News story

National Security Strategy published

The Government has published its National Security Strategy, 'A Strong Britain in an Age of Uncertainty', today, which outlines our reappraisal of Britain's role in the world, the risks to our security and the implications for the UK.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
A member of the Armed Forces (stock image)

A member of the Armed Forces (stock image) [Picture: via MOD 2010]

Together with the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) which will be published tomorrow, the National Security Strategy (NSS) sets out our strategic choices on how to ensure the security of our country and how we need the structures in place to allow us to react quickly and effectively to new and evolving threats.

The NSS and SDSR together provide direction for national security policy, capabilities and resources for the next five years. The NSS allows Departments to prioritise their resources according to the risks set out in the document.

The NSS, which has been coordinated and developed by the Cabinet Office undertaking strategic thinking on national security issues in support of the National Security Council, sets out two high-level objectives which will guide our strategic approach overall:

  • to ensure a secure and resilient UK by protecting our people, economy, infrastructure, territory and ways of life from all major risks that can affect us directly; and
  • to shape a stable world by acting to reduce the likelihood of risks affecting the UK or British interests overseas, and applying our instruments of power and influence to shape the global environment.

The NSS decides our priorities for action, and identifies 15 priority security risks to the UK. The following Tier 1 risks are judged to be our highest priorities for UK national security:

  • terrorism;
  • cyber attack;
  • major natural hazards and accidents; and
  • international military crises.

Afghanistan will remain our top priority while British troops are deployed there.

In a written ministerial statement to Parliament announcing the publication of the National Security Strategy, the Prime Minister said today:

The United Kingdom faces a complex array of threats from a myriad of sources. The National Security Strategy describes the strategic context within which these threats arise, and how they may develop in the future.

It describes Britain’s place in the world as an open, outward-facing nation whose political, economic and cultural authority far exceeds our size. Our national interest requires our continued full and active engagement in world affairs, promoting our security, our prosperity and our values.

Our objectives are a secure and resilient United Kingdom, and shaping a stable world. In pursuit of these goals, our highest priorities are tackling terrorism, cyber security, international military crises and national disasters such as floods and pandemics.

We will draw together and use all the instruments of national power to tackle these risks, including the Armed Forces, diplomats, intelligence and development professionals, the police, the private sector and the British people themselves.

The National Security Strategy, together with the measures in the Strategic Defence and Security Review, will enable us to protect our security and advance our interest in the world.

See the full National Security Strategy document at Related Links.

Updates to this page

Published 18 October 2010