Threat from Islamist terrorism may increase, security review finds
Every capability will be used to defeat Britain’s enemies, Theresa May said.
A security shake-up has been unveiled by the Government as it warned the threat from Islamist terrorism may increase in the next two years.
Britain’s enemies should be in no doubt that “every capability at our disposal” will be used to defeat them, Theresa May warned.
The Salisbury attack has underlined the need for the UK to make better use of its financial, cultural and diplomatic clout as well as military force to quash threats, the Prime Minister said.
Unprecedented levels of intelligence have been shared with international allies following the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the Wiltshire city.
As long as we defend our interests and stand up for our values, there will continue to be those who seek to undermine or attack us. But these people should be in no doubt that we will use every capability at our disposal to defeat them. Prime Minister Theresa May
Under the new “fusion doctrine” that will charge all Whitehall departments and agencies to play a part in boosting security, changes will also be made to the way decisions are taken at the top of government to prevent any repeat of the UK’s failings in the Iraq war.
A more accountable system to support collective Cabinet decision-making is being introduced in the wake of the Chilcot report, the Government said.
The National Security Capability Review (NSCR) states the threat from Islamist terrorism is expected to remain at its current heightened level for at least the next two years and might increase further.
In the foreword to the report, Mrs May wrote: “Over the past year in the UK we have witnessed appalling terrorist attacks in London and Manchester.
“But also a brazen and reckless act of aggression on the streets of Salisbury: attempted murder using an illegal chemical weapon, amounting to an unlawful use of force against the UK.
“Crucially what all of these incidents have made clear is that our national security is conditional on not only the police and security services who work so hard to keep us safe at home, or on the brave men and women of our armed forces working tirelessly around the world – but on our ability to mobilise most effectively the full range of our capabilities in concert to respond to the challenges we face.
“So as this report sets out, we have agreed a new approach to the orchestration of our national security capabilities.
“Based on the new fusion doctrine, this approach will ensure that in defending our national security we make better use of all of our capabilities: from economic levers, through cutting-edge military resources to our wider diplomatic and cultural influence on the world’s stage.
“Every part of our government and every one of our agencies has its part to play.
“As long as we defend our interests and stand up for our values, there will continue to be those who seek to undermine or attack us.
“But these people should be in no doubt that we will use every capability at our disposal to defeat them.”
Russia, Iran and North Korea were identified as the key state-based threats to security.
The review means that so-called soft power will be used to help tackle the spread of misinformation.
Officials pointed to how more than 20 different stories have come out from Moscow since the Salisbury attack to “try and confuse the picture”.
A senior Whitehall official said: “It’s sometimes easy to think about hard-edge direct delivery capabilities but actually, in the modern era, particularly with social media in the era of cyber space, those other capabilities, communications, some of the soft power, these are important too.”
Around £56 billion is spent annually on national security capabilities, which will rise to £60bn in the coming years.