Small Wars Journal

A ‘Weakness of the West’? U.K. Defense Minister Warns of Lack of Grand Strategy

A ‘Weakness of the West’? U.K. Defense Minister Warns of Lack of Grand Strategy by Aaron Mehta - Defense News

WASHINGTON - In an era where talking about great power competition is all the rage, the U.K.’s top defense official has a stark warning: Western nations need to start thinking about the big picture.

Speaking in Washington on Aug. 7, Gavin Williamson, the U.K. defense minister, warned that not enough is being done to plan for long-term efforts by Western nations to counter the potential threats from Russia and China.

“The debates about grand strategy among NATO partners, among the West, among our friends and allies, there’s not enough talk about it,” Williamson said during a visit to the Atlantic Council. “You want to be having that conversation because if we do not have that conversation, if we do not start planning for it, we will be ill-prepared for it.

“I think that is a weakness of the West, and we have to deal with this, and we have to deal with it soon and quickly.”

The theme of great power competition is impossible to shake in the D.C. region, particularly since the Trump administration rolled out its National Defense Strategy, which declared China and Russia as the two standards by which the United States must judge its success…

Read on.