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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: Help for Heroes was founded by Bryn and Emma Parry in October 2007 out of a desire to help the wounded Servicemen and women returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. Read more...

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.

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Our Chairman, Major General Patrick Cordingley Our Keynote Topics

  • International Relations
  • Economics
  • Politics
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Forthcoming and Recent Events Previous Events

16th May 2019 H.E Alexander Yakovenko
Hosted by H.E. Dr. Alexander Yakovenko

“Unpredictable? No!  Largely predictable world”

DR. SERGEY KARAGANOV,  former Presidential Adviser to Mr Putin from 2001 - 2013, Dean of the School of World Economics and International Relations at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics,  and  Member of the OSCE High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on European Security, will argue that we live in a predictable world.

24th April 2019

Read is speech, 'Threats and Challenges in Post-Brexit Britain'.
‘The International Order Under Threat – What Next for the UK?’

Sir Mark Lyall Grant, former National Security Advisor to Prime Ministers David Cameron and Theresa May; and a former UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations, discusses the current international order and considers whether it under threat, and answers the question: What next for the UK.

17th April 2019 NATO Summit in Turkey.
Photo source: NATO
Dr. Cenguiz Ozgencil, chairman, Bosphorus Cooperation Summit. An update on President Erdogan’s programme for 2019. Turkey remains an important member of NATO, and a natural ally for the UK.

14th March 2019
Photo Source: Lukoil
Russia and the United Kingdom

H.E. Dr. Igor Ivanov,  Director LUKoil, and President Russian International Affairs Council discusses, ‘Russia and the United Kingdom in a  Changing World’. This event presents an opportunity to consider Russian-British relations in a broad international context

12th Dec. 2018 President Erdogan, Rep. of Turkey
Top Level Seminar on Turkey and its International Relationships.

President Erdogan’s Senior Foreign Policy Adviser, Professor Gulnur Aybet, Dr Claire Spencer, Senior Consulting Fellow, Middle East, at Chatham House and Professor Hasan Basri Yalcin, at Istanbul University will be addressing topical but different themes.

Lady Olga:  ”The evening promises to be stimulating, lifting the lid on where Turkey sees itself today.  The UK is a long standing ally and friend of Turkey.  We are both at the extreme ends of Europe, we share many common interests and concerns.  Professor Aybet addressed a dinner of DSF several months ago with frankness and honesty about the challenges facing Turkey.  We look forward to hearing from her again.”

31st Oct 2018 US President Donald Trumo
Source: NATO

US President Donald Trump speaking to the press.
Where does NATO stand after the Trump-Putin meeting in Helsinki? 

General Sir James Everard, KCB, CBE, NATO’s Depity Supreme Allied Commander offers his view.

President Trump was severely critical of the NATO allies and their capacity to build up forces. He has cast doubts on US commitment to Article 5, whereby an attack on one country is an attack on all. What is the nature of the Russian aggression and threat?

18th Oct. 2018 The House of Parliament
House of Lords Annual Dinner, Algerian  British Business Council.

Sponsored By RT. HON. LORD RISBY.  ‘Investment Opportunities in Algeria.’ The discussion will be led by Yassine Bouhara, Chairman, Tell Group, Investment Fund.

3rd Oct. 2018 AC Mark Rowley, QPM
Revealing Extremisim and Counter-terrorism

SIR MARK ROWLEY, QPM, former head of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism operations who took a national lead for counter terrorism reveals the fights against terrorism and extremism.

26th Sept. 2018 US President Donald Trump with NATO's General Secretary at the NATO Summit in Brussels, 2018.
Source: NATO.

NATO's General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg with US President Donald Trump at the NATO Summit in Brussels, 2018.
NATO: Decoding Trump-Putin agenda.

The Threat of Russian backlash if Finland, Sweden do decide to join NATO, and closer relations with Ukraine and Georgia could also be flash points.

 Professor of Economics, Peace Building and Security, Winchester University,  Former Senior Defence Economist to NATO reports back from Brussells to decode the the Trump-Putin agenda.

3rd July 2018 Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko Russian Perspectives

H.E. Dr Alexander Yakovenko, Ambassador of the Russian Federation, will give a briefing at the Residence of the Russian Embassy on "world events, Middle East, Turkey,
Asia, North Korea Summit , US, Europe, and the
Bilateral relationship with the UK."

15th May 2018 President Erdogan, Rep. of Turkey
Turkey Can We Have A Common Cause With President Erdogan: NATO? Regional Security?

Dr. Cenguiz Ozgencil, Chairman, Bosphorus International Co-Operation Platform think tank,has a close relationship with the Presidency and understands the dynamics which confuse so many.   He hosts a major international conference annually in Istanbul where the President and Ministers participate.

14th May 2018 President Erdogan, Rep. of Turkey
President Erdogan Of Turkey: His Policies Explained.  Who Is He Really?

Professor Gülnür Aybet, Senior Presidential Adviser to the President, frequently travels with President Erdoğan as Senior Adviser on International Affairs, and is present at key meetings with world leaders.

She will discuss openly and frankly issues of common cause with the UK -  both countries are members of NATO, both are at extreme ends of Europe and with Brexit, both outside the EU.  Regional security, including Syria and broader international relations will be discussed.

2nd May 2018 China Bridging The Divide With China - What Does The One Belt One Road Mean?

Sir Richard Heygate spent 20 years as senior partner with McKinseys. He is also founder with the late Sir Paul Judge of the 88 initiative which fosters UK China innovation sharing and technology transfers . As Adviser to the China Railway Group, he will explain how the One Belt One Road programme rolls out through the ‘Silk ‘ countries; how he has introduced the concept of sub-contracting and develop greater harmony in relations.

22nd March 2018 US President Donald Trump
Source: The White House
De-coding President Trump

After a year of turmoil, excitement and lows, what does President Trump’s leadership mean for the UK post Brexit? How will the ‘Special Relationship evolve in practical terms? How does Mr Trump see NATO’s future, and the broader international scene?

15th March 2018 British PM Theresa May meets Iranian President Rouhani.
IRAN: Has it reached a turning point?

Thirty-nine years after the Revolution - demonstrations - weeks of protests that do not go away.

International issues with the Middle East, nuclear programmes and regional relationships are concentrating the minds of the Government.

PROFESSOR NASSER HADIAN, Tehran University will unfold events. He is
close to the former President Khatami and meets regularly with the current President.

13th March 2018 South Sudan delegation at the UN SOUTH SUDAN BUSINESS COUNCIL RECEPTION

South Sudan, rich in minerals, oil and gas and agriculture is now returning to stability. Economic
regeneration has started.

Reception: Cavalry and Guards Club, 127 Piccadilly, 6.30 pm. Ticket: donation £30

RSVP Lady Olga Maitland,  who is on the Board of the South Sudan Business Council.

22nd Jan. 2018
Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Fallon MP
Source: Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Fallon's website.

Read the speech transcript here.
Has the time come to re-assess Britain’s role in the world?

Former U.K. defence secretary Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Fallon MP answers questions about whether the time is right to re-assess Britiain's role in the world.

He also responds to this question: Can we cope with the evolving threats from cyber warfare, militant jihadism and hybrid warfare waged by President Putin? To find out what he thinks. join us at this insightful event.

25th Oct. 2017 The Algerian British Business Council Algeria British Business Council Dinner

Lady Olga Maitland - Chairman, Algeria British Business Council -  will host a dinner for the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Dr Andrew Parmley, and H.E. The Minister of Finance for Algeria, M. Abderrahmane Raouya, with a high level delegation of ministry officials and representatives of the financial and commercial sector.


Inside Saudi Arabia A Crown Prince Mohammed Modernises
While Facing Down  Qatar And Yemen:
Is This Situation Tenable?

Sir William Patey, KCMG -  Former  Ambassador to Saudi Arabia - Since leaving the Foreign Office, Sir William Patey has remained in constant touch with his former domain, and has given fearless and frank assessments on developments in the region. He has questioned whether Saudi Arabia miscalculated in isolating Qatar. Will all these events cause investors to think seriously about disinvesting in the Gulf?

For more information and tickets, please contact Lady Olga Maitland:, or download the details.
12th July 2017 KCNA: Kim Jong Un Guides Test-fire of New Ground-to-Sea Cruise Rocket
Source: KCNA - North Korea's State-Owned News Agency.
North Korea Exposed: Daily Life in the Hermit Kingdom

“North Korea is a big world problem” says Trump. And with the country making Headline News every day, there has rarely been a more important time to hear the truth about this paranoid state. With the tension being ratcheted up daily, it’s now the world's most significant story; one that may affect us all. Quoting Lord Alton: Ignoring North Korea is not an option.

Speaker: Jeremy Hunter, photojournalist and former TV News and Current Affairs producer/reporter.

31st May 2017 Mount Rushmoor
Image Source: MS ClipArt
Fresh analysis after President Trump attends a Mini-Summit of NATO in Brussels the week before.

11th May 2017 The House of Parliament House Of Lords Dinner in association with Algeria British Business Council

Kindly sponsored by the Rt. Hon. Lord Lamont of Lerwick, Former Chancellor of Exchequer.

This event will discuss the Future of British Trading Relations outside the EU, The Opportunities for Algeria. A Review of the 'UK Algeria Double Taxation Convention.'  Also speaking:- H.E. The British Ambassador, Mr Andrew Noble. H.E. The Algerian Ambassador Mr. Amar Abba.

6th April 2017 SHAPE - Image courtesty of NATO
NATO Secretary General visits Headquarters of Allied Command Operations (SHAPE).
General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, KCB, OBE Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, SHAPE.

General Bradshaw made news headlines with the statement to the press warning, ‘NATO and the EU need ‘a grand strategy’ to resist Putin’. ‘Russia would remain a threat as long as President Putin holds power.’. He added there would be catastrophic consequences if the west lost coherence in its response ‘to a competitor that has his hands on all levers of power.’

5th April 2017 Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko
Debrief: H.E. The Russian Ambassador, Mr. Alexander Yakovenko kindly host an insightful  debriefing following the meeting in Moscow between the Foreign Minister, Mr Sergey Lavrov and the Foreign Secretary, Mr Boris Johnson. The topics to be addressed will embrace Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, Crimea, Libya, Baltic states, NATO, US relations.

Lady Olga: ‘This is a unique opportunity to hear first hand the Russian perspective on global events.’

9th March 2017 Press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg following the meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of Defence Ministers. Photo Source:

Press conference by NATO Secretary General
Jens Stoltenberg following the meeting of the
North Atlantic Council at the level of Defence Ministers.
Prof. Adrian Kendry - Is NATO fit for Purpose?

Professor Kendry was a former Senior Defence Economist and Adviser to the Secretary General of NATO. He will examine the degree NATO countries can rise to the challenge posed by President Trump in raising their defence spending to 2% of GDP.  He will also look at the threats from Russia and the level of capability for NATO to respond.

22nd Feb. 2017 South Sudan delegation at the UN Reception hosted by the South Sudan Business Council.  

Lady Olga Maitland is a Board Member of the South Sudan Business Council.  South Sudan is finding its feet after an unsettled period. Now looking at investment opportunities and creating a better understanding of the environment through close ties with the local political and business community.

23rd Nov. 2016
NATO Secretary General
NATO Secretary General -
Source: NATO

Strategy and capability of British armed forces. The realities of a changing world, new working partnerships and relationships with overseas engagements i.e. Syria, Iraq, Libya etc. British forces will need flexibility and be relevant to new threats from wherever they come. Britain’s role in NATO as it reshapes to new demands.

16th Nov. 2016 Map of China H.E. The Chinese Amassador, Liu Xiaoming

China today is a super power. It is to be hoped an important trading partner, especially post Brexit, both in the UK and in China with major investments. It is also a considerable military power. Sir Mark Lyall Grant, the Prime Minister’s National Security Advisor co-chaired the first China-UK High Level Security Dialogue in Beijing in June 2016, the purpose to demonstrate the significance of bilateral security co-operation. These issues will be addressed in full.

1st Nov. 2016 Palace of Westminster ‘Broken Vows: Tony Blair, Tragedy of Power’ withTom Bower, Author

This powerful analysis of just how Britain was drawn into the Iraq war and Tony Blair’s style of government. It fills the gaps that the Chilcot Report does not address. A key issue was the lack of military preparedness and support. As this is critical to future UK overseas engagements there will be many conclusions to draw.

17th Oct. 2016
Dubai Museum: There is always room to learn.
Like a museum, crises offer an opportunity to learn.
Lesssons Learnt From The Middle East Crisis

RT. HON. LORD LOTHIAN, formerly Michael Ancram MP, Chairman of Global Strategy Forum, former Shadow Foreign Affairs minister, Minister of State, Northern Ireland. As the Alliance grapples with Iraq and Syria, Lord Lothian will examine the mistakes of the past and the lessons learnt especially from the Chilcot report.

Responding: Mr Alastair Crooke, CMG.

5th Oct. 2016 Flag of the Russian Federation Russia – Implications for UK Defence and Security’

RT. HON. DR. JULIAN LEWIS, MP, Chairman House of Commons Defence Select Committee on Select Committee Reports, ‘ Russia – Implications for UK Defence and Security’ and ‘NATO Warsaw Summit – Chilcot Report implications.’

11th July 2016 Turkish Flag Turkey On The Edge Of Syria's Storm?

Speaker: Deputy Head of Mission, Mr Cem Isik.

Moderator: Mehmet Ogatcu, Global Resources Partnership.

Response : Mr Michael Stephen, former Member of Parliament, and legal adviser to three Turkish ambassadors to London.

Turkey has received over 2m refugees from Syria. It is challenged by the volatile events in Syria, would like to see President Assad removed, and is faced with upheavals from the Kurdish community. Turkey will be part of the final solution. How does the country see the way forward?

14th June 2016
UN - Syria
Photo Courtesy of the United Nations
Lessons Learnt From Middle East Crisis

Rt. Hon. Lord Lothian, formerly Michael Ancram, MP, a former minister with several major portfolios was Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister whilst in Opposition, becoming also the Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party. As the Alliance wrestles with issues on Iraq and Syria, Lord Lothian will examine the mistakes of the past and how we might go forward.

5th May 2016
Source: NATO
Can NATO Adapt To Changing Russian Threats?

Speakers: Professor Christopher Coker, London School of Economics, Professor of International Relations.

Professor Coker is an acknowledged authority on Russian strategy, speaking at conferences all over the world for his understanding of the changing face of Russia.

19th April 2016 Image sourced via Microsoft Online Services
EU Referendum ‘Vote Out’

Rt. Hon. Liam Fox, MP, former Minister of Defence.’I vote to leave’.
‘The sight of David Cameron taking the political ‘begging bowl’ around Europe to secure only minor reforms should be enough to persuade people to back Brexit.’

Mr Green will be supported by a leading businessman, to be confirmed.

23rd March 2016 Image sourced via Microsoft Online Services EU Referendum: Vote In

Rt. Hon. Damian Green, MP, former Home Office and Justice Minister.

Rt. Hon. Damian Green, MP, today a leading figure in the ‘Britain Stronger in Europe’ group. This is backed by former Prime Minister Sir John Major, who says that within the EU Britain is stronger , safer and better off, and Lord Rose, former Chairman of Marks and Spencer now with Ocado, who says, ‘wanting reform is not the same as wanting to leave.’
Mr Green will be supported by a leading businessman, to be confirmed.

1st Dec.  2015
Tonias Elwood MP
About Tobias Elwood MP
Middle East Crisis

The New Risks and Impacts:Can there be  common agreement with the Russians?

Speaker: Tobias Ellwood, MP
Under Secretary of State Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Sir William Patey
Former UK Ambassador to Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

8th Oct 2015 ABBC Lady Olga Maitland
Invites you to the Partnership with Algeria’ Conference, hosted by CharlesRussell Speechlys.

Algeria is a natural place for investment. Politically stable with a steady growth rate of 4%. Coming to London will be a group of 40 of Algeria’s leading companies, their Chairmen and CEO's who will explain how they view the forthcoming years as a time of huge opportunity.

Find out more about the conference agenda here...
7th July 2015 Iranian flag Iran – Rendez-vous with Opportunities and Challenges: Prepare for Business Post-Sanctions

An evening with Ali Borhani
Founder and CEO of

Iranian born Ali Borhani has a wealth of experience in assisting companies entering Iran. Ali will explain how the Iranian market is going to open up post sanctions, and how companies can be best prepared for this promising and untapped market.

27th May 2015 For a photo of the ambassador, please see:

Revealing ‘New World Realities’

The last year has had a tumultuous effect on relationships between the Europe, the US and Russia.  

Has the time now come for a fresh start? Russian Ambassador H.E Alexander Yakovenko reveals his views.

30th April 2015 A DSF debate Have we reached a cross roads on nuclear issues?
Is a breakthrough possible?

Rt. Hon. Lord Lamont of Lerwick,
Chairman, Iran British Chamber of Commerce and a former Chancellor of Exchequer, discusses whether a breakthrough agreement on Iran's nuclear can be achieved.

A response is given by Dr. Salman Safavi, Director Adviser to President Hassan Rouhani of Iran and brother of General  Rahim Safavi, the former IRGC Commander and Supreme Leader’s Military Advisor.

24th March 2015 Soliders: Photo with thanks to the MOD.Photo: Courtesy of the MOD Chief Of General Staff - Ministry of Defence

The Changing Face Of The British Armed Forces

Yesterday's campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan: Today the UK is an active partner in the US military offensive in Iraq.

Where will we be tomorrow?

General Carter has a reputation for plain speaking - and standing up for a modern armed force capable of dealing with today’s threats. Are we prepared and capable of responding to a crisis? As tensions rise not only in the Middle East, but also Ukraine, with an increasingly assertive Russia, what role can we be expected to play with today’s much reduced armed forces.

Algerian British Business Council UK-Algerian Investment Forum

Lady Olga Maitland, as Chairman of the Algeria British Business Council is working closely with the organisers, DMA, Developing Markets Associates to mount the First Ever major Algerian event at top level to take place in the City of London.

The visit by the Algerian Prime Minister, M. Sellal will also include talks with the Prime Minister, David Cameron at Downing Street, and the Official Signing of the Double Taxation Agreement. This has come at an opportune time with rapidly developing trade and investment relations, and excellent dialogue between the UK and Algerian governments.

China China Today – Its role in the Region China’s Development in Commerce.

Speaker: MARTIN BARROW, CBE: Non-Executive Director Matheson & Co.; Former Chairman of Jardine Matheson (China) & has spent over 40 years in East Asia Non-Executive Director China British Business Council.

Mohamed Ali Alhakim, Permanent Representative of Iraq to the UN, speaks to journalists, following the Security Council meeting
Photo Courtesy of the United Nations

Is There A Global Solution To The Fire In The Middle East?

Lord Malloch-Brown will address the issue of the raging conflicts in the Middle East – every day more complex and threatening for the entire region. The rapid rise of ISIS has confounded the experts... Is there indeed a role for outside nations to help quench the fire?

Lord Richards, familiarly known as General Richards in his role as Chief of Defence Staff will give his own analysis from a military perspective. Should there be a role for international forces?

H.E. Radoslaw Sikorski - Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs ‘Why Poland Wants the UK to remain in the EU’

H.E Radoslaw Sikorski's
keynote address discusses the reasons why Poland wants the UK to remain part of the European Union.

A response will be given by Mr Nirj Deva, MEP Conservative, South East England.

Photo source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Poland.

Syria: Report on ‘Industrial Scale’ killing of detainees

Sir Desmond de Silva, QC  - the former prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone - led an investigation of international lawyers into the evidence of ‘systemic killing’ of 11,000 detainees by Bashar Al Assad’s security forces.

These came to light through a cache of evidence smuggled out of the country. Most of the victims were emaciated, bloodstained and bore signs of torture. 

Sir Desmond will talk through his findings and report back on the outcome of the Report at the Geneva Peace Conference.

Hostage - MSClip Art HOSTAGE!

PETER SHAW, a banker with Standard Chartered Bank, was brutally kidnapped in the Georgian city of Tblisi. He will give a harrowing account of five months pushed into a dark hole underground in freezing conditions.
 Cramped, cold, wet and isolated, how did he cope with the mental and physical pressures while a demand of $2m was being made as ransom?

Anglo-Jordanian Society The Anglo-Jordanian Society Biennial Supper

Lady Olga Maitland, chairman of the Anglo Jordanian Society thought you might be interested in attending this event which will be addressed by both the Duke of Kent and Prince Hassan. This will be a memorable evening in tremendous surroundings.

"We shall remember them!" THE REAL STORY TOLD of WWI: The Shooting Of The Archduke...

Sir Gavyn Arthur, a former Lord Mayor of London, has made a ten year study about the role of the sinister Black Hand in the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, the brutal dress rehearsal regicide 11 years before in Belgrade, the love affair between the Archduke and his wife, and all the factors which combined that June day to create the tragedy: the security failures, the forgetful Chief of Police, the gearbox that jammed and the patisserie that ran out of cakes...

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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