Mordaunt speech 'outdated thinking' – peace and security experts

Date: 15.05.2019, for immediate use

Contact: Celia McKeon, 07990816543 or


UK peace and security experts, Rethinking Security, today responded to the Secretary of State for Defence’s first speech in role following her appointment on 1 May 2019.

Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP was speaking at the 2019 RUSI First Sea Lord’s Sea Power Conference in Whitehall.

Rethinking Security Co-ordinator Celia McKeon said:

“Today’s speech confirms that the Government’s vision for Global Britain relies heavily on an outdated assumption that the UK’s security and international influence can be achieved primarily by its military capabilities.

“This vision of Global Britain is not one that will win back trust, at home or abroad.

“The most pressing causes of insecurity – not least climate change and inequality - can’t be fixed by increasing our military spend. Modern security challenges need a far more thoughtful approach than the Defence Secretary’s ‘shopping list’ of military equipment.

“We need an understanding that worldwide conflict and insecurity are shared problems to be solved, not expensive fights to be won.”


Notes to Editors

1. Rethinking Security Co-ordinator, Celia McKeon, is available for comment on 07990 816543

2. The Rethinking Security media page and factsheet is at

3. The Rethinking Security Parliamentary briefing, including 10 priorities for security, can be found at

4. About Rethinking Security:

• Short description – Rethinking Security is a network of peace and security experts.

• Long description – Rethinking Security is a network of organisations, academics and activists working together for security based on justice, co-operation and sustainability.

5. Member organisations:

• Campaign Against Arms Trade

• Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament

• Conciliation Resources

• Forces Watch

• International Alert

• Oxford Research Group

• Peace Direct

• Quaker Peace And Social Witness

• Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network

• Saferworld.

Our work also benefits substantially from the active participation of academics from the universities of Bradford, Coventry, Kent and Oxford Brookes.

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About Rethinking Security

Rethinking Security is a network of peace and security experts. Our goal is that the UK’s approach to security and international relations tackles underlying drivers of insecurity to build a more just and peaceful world for all. We provide evidence and opinion on the shortcomings of current policies and propose credible alternatives.