The United Kingdom needs the EU, not NATO, to ensure its security

  • Author: Chris Abbott and Matthew Clarke
  • Published: 7 June 2016

In the build up to the referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union, some advocates for leaving the EU have argued that Britain’s security is better met by its membership of NATO rather than the European Union. In reality, the United Kingdom’s membership of the EU gives it diplomatic leverage and law enforcement mechanisms that it would not have on it own as well as military cooperation beyond that possible within NATO. While NATO remains somewhat of a ‘solution looking for a problem’, the EU takes a broad political, economic and military approach to security that is in keeping with our own approach and is well-suited to the interconnected security threats of the 21st century. Read more

Big data and strategic intelligence

  • Author: Kevjn Lim
  • Published: 7 July 2015

In this journal article for Intelligence and National Security, Open Briefing analyst Kevjn Lim examines the intersection of Big Data and strategic intelligence from a conceptual viewpoint. It argues that Big Data analytics is best used to discern long-term developments, generate intelligence hypotheses, and adduce refuting facts. The article also examines the use of Big Data via social media. It concludes that Big Data should continue to complement traditional subject-matter expertise, supported by game theory, as part of a tripartite analytical framework for strategic intelligence consisting of ‘subtext’, ‘context’ and ‘metatext’. Read more

Report of the Pat Finucane Review

  • Source: Pat Finucane Review
  • Filed: 13 December 2012

A review into British state involvement in the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane in 1989 has revealed shocking levels of state complicity in his killing and extensive collusion between British security forces and the paramilitary Ulster Defence Association. Read more

A’ the Blue Bonnets: Defending an independent Scotland

  • Source: Royal United Services Institute
  • Filed: 17 October 2012
  • 6 responses

Discussion on defence in an independent Scotland usually focuses on whether or not UK nuclear weapons would remain on the Clyde and whether or not Scotland would join NATO. But independence would have wider defence implications. Read more

Britain’s nuclear endgame

  • Source: openDemocracy
  • Filed: 2 October 2012

A review of Britain’s nuclear forces and a significant change of thinking inside the British military services raises the prospect that the previously unrealistic long-term goal of UK nuclear disarmament could be closer to a reality. Read more

The UK’s armed forces: Public support for the troops but not their missions?

  • Source: NatCen Social Research
  • Filed: 20 September 2012

The latest British Social Attitudes Survey has found that high public esteem for the Armed Forces is in considerable contrast to the opposition expressed towards the 2003-09 deployment of troops in Iraq and the continuing mission in Afghanistan. Read more

Planning for the next UK National Security Strategy

  • Source: Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy
  • Filed: 17 July 2012

The Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy has published a report highlighting concerns about the Government response to its March 2012 report reviewing the UK National Security Strategy 2010 … Read more

The Overseas Territories: Security, success and sustainability

  • Source: Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • Filed: 2 July 2012

The UK government has published a white paper setting out its overall approach to the British Overseas Territories – including defence and security priorities … Read more


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