COMMONS

Russia: implications for UK defence and security

11 January 2016

The Defence Committee launches an inquiry into Russia: implications for UK defence and security.

Purpose of the inquiry

The House of Commons Defence Select Committee will be conducting an inquiry into Russian defence policy and the implications of this for UK defence and security.

Terms of reference

The questions the Committee is particularly interested in examining are:

Capabilities:

  • What are the key elements and objectives of Russia’s current military policy and strategy? What are the implications for the UK and for NATO of Russian military policy and strategy?
  • To what extent does the UK have adequate information about Russia’s military capabilities and intentions?
  • Who is responsible for informing and implementing the UK’s national defence response to Russian activities?

Multi-dimensional warfare:

  • What are the main tools of Russian 'multi-dimensional'– also known as 'ambiguous' and 'hybrid'– warfare and what does the concept encompass? What are Russian capabilities in and effects of cyber and advanced technologies?
  • To what extent does the UK have adequate information about and understanding of Russia’s multi-dimensional warfare concepts and capabilities; what is the UK’s capacity to respond?
  • Does the UK Government understand the conceptual differences between British and Russian military policy and strategy? What is the Russian perception of where UK weaknesses lie?
  • What is the role of media and communications in Russian military policy and strategy; what is the capacity of the UK to respond; and how can the UK better understand Russia’s use of the media in pursuit of its objectives?
  • What more can the UK do to use mass media and social media to engage with the Russian public directly, rather than just via the Russian leadership?

Russia, the UK and NATO:

  • What is the a) extent and b) motivation of current Russian military activities? What are the implications of these for the UK and NATO?
  • What are the implications for Article V of the NATO Charter of recent Russian military and multi-dimensional warfare activities, and what more can the UK do to clarify the definition of an attack on a NATO member state under Article V?
  • What is the UK’s appetite and ability to respond effectively, with NATO allies, to current and possible future Russian activities in (a) Ukraine, (b) the Baltics, (c) the High North, (d) Central Asia and (e) the Middle East?
  • To what extent should the UK and NATO consider an enhanced military presence in East European countries, such as Poland and/or the Baltic States?
  • What is the role of nuclear weapons in Russia’s current military policy and strategy, and what is the significance of Russia’s current rhetoric about nuclear weapons?
  • What scope is there for military co-operation with Russia to counter Islamist extremism in the Middle East?

The deadline for written submissions is Monday 15 February 2016, although earlier submissions would be welcome.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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