A proposal to create a Joint UK Port Opening Capability in support of defence, disaster response and Overseas Development Assistance, exploiting and expanding existing areas of expertise and a capabilities.
There has been a great deal of speculation about the political and practical desirability of maintaining Overseas Development Aid (ODA) at 0.7% of GNI and whether DFiD budgets should be reallocated to ‘security’. It seems that the commitment to 0.7% of GNI will remain but there is further discussion about how it should be spent in a post Brexit ‘Global Britain’
This proposal is based on a couple of opinions; first, the changing nature or shorelines and ports, and increasing proliferation of access denial weapon systems means raises the barriers to entry for future amphibious operations. If we are honest with ourselves, the UK cannot afford to play with the USMC.
This means we need to think differently.
Part of that different thinking is the Strike Brigade concept, entering theatre at some distance from the area of operations and then, driving longer distances to it.
This places a greater emphasis on ports, exploiting existing ports or bringing our own.
Link this with the building stability agenda and Overseas Defence Engagement brings another budget into our orbit.
My second opinion is that there is no way the UK can use ODA/DFiD funding and budgets for amphibious combat systems, but port repair and augmentation is a perfect example of a capability that sits underneath the wholly combat oriented level, but still has defence utility.
The definition of ‘dual use’
I therefore propose to fund this capability using budgets from both the MoD and DFiD.
With that in mind, this is a proposal for a ‘dual use’ capability, in 45,695 words
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