Bluffers Guide to Defence Spending Review

Need to sound like you know what you are talking about on the Defence Review but havent got time or can’t be bothered to read up? What you need is a Public Sector Geek. And here I am…

The key points are thus:

1. The document is highly political in nature, with many well aimed and indiscrete blows aimed at the previous Labour
Administration. It is factual to say that even if the spending review did not make cuts, there was a £36billion black hole
in Defence Spending due to an over-commit in previous years

2. There is a clear and oft-repeated commitment to increase flexibility, alongside a clear signal to increased partnership
with business and industry (including, one would assume, the IT industry)

3. Cyber defence is clearly highlighted as a top priority. The four highest priority risks are those arising from:

• international terrorism, including through the use of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) materials; and
of terrorism related to Northern Ireland
• cyber attack, including by other states, and by organised crime and terrorists
• international military crises and
• major accidents or natural hazards

4. They have committed to hold a SDSR every five years. This would in-effect mean that due to fixed term parliaments,
every new Government will conduct a review. Having trawled the press, many in the Defence section view these reviews
as opportunity for cuts
5. There is a commitment to ‘prevent conflict and avert threats’ ie use intelligence, consulate and FCO/diplomatic efforts
primarily to stop us having to us military power. This is a pointer to the use of SIGINT from GCHQ, meaning in all
likelihood an increase in the requirements for COTS (Commercial off the shelf) security software such as that provided
by Sophos.

6. There is a comment that this Strategy will be delivered by a ‘…whole of Government approach…’ By implication this
means increased focus on civil contingencies via Local Authorities and Police Constabulary. This again would lead to
an increase in requirements to automate and secure processes

7. There is considerable repetition that the most pressing strategic defence issue is that of economic stability ie expect
cuts, expect them to be deep and expect them to be long lasting. This is covered in various approaches 4 times in the
document.

Expect masses of comment especially around the Sea Harrier/Ark Royal cuts which are highly emotive on a number of levels, not the least due to their key rol,e in the Falklands conflict

The SDSR represented a signpost for the CSR (if one was needed given all of the leaks!). Cuts are going to be severe , emotive and generate masses of comment.

My summary and opinion is that this whole process represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for IA Vendors, and I make no apology for the hyperbole. We must maintain an approach that focuses on cashable savings, operational efficiency and simplicity – it is by far and away the most powerful weapon in our armoury

Bluffers Guide to CSR is on its way

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About Graeme Stewart, McAfee

I work for McAfee as Director of Public Sector Strategy and Relations, UK&I
This entry was posted in CSR, Efficiency, Security. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bluffers Guide to Defence Spending Review

  1. As our nuclear weapons’ only point since 1945 has been to serve as a deterrent, I am suggesting to scrap them but at the same time to maintain the impression that we still have them. For a deterring function, you don’t need the real stuff.

    See for examples, both from history and recent, that underline my argument: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2010/10/23/nuclear-codes/

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