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Defence and Security Issues Discussed in the 21st Century
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The DSF's Co-founder, Lady Olga Maitland
Welcome to The Defence and Security Forum

The Defence and Security Forum was founded by Lady Olga Maitland in 1983. It was originally a campaigning organisation known as Families for Defence launched to challenge the anti-nuclear protest movements such as CND. Families for Defence’s remit was to promote the NATO case for multilateral nuclear disarmament. In the course of doing so the purpose was to focus on the importance of a proper provision for the defence of the United Kingdom.
Major General Patrick Cordingley, our Chairman Our Keynote Topics

  • International Relations
  • Economics
  • Politics
  • Defence and Security
Comment: China; Too Big To Be Ignored Booking forms

Dear Colleagues,

China is too large, in terms of population, commerce, military power and international political influence, to be ignored.  Indeed, it commands the development of considered policy, politically, militarily and commercially.   If such policies have been developed, they have not been communicated to the population, at large, although when important policies are developed in relation to another state, it is usual that they are well publicised, to bring the electors along with Government policy, among other good reasons.  This is a matter of concern, especially as the hiatus over the recent decision about Chinese participation in building our national network of communication indicated that the necessary policies have not been put in place.  

Worrying approaches
Two approaches towards China are very worrying: that it is an efficient and well run state, which plays a key role in international wealth, and that it is no longer a true communist state, but has developed into a quasi capitalist government.  The first derives from wishful thinking, consequent on the fact that trade with China confers significant commercial benefits.  The second derives from wishful thinking, derived from reluctance to challenge a powerful state.  Both are false and both disable us from developing wise policies towards China.

The effficiency of tyranny
China is efficient, in the ways in which a tyranny, with powers to command, is always efficient, but this efficiency is undermined by vast corruption and by the stultification of individual enterprise.   It seeks to absorb neighbouring states and to establish dominance in commerce in vulnerable countries, for example, using bribery of corrupt national leaders to enable them to strip assets from African countries, without benefit to the local people. In advanced states, such as England, they seek to steal technical  innovation and to implant major companies into the economy. Those companies being servants of the Chinese Communist Government.  It projects the view of any given set of facts which most suits it, without regard to the truth of such projection.

U.S: Benevolence


For a century, America has been the overwhelming global power and its rule has been benevolent.  It has protected the world from Germany, twice, from Japan and from Russia, without forceful intervention in the affairs of weaker states.  There are conclusive grounds for knowing that a world in which China were the dominant power would be different and worse, in many fundamental respects.  We should take heed of these inconvenient facts and develop policies relating to China based upon them.  Feeble compliance, so far, the resort of European countries, allows China a free hand to execute its evil political purposes.  The vigil outside the Chinese Embassy, in London, reminds us of the nature of the Chinese Communist Party, even if we have forgotten Tibet and the years when Mao established absolute power and placed it in the Party’s hands.  It is a self-perpetuating machine, bereft of benevolence or political morality.

Self-protective policies
I am not suggesting that we should develop warlike policies. I am suggesting that we should develop the best self-protective policies that retain a balance with reasonable International Relations.  I would be very wary of any form of trade reliance, or vulnerability and would seek to oppose Chinese advancement, wherever we are able to do so.  

Their ways are not our ways and we should develop policies designed to protect the continuance of our ways.

John Beveridge  marham[at]   

May 2020

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A DSF speaker. Lady Olga Maitland talking to delegates. A DSF speaker
Delegates enjoying the debate. Lady Olga Maitland chatting to a delegate. Cordingley

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