In Scotland’s Defence? An Assessment of SNP Defence Strategy



VENUE: Hepburn Suite, The Royal Scots Club, 29-31 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh EH3 6QE

LONDON LAUNCH TIME: 1-2pm, Thursday 4th July 2013

VENUE: Committee Room 8, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

To attend please specify ‘London’ or ‘Edinburgh’ and RSVP to:

SPEAKERS: George Grant, Associate Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society and Report Author (Edinburgh and London)

Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Crawford, Army officer (ret.) and Former SNP Parliamentary Candidate (Edinburgh)

Rt Hon. Adam Ingram, Minister of State for the Armed Forces (2001-2007) (Edinburgh)

Dr Colin Fleming, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh)

The security of its citizens is the first duty of government, and as the 18 September 2014 referendum on Scottish independence looms ever closer, serious questions are being asked about how an independent Scotland might defend itself.

Amongst the most important issues being considered are: how big Scotland’s armed forces would be, and what weapons they would use; whether a Scotland that sought to rid itself of nuclear weapons could really join NATO; how Scotland would gather secret intelligence; whether it could compete in cyber space; and what future there would be for the Scottish defence industry.

Underpinning all of these questions is what Scotland’s foreign policy would be – what sort of country would an independent Scotland be in the world, and what would its armed forces actually be for?

Even if the polls suggest that a vote in favour of independence is unlikely next September, Scots can justifiably expect to be given a clear and honest picture of what it is they are voting for before they enter the ballot boxes, rather than just living with the consequences afterwards. The prime mover in the pro-independence debate is the Scottish National Party (SNP), and they have sought to provide their vision for how they would go about defending an independent Scotland.

The question of whether or not the SNP’s defence strategy is credible or not is answered by George Grant, Associate Fellow of the Henry Jackson Society in a major new report, In Scotland’s Defence? An Assessment of SNP Defence Strategy, the most comprehensive critique of SNP defence policies to date. An expert in defence and strategic studies, Grant examines six critical areas of SNP defence strategy and arrives at a striking, and troubling, conclusion: SNP defence strategy is more concerned with helping win the independence referendum than with actually defending Scotland.

The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to the launch of the report in the Royal Scots Club, Ediburgh at 12 – 1.30pm on 2nd July, and by kind invitation of Gemma Doyle MP in the House of Commons, London at 1 – 2pm on 4th July. At the Edinburgh launch, George Grant will be joined by Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Crawford, Army officer (ret.) and former SNP Parliamentary Candidate and Adam Ingram, Minister of State for the Armed Forces (2001-2007) to discuss the report and how an independent Scotland might defend itself.


George Grant is a non-resident Associate Fellow at The Henry Jackson Society. He has written widely on issues relating to foreign policy and defence, with major publications including Succeeding in Afghanistan (September 2010); The Tipping Point: British National Strategy and the UK’s Future World Role (July 2011); and Shocks and Disruptions: The Relationship Between Food Security and National Security (April 2012).

George has also worked extensively on the conflict in Libya and the country’s subsequent post-Gaddafi transition. He moved to Tripoli full-time in May 2012 to become deputy editor of the country’s first post-Gaddafi English-language newspaper, the Libya Herald, as well as Libya correspondent for The Times.

He provides regular analysis for national and international newspapers – including The Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, and the Wall Street Journal Europe – as well as on TV and radio news outlets, including the BBC; Al Jazeera; Channel 4 News; and Sky News. A frequent speaker on foreign-policy and defence issues, George has provided briefings to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office; the Ministry of Defence; the Stabilisation Unit; and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.

George holds Masters degrees in History from the University of Edinburgh, and in Investigative Journalism from City University, London.

Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Crawford is a retired Army officer and former SNP Parliamentary candidate. After graduating from Cambridge in 1976, Stuart Crawford entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was subsequently commissioned into the Royal Tank Regiment. He was a career regular officer for 20 years, during which time he attended both the British army and US army staff colleges as a student, instructed at the British army staff college, and undertook a Defence Fellowship at Glasgow University.  He resigned his commission in 1999 in the rank of Lt Col to stand as a parliamentary candidate in the Scottish Parliamentary elections that year.

Since then he has run his own political, media, and defence and security consultancy in Edinburgh.  He appears frequently on radio and TV and the printed press commenting on military, political and social matters. His most recent study, A’ the Blue Bonnets: Defending an Independent Scotland, written with co-author Richard Marsh, was published by RUSI in October last year and has led to, amongst other things, three appearances as expert witness before Select Committees at Westminster.

Adam Ingram is a former Minister of State for the Armed Forces and the former Labour MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow.

He entered Parliament in 1987, serving as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Neil Kinnock, then leader of the Labour Party, from 1989-1992. He served as Shadow Minister for Social Security between 1994-1995, Shadow Minister for Science and Technology between 1995-1997 and, following Labour’s General Election victory in 1997, as Minister of State for Security at the Northern Ireland Office.

Appointed Minister of State for the Armed Forces in 2001, Adam served in that capacity until 2007, making him the longest serving defence minister since the formation of the Ministry of Defence.

Colin Fleming is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. He holds an MA (Hons) in History and International Relations, an MLitt in War Studies (University of Aberdeen) and a PhD in International Relations from Royal Holloway, University of London.  He held the position of Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence 2009-2010, and also held a highly coveted Leverhulme Research Fellowship 2010-2012 at the University of Edinburgh.

Colin is currently working on an ESRC project examining monitoring of UK defence acquisition policies.  He is also currently researching different areas of the independence debate and the implications and the opportunities of an independent Scottish defence force.  As part of this he is working collaboratively with colleagues internationally and in particular with the Centre for Military Studies at The University of Copenhagen.


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