Could Britain Respond Strategically To Russian Aggression?

  • Julian Lindley-French


Christopher Coker establishes the essential challenge for anyone peering into the future when he poses the question; “what future are we interested in?”1 In that context Britain’s ability to act strategically requires a state to possess a whole series of imponderables all of which are context dependent; sufficient capability, influence, political will, and strategic know-how to influence the choices of other great powers in line with their national interests. On 9 February, 1936, the Oxford Union passed a motion that stated; “This House will in no circumstances fight for its king and country”. Given that several of those who voted for the motion went on to hold high office in British governments the vote came as a shock to many given the Nazi aggression of the time. A casual observer of contemporary Britain might think that similar currents of pacifism and appeasement are afoot in a country that seems to have lost not just its strategic bearing, but in many ways its will to compete. Rather, Britain seems lost in a sea of politically-correct, health and safety irresolution in which to many, all the faults of the world are somehow Britain’s fault.


Gross Domestic Product Military Power Defence Budget Defence Expenditure Fait Accompli 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julian Lindley-French
    • 1
  1. 1.Atlantic Treaty Association, Institute of StatecraftNational Defense University, Canadian Global Affairs InstituteWashingtonUSA

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