Defence

War is the enemy. We are in a global struggle to prevent conflict. We must work to relegate war to the history books.

The Peoples Party must:
understand that war itself is the enemy and that a fundamentally different approach to defence is required to avert the disaster that is armed conflict
not look for “enemies” but build relationships, seeking to understand the causes of tensions, defusing them before they lead to conflict. In today’s world, we must focus on stopping wars, not planning to fight them
actively stop potential dictators from gaining power and remove them should they prove successful. Leaders not peoples cause wars. Work to change hostile and potentially dangerous regimes from within, supporting and encouraging dissent
double intelligence and technology expenditure to £4bn. Covert actions, smart interventions and “winning without trumpeting” are vital to keeping us safe against the threats we face
cut traditional defence expenditure dramatically to £2bn. Most of what is currently spent on defence is wasted in terms of defending us against the real threats we face
create an integrated British Defence Force (BDF), merging the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force with the intelligence services and new national police force, with the primary objective to protect against terrorist threats, cyber attack and large scale organised criminal activity
sell or scrap most of our current weapons systems, already defence budgets have been hollowed out to such an extent that only a small fraction of existing materiel is really operational and deployable
ensure that the UK works with partners in NATO to concentrate on the development of small special forces units designed to undertake continuous worldwide operations against threats and to support allies with training and equipment. We must leverage our involvement to give the best value outcomes
invest, develop and deploy a full range of drone, AI and autonomous capabilities, creating an agile procurement, support and operational environment
use financial, information and cyber warfare technologies to frustrate and defeat actual and potential threats while at the same time protecting the United Kingdom from counterattacks. We must proactively hack the hackers, and financially cripple threats to peace
decommission Trident and stop its replacement. We must redouble efforts to prevent nuclear material from getting into the hands of terrorists, and rogue states
sign the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and support efforts to deliver a world without nuclear weapons. The accidental use of nuclear weapons is one of the biggest threats we face
ensure that sufficient funding is allocated to civil defence equipment against WMD’s, with the comprehensive provision of PPE, vaccines and medicines
understand how best to guard against “gain of function” biotechnology and artificial intelligence
re-join the EU to work with colleagues to protect peace in Europe, the source of hundreds of years of conflict

We simply cannot have another war. If we declare war, we have already lost. War is dreadful and unless conflict is stopped once and for all mankind will destroy the planet. To prevent it we must learn the lessons of history but that is not enough. For centuries people have echoed the same sentiment, but wars have continued to be fought. To succeed we must do things differently. Rather than taking the easy option of just carrying on as before with all the risks of conflict, we should not shirk the responsibility to think anew about how best to ensure enduring peace.

To stop war at all costs we must invest in excellent statecraft, removing the causes of war and the weapons that enable it.

So often wars have started due to catastrophic misunderstandings and miscalculations by out of touch leaders. We must act against dictators and elites to nip threats in the bud, before they lead to war. We must help “failed states” before it is too late. We must work to free people from state repression, totalitarianism and propaganda.

Our traditional defence structures are outdated. Posturing or tokenism does nothing to make people more secure. We must cut away the bloated MoD and Service bureaucracy, stopping the serial waste in defence procurement and concentrate on weapons we really need.

The world will not change over night. Short term we must invest in highly effective, low cost, defensive weapons that deter and, if necessary, can be supplied and used by allies to defeat aggression. Longer term we must lead multilateral initiatives to eliminate weapons altogether.

We must unilaterally abolish the UK’s nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are truly dreadful, they have no practical military value, and their use would cause inconceivable death and destruction – there are no circumstances in which we should “press the button.” It is insane to worry about climate change while investing in weapons that would precipitate an environmental catastrophe. We should use the skills of nuclear engineers to save, rather than potentially destroy, the planet.

We need to recognise that military force cannot successfully deter many of the actual threats we need to address. These include terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, cyber/hybrid warfare, pandemics and “accidental conflicts” set against the backdrop of the clear and present danger of climate change. We must also keep these challenges in perspective. For instance, creating an atmosphere of fear is what terrorists want to achieve, unnecessarily curtails freedom and diverts disproportionate resources from other areas.

Cyber threats are genuine, attacks are happening today and many more are being planned or seeded in computer systems. A significant proportion of online fraud, crime against British citizens, is committed from abroad. The economic damage and potentially life threatening consequences of these attacks must be tackled effectively. We must proactively deal with these threats and ensure our country is protected properly against state and non-state aggressors.

The UK’s defence focus must be on saving the planet rather than destroying it.