We often think the grown-ups at RUSI and Chatham House have a monopoly on strategic thought but having been at home to increasing concerns about their lack of influence and thought leadership for a while now the latest output from RUSI kind of tells me why.
The survey can be found here
The survey puts forward ten propositions, or loaded self fulfilling questions depending on your perspective.
I know these kinds of things have their place and it’s hard to know them for doing it but if you asked a butcher if the UK should eat more meat and if they should be involved in setting food strategy then surely you would arrive at the same kind of survey results.
What I find most puzzling though is in the ten propositions which are pretty broad the inclusion of something very equipment specific, proposition 9;
The need for a carrier strike capability has become more apparent since last year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review.
Why not ask about armoured vehicles or future UCAV’s for example?
Am I alone in thinking that RUSI are pushing a particular agenda or have equipment programmes now become a substitute for strategy, or, equipment choices now dictate strategic thought instead of the other way around?
The survey also fails to recognise the importance of financial security in actual security, instead treating the lack of cash for defence as something separate, distant or someone else’s problem, when in fact they are intimately connected and ets not forget those doing the responding may well have been intimately involved in the fantasy fleets methodology of defence equipment planning that has been self evident for the last several decades.
This is an inward looking survey that unsurprisingly comes up with a predictable set of results, an interesting read though.