The UK Defence Forum exists to enable politicians, industrialists, members of the armed forces, academics and others with an interest in defence and security issues to exchange information and views on the future needs of Britain's defence and security.
Put at its simplest, the Forum looks at where future wars may break out or threats evolve, why, and what the UK should do about it, and how the nation and its industry would be affected. The Forum represents an opportunity for politicians, including those in Government and Opposition, to meet people from relevant diverse backgrounds and to exchange information with them and others interested in defence and security. It holds no corporate view of its own, meetings are held under the Chatham House Rule, and there is a strict "no lobbying" policy. Papers are delivered by academics, military, diplomats, politicians, civil servants or industrialists. From the point of view of politicians, they are able to obtain insights into matters of concern to them and to question a wide range of experts privately. The U K Defence Forum was urged by former Prime Minister Blair to "think the unthinkable". Some papers after moderating are placed in the public domain. Other papers are published in writing and on the website (with a general public domain release of 3 years after first publication). The website also hosts the Tim Garden Archives and EURODEFENSE UK archives. The U K Defence Forum runs an annual Tim Garden Essay Competition. The UKDF produces Defence Viewpoints, with articles, opinion pieces and news with a national and international perspective which is updated daily, and which has a comment and contribution facility. Defence Viewpoints also contains links to blogs in USA, Russia, China, India and others. It contains a feed from Twitter Defence Red Box
The UK Defence Forum meets on a regular basis in London: meetings are attended by invited politicians, academics, senior industrialists, and others. The Forum is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organisation, based in Newcastle upon Tyne. The Forum's patrons include The Rt Hon Dr David Clark, Baron Clark of Windermere, The Rt Hon Menzies Campbell CBE QC MP, The Rt Hon Tom King, Baron King of Bridgwater, and Field Marshal Charles Guthrie, Baron Guthrie of Craigiebank GCB OBE.
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