Browsing Category Defence

NATO and the Future of Europe–US Relations after Afghanistan

Lord David Owen reflects on the history and future of Europe–US relations in an essay for the RUSI Journal, 2022 (Royal United Services Institute, London)

“We are living in a very strange and worrying political world, with the rise in military might of President Vladimir Putin’s Russia and President Xi Jinping’s China being set against internal criticism of NATO within Europe, and Europe’s falling out with the US over Afghanistan.

Remember Kissinger’s advice to the Ukrainians

Lord Owen and other distinguished observers write to the UK’s Financial Times, 23 February 2022

“…..Vladimir Putin’s demand that Ukraine be barred from Nato is the latest iteration of a Russian policy stretching back to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.”

“In his article ‘The empire returns’ (The Weekend Essay, Life & Arts, January 28) Serhii Plokhy correctly says that president Vladimir Putin’s demand that Ukraine be barred

Nato must meet Russian aggression with determination – and meaningful sanctions

Lord Owen writing in the UK-based PoliticsHome ‘HouseNews’, 17 February 2022.

“Vladimir Putin’s encirclement of Ukraine has re-established the unity of NATO and brought the people of Ukraine far closer than before….. (NATO) has never been neutral and wee will not be neutral about any invasion of Ukraine.”

Read the full article here.


…For a post-Brexit Britain the challenge is abundantly clear. It is to make an urgent decision – I am surprised it has not already been made by this Government – to increase our defence spending from 2% to, at the very least, 2.5% and as soon as possible up to 3%.

Lord Owen speaking in the House Of Lords debate on the National Security situation, Thursday 19 April 2018

The full text is here: 19.4.18HL

“There are three dangerous potential military crises on the international agenda: North Korean nuclear weapons; eastern Europe, focused on Ukraine; and the Middle East, focused on Syria. Any or all of these could bubble over into serious military conflict.

“… Churchill did not say that jaw-jaw …

“…There is a group in Whitehall who are not reconciled to Brexit, who are pushing hard for decisions to be taken in … areas of defence policy on an absurdly short timescale. Post Brexit defence policies will take time to evolve and a lot of consultation and the UK military voice needs to be heard loud and clear.”

Speech by The Rt Hon Lord Owen to the Henry Jackson Society’s British Foreign Policy After Brexit’ event, London 19 April 2018

Full text here: 19.4.18HenryJackson

“There will either be war in the Middle East over Syria and possible increased military activity in Ukraine, or there will be a meeting between President Trump and President Putin trying to resolve these two potential conflicts. …It is a simple fact …

Lord Owen comments on latest  Syria events: “Russia must be a player in solving the overall Middle East picture but has to accept that Assad is a war criminal and cannot be allowed to remain as President in any long term solution. Boris Johnson should meet with the Russian Ambassador, likewise Trump should meet Putin.”

Lord Owen interviewed by Nick Ferrari on LBC this morning – Monday 9 April 2018 (full recording below).

“Unlike in 2013 when Obama was not contemplating serious action (which I did not support), it now looks as if the US are serious and are not prepared to accept Assad continuing as the Syrian President in any peace. Russia will have to get used to this, and the UK and France …

“…defence expenditure has to be increased. There can be no ifs or buts about that. … Europe has been freeloading on the United States, as far as NATO is concerned, for long enough. Britain, coming out of the EU, has to demonstrate to the Americans that we are committed to NATO’s defence.

Lord Owen, speaking in the House of Lords Debate on UK Defence Forces, 23 November 2017.

Download the speech here: HLDefenceDebate23.11.17 

My Lords, the issue before us all is that defence expenditure has to be increased. There can be no ifs or buts about that. For the next five years, the National Security Council will have to find an increase from 2% to 2.5% as the bare minimum. That body …

The world faces a very grave situation over what to do to contain the North Korea dictator.

Lord Owen in the Daily Mirror 5 September 2017

View the article here: DropMOABifDiplomacyFails

The world faces a very grave situation over what to do to contain the Korean dictatorship of Kim Jong-un after the sixth and most powerful nuclear test in defiance of international law and progressively tougher UN resolutions passed unanimously with the support of China and Russia.

This comes after a series of Korean missiles capable of …