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Analysis not advocacy

The U K Defence Forum is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organisation which holds no corporate view of its own.

Put at its simplest, the Forum looks at strategic issues; present threats; where future wars may break out; why; and what the UK should do about both them and preserving the peace, and what capabilities could be expected of industry and others. The Forum represents an opportunity for politicians, including those in Government, preparing for it or holding it to account, to meet specialists from diverse backgrounds in defence, security and peace and to test theses in confidence with them. Briefings have in the past been delivered by politicians, diplomats, senior officers, civil servants, academics and industrialists from the UK and elsewhere.

From the point of view of politicians, they are able to obtain insights into matters of mutual concern without prejudice or commitment. Any conclusions they reach are theirs alone which they treat as they see fit and are not obliged to share with anybody else. A wide range of research papers and tactical briefs are prepared  but the views expressed in them are those of the authors alone.

A list of past and future briefings, all of which are held under the Chatham House Rule, and our published papers, can be found on this website, along with many years' archives of DEFENCEnet Daily. Some 20,000 pages of original material can be accessed using the "search" facility in the top right hand corner of this site.  In addition to strategic issues, tactical and short term ones plus partisan points of view and interesting papers from other research "think tanks" are presented through Defence Viewpoints which is updated daily, and which carries a Twitter feed.

We are proud to host the archives of one of our founder members and late Patron, Air Marshall Lord Garden. The "search" facility automatically includes the large body of his written materials.

The U K Defence Forum has had two informal directives from politicians which are reflected in our papers and meetings:

" Think the unthinkable" - Rt Hon Tony Blair MP, 1996
" Educate us" - Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, 2002

These sentiments are summed up in our motto : conloqui audete sapientia proficite - through dialogue comes knowledge and wisdom 

Our rules are simple :
  1. Any meetings or face-to-face briefings are under the Chatham House rule unless otherwise stated at the time
  2. Any Member of either House in the UK Parliament may attend event, space permitting, and access any published paper. We also welcome the interest of parliamentary researchers, others with an electoral mandate, and those seeking elected office.
  3. Papers are confidential until publicly released by the U K Defence Forum through this website or they are published on Defence Viewpoints.
  4. No lobbying of politicians for commercial advantage is permitted at any Forum events.
  5. UK companies with UK employees supplying equipment or services for the UK's Armed Forces are invited to make an annual subscription/donation to support our work, but are not consulted on any matters of content.
  6. The Forum is not a representative body and holds no corporate view. Copyright remains with writers.
  7. The Forum seeks mutual relationships with other bodies worldwide who share its ethos.
  8. The programme and contents of publications are determined by the Director General alone.  
  9. Published material may be cited subject to usual academic conventions but not otherwise reproduced without permission.
  10. The Director General's decision on the rules and membership is final.