London Hopes to Run for Leadership in a Multi-polar World

Strategic review titled Global Britain in a Competitive Age that looks at the issues of foreign policy, defence, and security was published on March 16th in the UK

The document was analysed by RISS leading expert Anna Vilovatykh.

The review aims to define the UK’s global role during the emergence of a new world order. The expert believes London has embarked on a course of bringing together the Anglophone nations while distancing itself from the common foreign policy pursued by Brussels. At the same time, the United Kingdom plans to promote cooperation with the so called western democracies on a bilateral basis. Priority is given to dialogue with such nations as France, Germany, and Poland. However, the US is still to be traditionally viewed as an ally Britain has a special relationship with. The document also pays a great deal of attention to the Commonwealth nations.

Ms Vilovatykh notes that for the first time since 1991 London has announced it intends to expand its nuclear arsenal. Furthermore, the UK has declared it wants to be the second biggest military spender after the US in the NATO alliance. The rationale for that is the now familiar mythical “Russian threat”.

Acknowledging the increase in Asia’s economic influence, the authors of the review also talk about the need for London to more actively engage with the key infrastructure development projects in that region. Meanwhile, while China, which is mentioned in the document 27 times, is labelled as “a strategic challenge”, it is never classified as an “adversary” of the UK.

The RISS expert believes that actually going through with such an ambitious strategic is bound to prove quite a major challenging, given Britain’s real capabilities at the moment.