This morning’s papers have much detail on what the Prime Minister will lay out in the forthcoming Strategic Defence and Security Review, as well as how Britain will seek to combat Islamic State in Syria, following the devastating attacks in Paris.
The Henry Jackson Society’s experts and researchers are available for comment and analysis on all these stories and more:
Dr Alan Mendoza, Executive Director on Islamic State:
“Every day we delay taking the decision to bring the fight to Islamic State is one where it has the field uncontested. IS is using its territorial control and terror tactics to boost its prestige and encourage Western recruits to join it. Our MPs need to wake up and smell the coffee. This is about the future of our social cohesion as much as bringing peace to Syria and we need to act now.”
Davis Lewin, Deputy Director on SDSR:
“The government’s renewed commitment to defence is welcome and long overdue. However, even with these new commitments, SDSR remains a political exercise with no genuine strategic insight – for which the UK barely has any capacity today – and effectively amounts to politically motivated games with the figures. It is abundantly obvious that our core security is now in grave danger in this testing new century and the fact that we are unable to hunt the Russian subs menacing us in our waters or that our force projection capabilities rely on equipment ripe for decommissioning flown from outside the theatre due to our lack of aircraft carriers shows just how dangerous such lack of properly resourced strategic planning can be.”
Hannah Stuart, Research Fellow, on Domestic Extremism:
On Channel 4 tonight at 9pm, “ISIS: The British Women Supporters Unveiled” uncovers some of the British Muslim women glorifying jihad and promoting extreme ideology right here in the UK. Our counter-terrorism expert Hannah Stuart has contributed to the investigation and says: “The sorts of beliefs, like the rejection of democracy, the need to – or the religious duty to live under Sharia law, these are ostensibly non-violent ideas. What’s dangerous is that if you hold those views and then seek to act in order to achieve them that can entail acts of violence and acts of terrorism.”
Tom Wilson, Resident Associate Fellow, on IS:
“While it is important that we confront Islamic State in its Iraqi and Syrian strongholds, we also can’t afford to ignore the growing threat of IS taking hold in Libya, as well as in other key localities such as Yemen and the Sinai.”
Dr Andrew Foxall, Director, Russia Studies Centre:
“The Prime Minister’s expected announcement that the UK, as part of the SDSR, will purchase nine maritime patrol aircrafts, to guard against enemy submarines and warships, is welcome. The decision, in the last SDSR in 2010, to scrap the Nimrod aircraft left the country vulnerable to enemy submarines and warships, particularly those from Russia. As a recent HJS report documented, twice in the last 12 months the UK was unable to deal with the threat posed by Russian submarines positioned off the Scottish coast and had to seek assistance from its allies.”
Emily Dyer, Research Fellow:
Emily is following the ongoing developments in Europe in reaction to the Paris attacks, including the UK’s decision to extend airstrikes into Syria. She is also available to discuss the role of women in Islamic State.