Defence and Security Forum
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 -  Col. Philip Howes, OBE Honourable Patrons
Major General Patrick Cordingley, our illustrious chairman
Delegates discuss the issues.


Colonel Philip Howes has been a member of Defence and Security Forum since 1985. He was Chairman from 1997 to 2002. Treasurer and Trustee from September 2002.

Colonel Howes was educated at Eastbourne College, and commissioned into the Royal Artillery from Sandhurst in 1956. He qualified as an Instructor-in-Gunnery in 1962 and is a graduate of The Staff College, Camberley, and the National Defence College, Latimer.

In over thirty years in the Army Colonel Howes saw active service in Cyprus, Jordan, Malaya, Northern Ireland and some Gulf States. He also served at regimental duty in England and Germany, where he was Adjutant of 24 Missile Regiment. He held senior staff appointments at Headquarters, British Army on the Rhine and in the Ministry of Defence, both on the Central Operations Staff and in the Army Department.

From 1978 to 1981 he was responsible for managing the budget for the Army’s new equipment programme and was appointed OBE for this service. During the Falklands War he was on the central planning staff and a member of the War Cabinet briefing team. At the end of that war he was promoted to head the Army Department branch responsible for planning the logistic support of all Army operations worldwide, and in this capacity devised and brought into service the seaborne logistic system which supported the Falklands garrison until the permanent build was complete.

He left the Army to market the ‘Instant Harbour’ system worldwide making successful project proposals to the US Department of Defence and the Government of Indonesia.

Since 1994 Colonel Howes has written, spoken and broadcast on related themes of Defence and Military History. In 1998 he published "The Catalytic Wars – a Study of the Development of Warfare between 1860 and 1870". He also published a series of magazine articles about the subsequent careers of the senior French commanders in the Crimean War.

In his capacity as Chairman of Defence and Security Forum he spoke in two defence debates at the Conservative Party conference, debated nuclear disarmament at both the Oxford Union and Cambridge Union, and appeared on BBC TV Newsnight, It’s Your Shout and other television and radio programmes.




Colonel Philip Howes, OBE, Treasurer and Trustee 

Rt.Hon. Lord Mayhew of Twysden, Vice President (Biography)

Major General Patrick Cordingley,  Chairman (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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