tv Stephen Lovegrove Discusses British Defense Strategy CSPAN March 7, 2017 1:46am-2:42am EST
the u.k. pearmanent speck tarry spoke earlier today about defense strike thategy and rela with the strong alliance with the u.s. from the atlantic counsel, this is just under an hour. good afternoon and welcome to the atlantic counsel. i'm frank miller and a member of the board here at counsel, and the principal of the group. we're all very pleased today to have the opportunity to hear
from steven who is the permanent secretary at the minister of defense in london. steven became the permanent secretary in april of 2016 prior to that he was department of energy and climate change and had a distinguished career before that both in government and in the private sector. for those of you that don't know, the permanent secretary is the government's principle advisor on defense and has responsibility for policy, finance and planning as a deputy accounting officer. the principal, the -- sorry, the permanent secretary sets strategy for defense including corporate strategy and overall organization management and staffing of defense so for those of you who are americans and don't understand that you can actually as a civil servant rise to a very senior position and have real authority, you're seeing someone who actually does that in london
we appear to be approaching a cross roads in the history of the transatlantic relationship or so the pundits would have us believe. we're seeing protoe nationalism in many nato and european countries. we're certainly seeing protoe nationalism in russia and aggressive sense of trying to assert itself throughout the european space. we are seeing renewed efforts in the united states, the united kingdom to make large defense companies more responsive to both costs and schedule. and all of this is occurring in the midst of a great challenge, to the rules' based order which emerged from world war ii and it is in this context we'll hear from the permanent secretary. i've been asked to be a paid public announcement before he comes on, which is to say for
those of you who are here and watching on computers, please join the conversation by following @acskocroff and using the #poundspecialrelationship. and with that, i give you steven lovegrove, the permanent secretary of the ministry of defense in london. [ applause ]. >> well, thank you, frank. i'm delighted to be here at the atlantic council with such a distinguished audience. i'm going to talk today about britain's place in a rapidly changing world and offer some thoughts on the implications for us all. but before that, should perhaps begin to build on a little of what frank talked about in my rather archaic title of in fact fully permanent undersecretary of state, which doesn't really translate very well into american english. i don't need to tell this
audience that there are some important differences between our constitutions. an example from 1962, president kennedy and prime minister mcmilan in nassau with the main business of polaris out of the way failed to talk of other matters. the president asked the prime minister how his budget was going. fine, thanks, said mcmilan. no trouble in the house of the commons asked the president? no, no, no replied mcmilan. we write the budget, throw it over the wall and the majority approves it. well, said kennedy, wonderingly, anyone could run a country like that. so, another distinction, though, is that virtually all of our ministries are led by secretaries of state who are
also members of parliament. so the members of the cabinet and a handfuls of more junior ministers who support them in leading their departments interact with their fellow parliamentarians nearly every single day. everyone below those ministers is a career official. we have no political appointees like in your system, although i am aware you have rather fewer than you're used to. we always have only a very few political advisers and a handful in the prime ministers political advisers can't issue instructions to civil servants at all. the role of the permanent secretary is frank outlined my job is to lead the department as it supports the government of the day on the principle policy
and management adviser to the defense secretary. by working close with the defense secretary's principal military adviser. day by day i run the department. the cds gives strategic directions to operations and we come together to try to make it all add up. together the cds and i are the defense voice at the national security council official meetings and we jointly chair the defense strategy group. we jointly lead integrated teams of career civil servants and military offices working jointly. and that is an absolutely key characteristic of our system. and that is one of our most enormous strengths and one i suspect we don't make enough of or talk about enough in public. as frank says, i was an investment banker for a very long period of my career. i don't expect any sympathy as a result of that. but i can say that from that van teenage point and from the vantage point of not seeing the defense a huge amount of my career, the strengths that we have in the uk system have served us incredibly well and will continue to serve us incredibly well in the future.
i could discuss the civil service and parliament for a lot longer, but it's time for bigger things. it's traditional to begin these discussions with threats and challenges. i want to briefly mention some positives. the uk is the fifth largest economy in the world. we are a uniquely connected nation with alliances and partnerships the world over. we are the most trade dependent member of the g20 and we consider that a strength. the language of shakespeare remains the language of the world over. we are second only to the united states in our technological base and by that i mean human academic and industrial. the uk the well positioned to deliver 21st century defense and we continue to be the home of some of the greatest high end
manufacturing companies in the world and more on that later. we spend our money wisely. we've increased investments in defense at the same time as reducing overall government spending. we're proud to meet the nato target of spending 2%, 2.21% actually of our gdp on defense. the government is committed to increased defense spending by .5% above inflation in each year of this parliament running out to 2020. and we are also proud of spending .7% of our national income on overseas development aid. reducing the risk of future conflicts. in fact, we are the only country in the world to hit both that 2% nato target and the .7% overseas development target. we remain an out ward looking nation.
as the prime minister said in january, the uk is and shall remain a secure prosperous, tolerant country, a magnet for international talent and a home to the pioneers and innovators who will shape the world ahead. the british government reaffirmed those spending commitments along with publishing our strategic defense and review in 2015. we're proud of that strategy document, both in the judgments that we made, many of which have proved perhaps regrettably prescient and in the progress we've made since delivering our objectives. i don't need to rehearse and i won't rehearse the increasing challenging and increasingly challenging global security context for this audience. but briefly our sdsr concluded that the uk defense and security needed to respond to four main challenges. first, the increased threat
posed by terrorism extremism and instability, second the resurgence of state based threats and intensifying wider state competition. third, the impact of technology, especially cyber and network issues and wider technological developments and fourth the erosion of the rules based international order, which makes it harder to build consensus and to tackle global threats. some of those challenges are very much as they were in 2015. we have found no magic bullet to fix weak and failing states. we know it takes decades of toil, treasure, political commitment and sometimes blood to develop economies democracies and resilient societies. even as we deny them safe havens around the world, we know that the ambitions of daesh, al qaeda and the like to poison mayhem have not diminished. the uk is committed to playing a leading role in the global counter daesh coalition contributing all the arms of government, economic, diplomatic, development and defense. but some things have changed. most notably the threat from state actors has crystallized in more ways and more rapidly than perhaps we anticipated. as the defense secretary set out in his recent speech at st. andrews university, we have a very clear eyed view of russian behavior. alexander was murdered on
british soil in 2006. in 2015, the annexation of crimea and the shooting down of mh 17 in 2014 then its intervention in syria all showed how russia had become more aggressive. the 2016 saw a further step very clear eyed view of russian behavior. alexander was murdered on british soil in 2006. in 2015, the annexation of crimea and the shooting down of mh 17 in 2014 then its intervention in syria all showed how russia had become more aggressive. the 2016 saw a further step change in russian behavior. it is seeking to expand its sphere of influence. destabilized countries and weaken the alliance.
it seeks to weaken today's international rules based system, to write a new set of rule on their terms and reflecting their values. we are responding as an alliance to desuede and to deter. and also to engage. as the prime minister has said last week, we stand ready to engage with russia, but we are -- the scale and breadth of those challenges, the speed and change in some other events, not least the uk's decision to leave the european union leads some distinguished and voices to suggest that we need to rewrite our sdsr. we disagree. we got those threats right and we built a robust and flexible plan to take them on. and as you all know, rewriting a strategy is an excellent excuse to avoid executing it. but that does not mean that we should not constantly test and adjust our planning. indeed, it would be a grave error to do anything else. and when we do that, we need to
remember the guiding principles of sdsr which are to be internationally, innovative. i will unpack those in term. we decided to make our defense policy and plans international by design. our armed forces have almost always operate aid long side allies and partners. and first and foremost, with nato, the strongest military alliance the world has ever seen. nato knows what it must now do. it must deliver greater resources, most particularly from member states not yet meeting the 2% target. efficiency is not a substitute for commitment. we need both. with resources nato must also reform. nato has begun that journey and the uk is determined to lead the effort. today, nato has embarked on a new defense and terror posture. we have a greater focus on our higher readiness forces and we are starting to develop new responses to hybrid threats, nuclear blackmail and cyberattack. but we now need to press the accelerator. the institutions of nato shape,
act the joint forces commands and so on all need to play a part in the transformation of nato to a genuinely agile, flexible organization. one in which we can have confidence that can respond quickly enough to those who wish us harm. such an organization requires nato to be adaptable and responsive to the changing environment. we need to strive for an alliance that is less bureaucratic, better at prioritizing, more capable of taking difficult decisions quickly. we must empower nato's senior military commanders to draw on their professional experience and insight to prioritize and resource the most pressing
issues for its member states. with resources nato must also reform. nato has begun that journey and the uk is determined to lead the effort. nato is not an organization solely about security but an alliance for atlantic security. we have perhaps grown too comfortable considering our shared ocean is safe.
that is wrong. if it ever was, it is no longer a benign environment. it's a contested space and we must continue to work together to protect it and the trade and communication channels to which it is home. that's a point i could explore in other domains, as well, not at least space but we'll save that for another time. nato is the first and important part of an international response but cannot be the whole answer. that means making the most to reinvigorate the relationship between nato and the eu including boosting capabilities. the u.k. is today a significant contributor to eu nations around the world and remain committed
to european security and will continue to be a supporter of the eu's efforts to contribute to international peace and security and we will continue to advocate within nato and with our european partners for a mutually supportive partnership, which is in our and all others a national security interest. finally, it must include the by lateral relationships around the extraordinary scope of the u.s. defense relationship but it is worth dwelling on a couple conspicuous examples. sometime in the 2030s, the uss caroline will under take respective first patrols. they will each be the first of new nuclear submarines responsible for providing the ultimate guarantees of our respective national security against the threats.
at their heart. each of these classes of submarines will carry d 5 missiles. the war heads to the national assets for both countries as are the firing chains to launch them. the missiles are taking from a common stock. when they are loaded, they will be stored in a similar coal partment identical in the u.s. and u.k. submarines. just dwell on that thought. our respective ultimate guarantees of sovereignty, last lines of national defense, national war heads, national firing change, all born on a common fleet of missiles, all holstered in a common missile compartme compartment. no two other countries in the world trust each other enough to do that.
another example, we agreed the u.s. marine corps will fly from the new aircraft carriers, hms queen elizabeth and prince of wha wails on the first operational deployment. it will be a potent match. that relationship and commitment starts to the top and the recognition of the historical by the respective defense secret y secretaries is transparently and powerfully genuine. our partnership on the f 35 program provides us both with an unmatched fifth generation air capability. it is also considerably economic and industrial benefits and no defense without a sustainable industrial base today uk and u.s. companies have a defense industrial base. british air based systems is a
u.s. company and lockheed martin is that company delivering a truly two-way street for defense corporation. it's the day job laboring to create capabilities to keep us safe, it's the day job for the defense industry seeking to provide capabilities we need prices that we can afford invasion is foundational to everything about defense. the u.k. is good at invasion. we're number three on the global invasion index and with heig hindsight, we can see this is despite the actions of government rather than because of them. we became comfortable with the idea we would have technology superiority. we thought stealth and precision would last forever and we missed early on the extraordinary
opportunities that cyber would present our opponents to do us harm. so invasion is a second strand of response. the u.k. is not precisely pursuing a third offset strategy the sort the deputy work is so eloquently spoken about in the last few years. our ambition instead is to fund mentally change how we go about business in pursuit of the military advantage now and in the future. we recognize that today technology invasion happens primarily in private enterprise rather than government so we established the defense and security accelerator to bring ideas for individuals and companies without previous defense experience in faster and more easily. we recognize the world changes faster because the life span is going to get shorter and shorter
before something new comes along. we set up the invasion and research insight unit better known as iris. with e kn we know these things cost money so we have an 800 million pound invasion fund bringing them from concept to capability and we know that inside the department we need to be held to account for invasion so we have appointed a defense invasion advisory panel led by the former chairman of mceldertechnology g drawing on the world class capabilities we have in so many sectors, technology, cyber, encryption, pharmaceuticals, robotics, material science to name a few. and we're doing this enter initially. the final is the integrated challenge call for integrated
solutions. you will know how russia in particular is using the state power to pursue their interests. russia's hybrid model demands a whole of government response. ten years ago we recognize many security challenges were coming from weak and failing states so we established a stabilization unit with staff from the ministry of defense and the department or international development to take on those challenges in a strategy way. they bring together members of the armed forces and civil servants from 12 government departments to continue that mission. today we face state-based threats which demand different structures, for example, we brought together policy teams in the foreign office and mod and in my old department from the foreign office in energy. today there is one joint unit for eros policy, one team led by one official reporting to two secretaries of state.
we need less conventional relationships, too. once we can go on operations confident the homeland was secure and resilient. we were an away games department after all. tackling threats that ranged so we didn't have to at home. but in today's conflicts, there is less and less distinction between home and away. there are three planks, international, invasion and integration. they are not a pan of sere, their identification itself will not deliver a lasting piece but can guide us as we review sensibly, strategically, safely to a changing world including the destabilizing and aggressive actions of russia and other states. and separaaccepseparately and t important it is to take on challenges and harness with the
united states. we think alike but are not the same. there is no other country that can play the role of the united states in the rules based international system. and there is no closer u.s. ally than the u.k. on the u.n. security counsel or anywhere else who can help you achieve your goals. there is no other country whose technology sector can drive the kind of invasion nato requires to deliver 21st century defense. and there is no closer u.s. ally than the one whose mission in the second world war brought you the first radar that you could fit on fighter aircraft, the designs for the first jet engine and the blueprint for the nuclear bomb.
people fight together and die together. they are the very best of their generation. across all of what we do, we have been, we are the closest of allies. let us do so together and with that i'll be delighted to take your questions. [ applause ] >> let me begin, steven, for thanking you for those remarks and under lining the special relationship from embodying it in your presence here. let me begin by asking you about brexit. we hear a great deal since june from self-serving people suggesting that brexit means the u.k. basically opts out of
european defense and this requires a separate european defense identity, you touched on this but if you could, i'll ask you to say more about that allegation. >> it is an allegation, which has been made and i have to say, it really could not be further from the truth. i don't think anybody should labor that somehow that will not happen but we are profoundly european. the u.k. is part of europe. we cannot toe ourselves into the middle of the atlantic and pretend that we're not and i do think that the idea that the european union is going to somehow recreate the protective umbrella that nato has been
capable of providing over the last 70, 80 years i think is nonsensical. if i look at the enhanced forward presence missions, which are all coming into action this year, those are all in members of the e.u., lithuania and poland. they are all there to guarantee and be ultimate guarantees and tangible symbols how they guarantee safety and security and if we had left already three of those missions would be led by non-e.u. countries, it would be the u.s., canada, the u.k. i mean, i think that is a sense in which of course the e.u. is very important, but the enter
connections between our various countries go much, much deeper than that and anybody who imagines that somehow or another leaving the european community is going to change that i think is really got it profoundly wrong. >> all right. thank you. as i sit here, i see the image of president trump on the screen there. let me ask you a bit of an unfair question. which is to what degree do you think the president's call echoed by secretaries madison, tillerson for european members of the alliance to increase their defense spending has had any residence, that it will have any effect on defense spending in -- on the continent? >> well, as a matter of fact, i think it has had quite a lot of residence. it is a subject of conversation, probably not in the -- in all of the saloon bars in across europe
and it has become so in the last few months really. and in particular, i think, that the secretary of defense's comments about europe needs to show as much commitment to the people of europe as america has done have resonated extremely powerfully from somebody who has been a former supreme commander of nato. so i think it has made a difference, actually. the u.k. has -- was one of the original authors of those kinds of commitments. but we are glad that they are having more blight now than perhaps they have before. i do think there will be a moment come g ing up we need to
think what 2% means with nato. there are certain elements of spendi spending. we need to fairly soon get into where we are so nato as a whole way but let's concentrate on the head mark of 2% and not forget the 20% of expending on equipment. that's a really important part of those commitments we wouldn't like to see missed. >> all right.
let me turn to the audience, whose faces i recognize. when i call on you, would you please stand and at least identify yourself so that we all know who is asking the question. steven knows particularly. harlin? >> thank you for your presentation. i would like to get your advice -- >> harlin altman. >> thank you. >> was not entirely clear what the obama administration strategy was for russia or the islamic state. it is even less clear what the trump administration strategy is towards both. as you know, the obama administration's first defense strategy was to defeat russia in a war but when you asked that question to ask carter or joe dunford, you didn't get much of a firm answer. in terms of the over arching strategy, what do you think the tenants against russia ought to
be and how should we be addressing the islamic state in perhaps ways we aren't doing now? >> i think the approach to russia is going to be many fold and i will pick out some of the points of it that the british government feels strongly about. i'll leave the american government to develop its own policies. the invasion of crimea was the first forcible seizure of land in europe since the second world war and that is not something that can be forgotten likely. so the u.k. government is committed to keeping sanctions and other restrictions on russia for as long as it takes to
recollect f rectify that position. we don't want to go it's a fate and move on, thank you very much and most of our european allies, as well, and i hope that the new american administration will stay the same. i think we do have russia, it is important that the lines of communications are open so we can understand how the doctrine is evolving and has evolved a lot, actually it's evolved quite a lot more than nato and the west's have and i want to make sure that nobody would ever accuse people in the west of falling into the trap of miscalculations or not understanding where russia is coming from. so i think i mentioned what the prime minister said about engage but be ware. that's what we are doing.
my colleague chief of staff wentovwent over to see his colleague last week, in fact, in ordinary tore make some of those points and to generate a conversation there. our foreign secretary is going to meet mr. lavroff soon. i would say that, you know, nato is principally there in order to ensure the stability and security of the north atlantic. nato needs to be configured clearly. it need b to bes to be a defens
posture but needs to be properly configured for the threat. in terms of isis, i think we can see sufficient progress on the ground now to feel confident that that ground war will be won and won relatively soon. the task then will turn to, i think, making sure that upstream interventions don't allow for the resurgence of that kind of violence in the future. i talked a little bit earlier on what we spend on international development. it's for sure that we need to think very, very carefully with our colleagues and foreign office and international development as to how we can best direct our efforts and our money to make sure that this doesn't reappear.
trying to exterminate everything but looking beyond would be a mistake. >> please. >> thank you. chris from applied few teutures. you spoke about the various threats and called them hybrid threats and said they call for hybrid responses. do you interpret the american view of the gray zone, which is partially hybrid, partially unconventional war fair as being similar to the hybrid threats and also, you mentioned your stabilization unit, which certainly contains a lot of different organizations within the government. do you see that as perhaps the start of a whole of government approach?
you mentioned it's quite small. do you see that as the start of a whole government and do you think we should be doing something similar? >> is it hybrid threat, which i know this is in a sense it's lightly hacked. is it the same as the gray zone? gentlemen, that is is how we are thinking about it. our understanding of the doctrine is being developed in someways is more advanced now. we are intensely aware of some of the things we might be confronting when we deploy. we had recent obviously we know what a bit of the playbook looks like as a result of the ukraine, crimea. yes, all of these are very much within the scope of what i was talking about there.
certainly the ministry of defense doesn't have all of the answers to that. we have actually been spending quite a lot of time picking the brains of other departments, for instance, the department of culture and media and smart because the communications challenge and propaganda challenge is something actually where i think we recognize that we don't have all of the answers. so that is where a whole government approach seems and needs to be applied. on the stabilization unit, there is absolutely no question about that. i think we can see in whole host of different places, subsay harrah africa, you know, be banglade bangladesh, many places around the globe threats emerging, which are not susceptible to straightforward military intervention or military advice.
and we are absolutely committed to building up those joint un s units. climate change was the whole of that unit in my department and the whole of that unit, they were both obviously doing the same thing in the foreign office put together and working together. it was put together just before the oil price collapse, actually. and the value and utility was an example of the practice comeing good. whether or not it is a model
that america should follow, i will go -- i'll be a bit surprised if it didn't make sense for you to around the plot to make the whole, you know, summer of their part. i don't know how easy or difficult that is to do in institutional terms. i'm not naive on that front but if you can do it, we have certainly seen real advantages from it. >> interesting to see. yes, sir? >> thank you very much. i'm president of the global policy institute under slightly different geographic area, iran. does the u.k. or government believe that the nuclear deal reached by the obama
administration is still the best thing that could be achieved and kind of conjoint to that do you see in the arrangement with the west with the new clear affairs are actually delivered the expectations that iran's foreign policy mellower and how do you view in that respect the future of syria and iran gaining foothold and joining with hasballah and influence. how do you view the whole thing? >> thank you. >> thank you. >> we look at things on the iran
deal as the best hope for bringing iran into the position of being a responsible ideally non-nuclear are convince if we have any doubts this is the right deal to do. i think there's a lot of on the iranians themselves to make the most of the credence that it -- whether -- the lifting of some of the restrictions the city --
that sort of exemplifies and embodies and has a way to go and people have to see the benefit of the deal for what we know to be sort of kind of longer term social pressures so unwind in a beneficial way. i think it is early stages. nigel, i would say that when you ask the question can you see them behaving responsible they have chosen to play in that arena. iran is living up to its side of
do you raely really believe or would you go about punching at your weight or above your weight if you're not going to be fully apart of the european union institutions at a time of such great stress? >> i -- i don't have a perfect crystal ball. i don't know how the u.k. will be positioned in ten years time and i suspect will will be ideas where we feel the loss of the e.u. membership keenly and i suspect there will be areas where we think we've been liberated from a bunch of things and doing exciting things which otherwise we would find difficult to do. it's the decision however that the country has made.
and the resolution of the u.k. government and everybody working in it to make the best of that decision, which definitely has opportunities as well as things we need to deal with. now, i think there are a whole host of areas where we are not going to resign from our broader european responsibilities. we talked about security but actually it used to do with the policing across europe where in fact actually european partners are very dependent on u.k. capabilities are also an area where we are going to play a full part in our interest and in their interest, as well and it would be inmoral not to do so.
we can take they are leaving it too far. there will be lots and lots of areas where we're not going to be leading it. where the u.k. is going to be in terms of being the preferred partner into the e.u. if that's one of your points, you know, we'll see. we will still be, you know, one of the -- we'll still be a member of the g 7 and a powerful and i hope athuthoritative voic on world trade and have different relationships and who knows what europe itself will look like in a few years time. >> in the back, yes, sir? >> hi, my name is andrew hanna i'm a reporter of poll litico. the united kingdom help set up the european's commission
proposed countering hybrid threat center potentially in finland and how do you make sure those efforts don't duplicate efforts already under taken by nato? >> well, we all remember the european union until we're not a member of the european union. and up and running and we will certainly be involved and we have probably the best technology and europe and and security and we will want to stay i imagine when we leave the european union cooperation that we we'll want to continue. these wise and cables when codes do not respect international
boundaries. very obediently. as a result we need to recognize that it's a national service by getting involved in it. i certainly would not want to see duplicated capability except in so far as it is in some form additi additive, the question is more quickly as it should be into that kind of area. is it a sensible strategy to leave this to natural governments i think my instrints on that is not.
>> one more question. i think you put them back. let me say i hope as you leave this room today, you take two things away from what stephen stayed in his prepared remarks, first, the enormous military capability which the united kingdom brings to our nato alliance, the f-35s, the p-8 patrol aircraft, the ssbn, that's the first thing. the military technical and
scien scientific support, against a major power threat. the second thing is the special relationship, some of you here today who embody that, every day thousands of brits in america are working together, the intelligence field, scientific fields, they do so as third or fourth generation, 70 years of special relationship. it doesn't matter whether tabloid focus on whether or not the gift that the president gave the foreign ministprime ministe. it's something we have to pass on to our -- to the next generation to make sure that the
libya, libya, sir ran, from entering the u.s. from 909 days. iraq is no longer being included on that list. the it will go into affect march 16 and not affect those with green card holders are existing visa. you can find a link to it on our web page c-span.org. c-span's washington journal live every day with issues that impact you. coming up tuesday morning, sara discusses the role moderate republicans will play in the trump administration. homeland reporter will be on and talk about the newly