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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
Defence and Security Forum's Committee -  Major General Cordingley Honourable Patrons
Major General Patrick Cordingley, our illustrious chairman
Delegates discuss the issues.


Patrick Cordingley commanded the Desert Rats, (the 7th Armoured Brigade), during the Gulf War. His huge tank formation led the British and American attack which breached the Iraqi defences in February 1991. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his bravery and leadership.

A short time later, after a brief spell setting up a combined arms training centre at Warminster, he was promoted to command the Second Division, made fup of some 50,000 regular and TA soldiers, with its headquarter in York.

In July 1996 he was appointed Military Advisor to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos of Oman. Apart from professional advice, including devising a procurement plan for all the three services, this post required considerable political acumen, sensitivity to domestic and international pressures and diplomacy.

Patrick retired from the army in September 2000 and is now chairman of a company, chairman of the trustees of two museums, governor of a manor public school, member of the Court of Ironmongers and honoury colonel of two army units. In his spare time he is undertaking a PhD entitled 'Decision Making in the Gulf Region During times of Crisis'.

In August 1996 he published In The Eye Of The Storm, his own account of leading Britain's biggest armoured deployment since D-day in 1944. It was very well received by the critics and immediately became a best seller. It spans every aspect of his responsibilities from covering the tiniest detail through to the importance of being positive and inspiring confidence.

Since the Gulf War. Patrick Cordingley has been much in demand as a speaker around the world, talking on such subjects as leadership, team-building and decision-making. In 1997 he was voted by Sema, the international software company, as one of the two best public speakers they had ever heard.




Major General Patrick Cordingley,  Chairman  Rt.Hon. 

Lord Mayhew of Twysden, Vice President (Biography)

Colonel Philip Howes, OBE, Treasurer and Trustee (Biography)

You may read the biography of the individual where 'Biography' appears. You may do this by simply clicking upon it.

Defence and Security Forum provides a permanent reminder to politicians, media and the public of the need to produce sufficient resources to ensure the defence and security of this country.

This is achieved in the first instance by debating current issues on television, radio, in the press, in university lectures and debates, conferences etc.

Defence and Security Forum organises public campaigns on major issues of the day as they did in the months leading up to the Gulf War seeking public support for the liberation of Kuwait.


The DSF has had the great privelege of granting honourable patronage to a small number of distinguished people over the years.  These people are:
  • Rt. Hon Lord Nazir Ahmed of Rotherham
  • Baroness Cox
  • Sir Ranulph Fiennes Bt
  • General Sir Michael Gow GCB
  • Rt Hon. The Earl of Lauderdale
  • Rt. Hon. Lord Lamont of Lerwick
  • Sir Alfred Sherman
  • Professor Norman Stone
  • Rt. Hon. Sir John Wheeler, JP, DL


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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