and
your own studies.
Mr Alderwick: Certainly, good morning, My Lord Chairman.
My name is Jason Alderwick, I am the Maritime Analyst at the International
Institute for Strategic Studies, I have been there for four years.
Prior to that, I was a Warfare Officer in the Royal Navy for eight
years. My role at the Institute is effectively looking at naval
and defence issues predominantly on the maritime side of things,
and production of the Military Balance as well, but part of my
role is looking at the wider implications of maritime issues and
Dr Willett: My Lord Chairman, good morning,
I am Dr Lee Willett, and I am head of the Maritime Studies Programme
at RUSI. I have been at RUSI for about 10 years now. Previously,
I was Leverhulme Research Fellow at the University of Hull, and
also seconded to the naval staff at the Ministry of Defence as
a research analyst there. My job at RUSI is to look at all things
maritime, and that is an ever broader spectrum of issues, ranging
from specifically naval issues to the wider issues of maritime
security and issues relating to commercial shipping. I also take
an interest in what the UK is doing at the moment in terms of
nuclear deterrence, and the defence review is my remit. In terms
of an opening statement, I did have a little point that I thought
I might make, that perhaps might serve to get things going, particularly
in relation to the questions that you have listed, and Mr Alderwick
may have a view too. A personal view on this matter is that there
is a need to focus very much on what navies can do in this, as
opposed to what they cannot do, because there are some tasks that
they just cannot solve. They cannot solve the issue of the Somali
social, political, economic problems ashore. What they are there
to do is to escort ships, to intervene, to intercept, detain,
disrupt, and in so doing, what they can do is bring a measure
of stability and security and more importantly confidence in the
region that can help to buy space to begin to make wider improvements
to the situation in Somalia and the region, but given the various
issues that we will come to in due course, number of assets, the
complexity of the problem, et cetera, I think we have to be realistic
about what we can expect the naval forces in the region to be
able to achieve.
Q158 Chairman: Thank you very much. Mr
Alderwick, did you wish to add anything at this stage?
Mr Alderwick: Not at this stage, no.
Q159 Lord Swinfen: Are you satisfied
that the navies can operate within the territorial waters of Somalia
under present conditions legally?
Dr Willett: The various mandates under which
the naval forces do operate do, according to those who are required
to operate out there, give them the freedom that they need to
be able to fulfil their mandate.