NHJ Strategic Consulting

Submissions (formal evidence)

Submission to the Parliamentary Committees inquiry into the outcomes of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) within the wider context of the national National Security Strategy (NSS)

Problem

1. David Cameron and William Hague both said that the MOD was their biggest shock and domestic challenge of 2010. This piling on top of NAO, PAC, Deloitte, Gray, Chilcot, and others’ damning inquiry evidence has stung at least some senior officials to acknowledge that MOD is in a real mess. But, even now, most officials remain in denial as to the magnitude of the problem - which is nothing short of a national scandal, requiring more fundamental change than envisaged in the scope of the Liam Fox, Lord Levene, and Bernard Gray reform processes under way.

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Submission to the ‘Public Administration Select Committee’ - November 2011?

Our primary concern is to ask for clarification on who is dealing with/discussing the ‘first order’ issue of the potential implications of a major and sustained economic crisis, across Europe and more broadly across the world? Some notes/thoughts:

  • No-one is even mentioning the possible security implications of the current economic crisis - which are potentially huge. Governments could fall – and indeed are doing so.
  • Hopefully, we will not have a 21st century Kreditanstaldt banking collapse event that leads to a new turbocharged Great Depression. However, Mervyn King, Max Hastings, and others are right to warn us that events could get that bad – and Citigroup’s chief economist Willem Butler’s recent warning to a parliamentary committee that ‘if things get out of hand in the euro area no bank in the financial-integrated world will stand’ may well be a prescient warning. Even the best scenario - seemingly 5-10 years of Japanese-style stagnation will test us to new levels.
  • Many recognise this as the No 1 threat - so we might expect that the National Security Council (NSC) has discussed it, and ensured that the right contingency planning and 'due diligence' work is going on - not detracting from the main effort of doing everything to avoid catastrophe, but 'just in case'.

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