Statement: Strategic Defence Review Green Paper

04 February 2010

A Green Paper on the future of UK defence - published ahead of the Strategic Defence Review (SDR), which will take place after this year's general election - was announced in a ministerial statement in the House of Commons by Defence Secretary, Bob Ainsworth MP.

Issues for the review

The Green Paper, 'Adaptability and Partnership: Issues for the Strategic Defence Review', analyses the future for which the Government must plan, sets out some essential principles, and poses six key strategic questions that the review will need to address.

  • Where should we set the balance between focusing on our territory and region and on engaging threats at distance?
  • How far are future conflicts likely to share the characteristics of our engagement in Afghanistan, and what approach should we therefore take if we employ armed force to address threats at distance?
  • What contribution should our armed forces make to ensuring security and contributing to resilience within the UK?
  • How could we more effectively employ armed force in support of wider efforts to prevent conflict and to strengthen international stability?
  • Do our current international defence and security relationships require rebalancing in the longer term?
  • Should we further integrate our forces with those of our key allies and partners?

Green Papers

When a government department is considering bringing in a new law or, as in this case, planning a major review of defence, it will often put together a discussion or consultation document known as a Green Paper. The aim is to let people both in and outside Parliament debate the issues and give the department feedback on its proposals. Copies are usually available on the different departmental websites.

Image: Ben Birchall/PA Images

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