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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.

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Our Keynote Topics

  • International Relations
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  • Defence and Security

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The DSF On Twitter

Defence and Security Forum Ltd., is an independent, self-financing organisation keeping you informed on Defence and Foreign Affairs. When the pandemic is over, the DSF will organise seminars, suppers at exclusive venues, and special outings.

The Defence and Security Forum has a new Twitter account: @dsf_forum. To follow the latest discussions and updates, go to

Watch Lady Olga Maitland's interview with GB News, Wednesday 18th August 2021, on the ‘Plight of Women in Afghanistan’.

What Are The Options for Afghanistan?

Defence And Security Forum Dinner In Association With Afghan Democratic Peace And Prosperity Council

Join the DSF on 1st December 2021 at the Army and Navy Club in London to discuss the future of Afghanistan.

Protecting Nations: A Speech by Lady Olga Maitland

Businesses have every right and expectation that while they have individual responsibility to protect their enterprise, there is one body above, who have a duty of care for the safety of a nation against cyber-attacks, and this in particular applies to the military. A country that is safe and at peace from any form of attack will naturally prosper.

The DSF Returns With A New Event

‘NATO: 20TH Century Relic or Credible 21 Century Strategic Actor?’

Sir David Logan, KCMG, former Ambassador to Turkey, discusses the relevance of NATO in the 21st Century. Lady Olga Maitland says, ‘The Address by Sir James could not be more timely post-Afghanistan, and the painful lessons learnt.   Sir James is still working closely with NATO forces and will give a realistic insight on how the NATO Alliance might move forward.’

DSF Lockdown News

Due to the coronavirus lockdown, DSF has now postponed the Summer programme to the Autumn with some additions included. A new agenda will be circulated. Meanwhile, geopolitical issues do continue and should be monitored. Stay safe, stay connected.

Algeria and the UK: Current and Post-COVID-19 Trade and Investment

DMA, in partnership with the Algerian British Business Council (ABBC) is delighted to invite you to the virtual event, ‘Algeria and the UK: Current and Post-COVID-19 Trade and Investment.’ on 30th September from 11:00-12:30 BST. 

Free to attend, please REGISTER HERE, where you can submit any questions you would like our speakers to address prior to the event.


Asia Scotland Institute Update: COVID-19 'Resurgence'?

The Asia Scotland Institute says Europe is expecting a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. It also reports on the UAE and Bahrain being the 3rd and 4th Arab countries to create diplomatic relations with Israel. The institute also offers some insights into its recent webinars. Learn more, click here.

Update from the Capitals by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox provides a compendium of news from the capitals of Europe. Belgian authorities call for EU-wide travel risk assessment system. The differences in the colour-coded risk systems between Belgium and France are “extremely confusing”, governor of the West Flemish province, Carl Decaluwé, has warned and urged EU countries to coordinate. Discover more.

JapanUK and Japan Agree a New Free Trade Deal

The UK and Japan have agreed a new free trade deal. Hopefully, this is the first of other FTAs to be put in place at the end of the Brexit transition period. The government estimates, the agreement will boost trade with Japan by over £15 billion. Discover the latest updates from the Asia Scotland Institute.


European Leadership Network: The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

Since nuclear weapons testing began on 16th July 1945, over 2,000 have taken place. Today is the United Nations International Day against Nuclear Tests (IDANT), designed to raise awareness of the devastating humanitarian, environmental and geostrategic impact of nuclear weapons testing. To mark the day, we explore current issues around the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), the treaty designed to end nuclear testing for good. Find out if the door is closed on nuclear testing...

As Its Problems With Turkey Grow, Russia Compensates Through Iran

The notion that the Trump administration is distracted is wrong, given the flurry of activity in the region - writes Raghida Dergham in The National, published on 30th August 2020.  Discover why, read her article.
Webinar: ‘Algeria and the UK: Current and Post-COVID Trade and Investment'

DMA, in partnership with the Algerian British Business Council (ABBC) is delighted to invite you to the virtual event, ‘Algeria and the UK: Current and Post-COVID Trade and Investment,’ on 30th September from 11:00-12:30 BST. Find out more...

Hands up?Petition: Set Up a New, Open, Way to Investigate the Conduct of Special Political Advisers

General Sir Stewart Eldon, KCMG, OBE, former UK Representative at NATO, writes: "Past investigations of complaints about Special Political Advisers have not responded directly to public concern, are seen not to have been transparent and have damaged trust in many UK Administrations of different political hues. The Committee on Standards in Public Life should be given the job."

Click for more details and to sign the petition...

Send the DSF Your Points of View

In the absence of the regular DSF Programme, DSF will hold a dialogue on current events. Please do tell us your thinking, either in a paper or a personal point of view. We welcome your views

Asia Scotland Institute Webinar: Lalage Snow - A Journey Through Conflict In Search Of Calm - 6th October 2020 at 4pm BST

Award-winning freelance journalist, Lalage Snow will take us on a tragic and beautiful journey through the world's darkest places. Learn why she wants to give people a voice.

Will Iran succeed in completely taking over Lebanon?

Iranian flagRaghida Dergham explores in her article for The National why the 'country finds itself at a dangerous crossroads, as regional powers jockey for influence in West Asia.'  

The Trump administration  is allegedly pre-occupied with the forthcoming US Presidential Elections, and the Russians are convinced that Hezbollah are "the sole guarantor of Lebanon’s stability, independence, and sovereignty, and the only saviour of Lebanon." So, does this mean Iran will take over Lebanon?  
Find the answers in Dergham's article.
Syria: The Deadliest Place to be an Aid Worker?

Caabu's News Digest - According to Care International and data from the Aid Worker Security Database, Syria is the deadliest place to be an aid worker after 2020 saw a 30% global rise in attacks on humanitarian workers. Since January, there has been a total of 74 fatalities, with Syria accounting for more than a quarter of the deaths.

Jordan has arrested 1,000 teachers in a crackdown on the Jordan Teachers' Syndicate union. The initial euphoria at the agreement to establish diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates wore off yesterday after it was claimed the Gulf state was close to signing a deal for US F-35 stealth fighter jets.

Council for Arab-British Understanding Newsletter, 19th August 2020

In Caabu's news digest:

Lebanon's prime minister Hassan Diab is due to notify president Michel Auon of his resignation, after a third of ministers quit their posts in the wake of the Beirut explosion. Discover why...

Beirut protesters push ruling coalitio
n to brink of collapse.

Macron casts himself as the man to rebuild Lebanon, but is he?

The 'real story' behind the recent refugee arrivals in the UK.

'Nobody knew about PTSD': the survivors of a 'friendly fire' attack 17 years on. What has changed?

Discover more news stories, principally about Lebanon in this news digest by the Council for Arab-British Understanding.

Asia Scotland Institute: Schools, Brexit and COVID Pandemic

White HouseThe Asia Scotland Institute discusses in this week's newsletter, 23rd August 2020, the UK's school and college examination results; the COVID-19 backlash against China, led by the US, with a new United States intellgience report finding that many local offiicals in Wuhan and Hobei were in the dark, leading to calls for the prevention of a new 'cold war' between the two countries.

The fortunes of Apple are great, reaching a valuation of $2trn, but this comes against the backdrop of rising unemployment and with other business sectors struggling with the recession.
  Learn more, including about the Institute's forthcoming events and webinars...

Commonwealth Business News Update - via DSF on 14th August 2020

VirusCOVID-19: Thousands of demonstrators marched through downtown Montreal on Saturday to protest against the Quebec government’s mandatory mask regulations.

Belarus election: Clashes after poll predicts Lukashenko re-election.

COVID-19: RBA highlights risk of deeper coronavirus recession, but the Government can avert it.
The Guardian: 'Global Power Games Could Blow the Whole Middle East Apart'

Simon Tisdall, writing for the UK's The Guardian newspaper, discusses why 'the huge explosion that destroyed much of central Beirut is a daunting metaphor for the perils facing failing Middle East states.' He argues that the region has often been cited as being unstable, and so following the explosion in Beirut questions are being raised about how many shocks fragile countries within the Middle East can take before they literally fracture, crash and blast apart.

He therefore ponders whether the region is about to explode. Explore his article to find out what might just happen next.

Africa: Video on Access to Capital
Opened by the Under Secretary of State for the FCO and DfID, Access to Capital will focus on finance for business and alternatives to traditional funding in both public and private markets. 

The speakers for the event, brought to you by DMA and our media partner, the Wall Street Journal, was held on 23rd July 2020, are: the former head of emerging markets at HSBC as the event’s chair; the private equity firm SkyBound Capital; the diaspora investment advisory platform Homestrings and UK Export Finance. Learn how to access capital in Africa.

Asia Scotland COVID Update: 'New surge' in COVID Cases

Lab TechnicianEurope is experiencing a new surge in COVID cases, but it seems driven by lax social distancing mostly among young people and so fewer people are dying according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. To control this surge, countries are enacting new travel restrictions, indeed the author of this update faces isolation on return from France next week.  An Imperial College London study this week concluded 3.4 M people in England have had COVID, a figure more than ten times the official count. Learn more...

Overcoming Disunity: Reinvigorating the P5 Process a Decade On.

This new report from the European Leadership Network (ELN) is the product of a ten-month-long effort to explore common ground among the five nuclear-weapon states (NWS) parties to the NPT. Over ten months, ELN researchers conducted interviews with more than 60 officials and experts from all five NWS and some non-nuclear-weapon states (NNWS).  

The report, by ELN Policy Fellow Dr Maximilian Hoell and ELN Research Director Andreas Persbo, offers practical recommendations for the P5 states to reduce nuclear risks...
Read the report.
COVID Update from the Asia Scotland Institute

"More than 18.5 million globally have contracted COVID-19 and more than 700,000 people have died. Latin America overtook Europe as the region with the most deaths, accounting for about 30% of total global deaths. The BBC Persian service reported 42,000 people had died with Covid-19 in Iran compared with the government’s official death toll of 14,405. Victoria & Melbourne in Australia are under lockdown for a second time, Cases in Japan are also on the increase and spikes are occurring in Europe."

Asia Scotland Institute Webinar: The International Rescue Committee

Join us to listen to David Miliband, President & Chief Executive Officer, International Rescue Committee, on 17 September 2020 at 1.30pm BST. David Miliband will explain the organisation’s function as an ‘agent of change’.

...promoting Survival, Protection, Recovery & Renewal. This will be followed by a question and answer session. Book your seat today.

New Policy Brief from the European Leadership Network (ELN)

Belarus goes to the polls on 9th August 2020 in one of the most turbulent election cycle in decades. While protests have captured media imagination, little attention has been paid to what comes next or to the potentially serious consequences for European security. Join the ELN to discuss the implications for Russia and for the West.

Asia Scotland Institute's Week in Review

Great Wall of ChinaCoronavirus COVID-19 is spiking in East Asia again, including in places that seemed to have successfully contained the virus. China announced today that it has quarantined 18,000 people in the north western region Xinjiang.

Vietnam is containing a big outbreak by banning large public gatherings and nonessential services.  Japan reported over 1,000 daily cases for the first time this week. In Africa, the total number of COVID cases has doubled over the last 25 days and in the US they have now had more than 4.4 million coronavirus cases and more than 150,000 people have died.

A Personal Letter: Explosion in Beirut

Raghida Dergham, founder of Beirut Institute  had her life shattered with the destruction of her own home on 4th August 2020. Discover find why she's lost faith in the Lebanese Government, but not in Beirutis.

Beirut Institute Summit e-Policy Circle 12  - 29th July 2020

Rt. Hon. Jack StrawThe 13th and final session of the Spring-Summer season of Beirut Institute Summit e-Policy Circles at 2 PM -GMT.  Our esteemed guests for e-Policy Circle 13 are HE Lakhdar Brahimi, HE Zalmay Khalilzad, HE Thomas Pickering and Rt. Hon. Jack Straw.

This Session will be hosted by Raghida Dergham. As a run-up to Beirut Institute Summit in Abu Dhabi Edition IV in March 2021, the e-Policy Circles will be under the same theme of the summit: Stability Redefined.

Iran Records Highest COVID-19 Deaths in 24 Hour Period

Iranian flagIran has recorded its highest number of deaths from COVID-19 within a 24-hour period, pointing to a resurgence of the virus while its healthcare system tries to cope under US “maximum pressure”. Dr. Roxane Farmanfarmaian of the University of Cambridge wrote her reflections on the current situation in a new commentary for the ELN, entitled "Iran, sanctions, and the COVID-19 pandemic".

Read more updates from the European Leadership Network (ELN) in its 29th July 2020 discussion paper.  

Beirut Institute Summit e-Policy Circle 12  - 22nd July 2020

Dr. Abelaziz Sager - Founder and Chairman of the Gulf Research Center, and President of the Sager Group Holding in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.As a run-up to Beirut Institute Summit in Abu Dhabi Edition IV in March 2021, the e-Policy Circles will be under the same theme of the summit: Stability Redefined.  

The speakers are revealed, and you can book your place in this Zoom conference today...

ABBC Webinar: H.E. British Ambassadorial Round Table

Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 2pm (BST) - The Algeria British Business Council (ABBC) is pleased to host an Ambassadorial Webinar with H.E Barry Lowen, British Ambassador to Algeria, who will be speaking about Algeria’s economic environment and the emerging opportunities for UK-Algerian bilateral trade.

Opening remarks by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Trade Envoy to Algeria, Rt Hon. Lord Risby of Haverhill. The discussion will be moderated by Lady Olga Maitland, Chairman of the ABBC. There will be participation from members of the Board and Advisory Council lead by Mr Yassine Bouhara, Tell Group.
Reserve your seat, join us to strengthen cooperation between the two countries at this critical time.

Afghanistan: The Use of Force

Major CordingleyTranscript of a speech by Major General Patrick Cordingley, DSO OBE, DSC, FRGS - July 2020, in which he discusses the effectiveness of the use of force in war - citing Afghanistan as an example.
Beirut Institute Summit e-Policy Circle 11  - 15th July 2020

Lady Olga MaitlandLady Olga Maitland joins a prestigious panel of experts to  discuss whether an Iran-China Pact could be nore symbollic than strategic., and other geo-political issues - including threats to international and national security.

Dr Irina Zvyagelskaya, who heads the Centre of the Middle East Studies at the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations in Russia, and a speaker at the Summit, told The National newspaper, that it "points to Beijing's increasing confidence while facing up to Washington. “I believe that China can really outlive any sanctions nowadays. It doesn't need Russia even, it can do it alone."

Indonesia - COVID, the Economy & Trade and Regional Relations

Digital economyThe Asia Scotland panel discusses Indonesia:
  • How Indonesia has effectively managed the Covid 19 pandemic; Indonesia's economy and how its Government sees the future post this pandemic; the country's position in Asia and its international relations with its neighbours, especially China;  and the opportunities for investment and trade with the UK and of course Scotland.
Register to join this webinar on Eventbrite, to be held on 16th July 2020 at 10 am BST.

China: Stability Re-defined. Lady Olga Maitland: Beirut Institute Webinar, 15th July 2020

Chinese ambassadorLady Olga Mailtand explains why China is the elephant in the room in her opening remarks for the Beirut Institute's webinar on relations with the country.

Webinar, 21st July 2020 - Addressing US- European differences to better respond to China

An Asia-Scotland webinar: "China’s party-state has become considerably more assertive...these trends have significantly altered American and European perceptions of', and interactions with, China."

India–China Clashes: Escalation Along the Line of Actual Control

A webinar, held on 3rd July 2020 in association with the Asia Scotland Institute, about Indo-Chinese relations, and worryingly it appears that the infractions between them could increasingly likely that it could escalate into conflict with significant wider implications for geopolitics in Asia.

View the YouTube footage of the webinar.
New report: The P5 Process: Opportunities for Success in the NPT Review Conference

Over the past ten months, the European Leadership Network (ELN) and King’s College London (KCL) conducted a project to investigate the challenges and opportunities for the P5 process. It was successful in encouraging further transparency within the P5 process among the P5 states and to the wider NPT community, including through leading a civil society event as part of the official P5 meeting in London in February 2020.

This joint report offers practical recommendations for the P5 in advance of the NPT’s quintennial Review Conference (RevCon)...The Defence and Security Forum therefore invites you to learn more about this report.

CordingleyCovid-19 v Nuclear War: Major General Patrick Cordingley, DSO OBE

Major General Patrick Cordingley, DSO OBE says a nuclear war would be worse than the current coronavirus pandemic, exploring whether a nuclear deterrent is still needed today.

Have his opinions changed? Find out, read his speech...

European Leadership Network News, Circa 22nd July 2020:  The 75th anniversary of the first nuclear test explosion, Trinity, carried out by the United States on 16 July 1945.
DSF Discussion on Hong Kong and the Encroachment of China

Amongst the articles highlighted is a piece by the Epoch Times, claiming that China is ramping up its influence operations on Twitter. It is also reported that the social media site has closed more than "170,000 accounts linked to the CCP. Concerns are also being raised about Beijing's National Security Law.

Asia Scotland Update: Hong Kong and the Tech Companies' Response.

Asia Scotland Update on the New Security Law, 5th July 2020.

Web Event: 'Stability Re-defined'

Join the Beirut Insitute for it's e-Policy Circle 8 on Wednesday, 24th June 2020, to discuss how stability is being redefined.

Watch the YouTube video of e-Policy Circle 7...

DSF Discussion Paper
- European Leadership Network newsletter, 17th June 2020. Ahead of the NPT Review Conference, this series of commentaries from the ELN explores expert national viewpoints from the five nuclear-weapon states. This comes in advance of the release of two major ELN research papers on the P5 Process.
Covid-19: Asia Scotland Institute Newsletter, 21st June 2020

As many countries around the world begin to relax lockdown measures, experts have discovered the low-dose steroid treatment dexamethasone cuts the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators. But despite this good news, seventy-seven nations have seen a growth in new cases, with notable outbreaks in Latin America, Africa, South Asia and the US.

What will be the result of lockdown easing? Discover the Institute's thoughts on the possible outcomes. 

Lockdown emergence: Asia Scotland Institute News, 14th June 2020

This week, as the world exceeded seven million coronavirus cases, countries are considering when to come out of lockdown. India has more new daily virus infections than all but the US & Brazil, but they are ending their lockdown as they, like other developing countries are concerned that the economic catastrophe for their poorest citizens imposed by lockdown is greater than the health risk...

Virus MS ClipArtCoronavirus Pandemic, Revealing the True Colours of Nations

In just a few months, the world has changed almost beyond recognition. The Coronavirus pandemic has revealed the true colors of nations and peoples. It has changed how lives and businesses can be conducted. It has intensified an epochal contest for global power...Learn more in this DSF Discussion Paper from Andrew Leung's Quarterly Newsletter of 19th June 2020...

The Post-Covid-19 Sino-American Duopoly

Dr. Arslan Chikhaoui, Executive Chairman of the Consultancy and Studies Center, NSVDr. Arslan Chikhaoui, Executive Chairman of the Consultancy and Studies Center, NSV, discusses Sino-American relations and how China can emerge from the pandemic as a winner in the race to find a vaccine. Find out how, read his article to uncover his thoughts.
Coronavirus Pandemic: the Common Reaction

The primary feature of the Coronavirus pandemic is the common reaction of every nation, wherever situated geographically, politically, religiously, or commercially, provoked by the threat posed. This is the first instance of such a dramatic universal stance to any problem...John Beveridge continues by exploring the common interests of humanity.

What Does Cyber-Arms Control Look Like? What Are the Four Principles for Managing Cyber-risk?

In this policy brief for the European Leadership Network, Dr Andrew Futter, Associate Professor of International Politics at the University of Leicester and alumni member of the Younger Generation Leadership Network (YGLN), sets out a number of key criteria that we need to consider in future “cyber-arms control”.

The New Normal – the Demise of Oil-dependent Politics

"As other world powers industrialised, they too followed the practice of oil-dependent politics. From this moment, before the First World War, until COVID struck in December 2019, oil has dominated global politics." So why is oil-dependent politics in demise? Paul Beaver responds.
Under the Shroud of Pandemic: Governments Tighten the Noose

Chess - MSClipArtTwo months ago Alexander Lukashenko, the dean of the post-Soviet dictators, stood in a peaked cap of cartoon proportions and told the Belarussian people that vodka and trips to the sauna would see them through Covid-19.

This attitude has been aped by other authoritarian leaders, choosing to downplay virus or even downright deny its existence, rather than having the shortcomings of their states exposed. Though the crisis has given rogue regimes the opportunity to implement strict security measures without the interference of the international community, it has also been unforgiving in highlighting the shortcomings of dictatorial government.

Asia Scotland Institute Webinars

Event update, 1st September 2020: The Asia Scotland Institute have recently confirmed several new online webinars for Septemeber and October that may be of interest to you. We're looking forward to hosting:

Webinar: Alvin Yeung, Leader of the Civic Party and Dennis Kwok, Member of the Legislative Council, discuss the current situation in Hong Kong - 23rd June 2020, 10 am BST. Book on Eventbrite.

Webinar, 21st July 2020 - Addressing US- European differences to better respond to China

An Asia-Scotland webinar: "China’s party-state has become considerably more assertive...these trends have significantly altered American and European perceptions of', and interactions with, China."

Indonesia - COVID, the Economy & Trade and Regional Relations

16th July 2020 - The Asia Scotland panel discusses how Indonesia has effectively managed the Covid 19 pandemic.

India–China Clashes: Escalation Along the Line of Actual Control

A webinar, held on 3rd July 2020
 in association with the Asia Scotland Institute, about Indo-Chinese relations, and worryingly it appears that the infractions between them could increasingly likely that it could escalate into conflict with significant wider implications for geopolitics in Asia.
View the YouTube footage of the webinar.

An Asia-Scotland webinar: "China’s party-state has become considerably more assertive...these trends have significantly altered American and European perceptions of', and interactions with, China."

Webinar, 10th June 2020: Moral Leadership in a Time of Uncertainty: Conversation with Jacqueline Novogratz

Coronavirus: Indian industry and business

The Asia Scotland Institute was delighted to speak with Mr Vikram S Kirloskar, the President of the Confederation of Indian Industry recently.  Mr Kirloskar is also Chairman and MD of Kirloskar Systems Ltd and Vice Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor. He has vast experience of business in India in a variety of sectors and the CII is hugely influential in advising the Indian Government. He speaks frankly on a wide range of contemporary issues affecting Indian industry and business as the country emerges from the Coronavirus crisis.

Newsletters and Updates from the Asia Scotland Institute


Asia Scotland Update: Australia Falls into Recession for the First Time in Almost 30 Years, 6th September 2020.

Asia Scotland Update:
From COVID-19 to Trump's Nomination for Republican Party's U.S. Presidential Candidate, 30th August 2020.

Asia Scotland Update: From Schools to COVID, 23rd August 2020.

Asia Scotland COVID Update: 'New surge' in COVID Cases,
16th August 2020.

Beirut Explosion: An update from the Asia Scotland Institute,
9th August 2020.

The Future of Handshakes and Sino-American Relations,
an update from the Asia Scotland Institute - 26th July 2020.

British Government U-Turns on Huawei,
Asia Scotland Institute Update, 19th July 2020.

News from the Asia Scotland Institute,
7th July 2020.

Asia Scotland Institute News Update,
28th June 2020.

Covid-19: Asia Scotland Institute Newsletter, 21st June 2020.

Videocasts and articles
from Asia Scotland Institute, 15th June 2020.

Lockdown emergence: Asia Scotland Institute News, 14th June 2020: Will there be a second wave of Covid-19?

Update of the 31st May 2020:
"It has been an eventful week with some worrying geopolitical developments and continuing concerns about Coronavirus", says the institute's director Doug Cook.

The Unreal Dichotomy in COVID-19 Mortality

Low-income and lower-middle income countries (LICs and LMICs) account for almost half of the global population, but they make up only 2 percent of the current global death toll attributed to COVID-19. But will the burden of COVID-19 mortality shift to the developing world? This Mckinsey article analyses the data.  Sourced from the Asia Scotland Institute.

THE NEW NORMAL WORLD – China and a Call for a National Debate On Britain's Place in the World

Ambassador Liu XiaomingThe fundamental issue with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is that it is a totalitarian state with all the issues that raises for the Western democracies. The dilemma is that we need the PRC as a trading and investment partner, but we are wary of the security issues which these opportunities will bring", writes Paul Beaver. So where does this leave Britain?

Read his article to find out.

Future UK Economic Relations with China: A Response to DSF Questions - addressing questions about future trade relations with China.

The End of the Brexit Nightmare or More Problems at the end of the Four-Year Dream?

UK-EU flagsThe end will be 31st December 2020, for good or ill.  You could say, "thank God for the coronavirus as it has distracted both the government and the people, with due cause. It has also thrown the Brexit debate off the wires. Many would say, no bad thing. A fatigue factor of yah-boo exchanges has not been enlightening",says Lady Olga Maitland in her speech for 13th Annual Nordic Summit IT-Security-GRC.

Paper on Controlled Infection To Exit Covid-19 Lockdown: A First Utilitarian Analysis

"The UK-wide lockdown to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. The government could offer the opportunity for healthy people to choose to be immediately infected with COVID-19 in a controlled way and then confined to their homes until they are no longer infectious. They would then be able to resume something closer to normal life, once sufficient numbers were immune and the government allowed it.

We show here that this option could be attractive to many, with an overall net benefit for a representative young, healthy person of 0.34 to 0.71 Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY). The parameters with the greatest influence on this net benefit are identified", writes Dr. Chris Hope. Uncover his view on how the UK can exit the Covid-19 lockdown.  

Published by Cambridge Judge Business School, 2020.

Asia Scotland Institute's Recent Webcasts and Articles

The Institute has conducted a series of webcast recently, if you missed them the details are here:

Asia Scotland Institute Vidcast with Shoshana Stewart, CEO Turquoise Mountain: A "Remarkable Story"

In this videocast, Sir Daniel Alexander will talk about the role of the AIIB in the context of COVID-19.

The Edinburgh Tattoo Explored with Brigadier David Allfrey, Chief Executive and Producer of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

DSF-Asia Scotland Institute webinar, 27th May 2020 on 'UK Relations with China: Separating Reality from Rhetoric'. YouTube VIdeo

Vikram Singh Mehta, Chairman Brookings, India on the current situation in India:

Vice Admiral Sir Clive Johnstone with Dr Paul Little on mercantile security and maritime issues:

Lord Jim O'Neill on pandemics, economics and geopolitics in the context of COVID 19:

Mr Kevin Sneader, McKinsey & Company, on what the world may look like post-pandemic:

President Steve Kuo Taiwan's leading Disease Control expert on Taiwan's dealing with COVID19:

Mr Stephen King, Senior Economist HSBC on the global significance of COVID 19:

Article: Restarting national economies during coronavirus.

Article: Coronavirus Tracked:  If  you want the latest figures as countries fight to contain the pandemic, this Financial Times article provides everything you need in one place.

Pandemics, Economics and Geopolitics

Newsletter of the Asia Scotland Institute, "We have witnessed the harrowing scenes in America" - week ending 7th June 2020.

Asia Scotland Institute: Vietnam Health and Economy Webinar – 18 Jun 2020 at 10:00 am BST on Zoom. The Asia Scotland Institute will discuss current issues in Vietnam with HE Mr Tran Ngoc An, Vietnam’s Ambassador to the UK, et al.

Asia Scotland Institute: Afghanistan and Pakistan webinar about the  'Implications of the Breakdown in the Peace Process with the Taliban' - 16th June 2020 at 15:00 hours BST.

Asia Scotland Institute:  'China's current and future global relationships' - Joerg Wuttke. President EU Chamber of Commerce in China, has agreed to talk to the Institute on a webinar on Fri 12 Jun at 1100 hours (BST) on the subject of China's current and future global relationships. 

Lord Jim O'Neill, Baron O'Neill of Gatley, Chair of Chatham House, interviewed  Roddy Gow, Chairman Asia Scotland Institute on a broad range of topics covering his deep understanding of pandemics, economics and geopolitics in the context of COVID 19. The video now has been published on Asia Scotland Institute's YouTube Channel and other social media platforms.

Response to Silvia Frosina: "Machines Don't Fight Wars"

Len Tiahlo responds to Silvia Frosina's citation: "Machines don't fight wars. Terrain doesn't fight wars. Humans fight wars. You must get into the mind of humans. That's where the battles are won", said Col. John R. Boyd. Find out why he thinks her comment on “in depth expertise,” is precisely the point, read his thoughts.

John Beveridge also responds...

Exploring Taiwan's Response to COVID-19

The Asia Scotland Institute explores Taiwan’s approach to COVID 19 in an interview given by Vice President Chen, a veteran epidemiologist before entering politics, to the BBC on 8 April in which he shares Taiwan’s experience of the virus and highlights the need for international cooperation. Discover more here.

Tightening of UK- Relations: Richard Knowlton comments on Silvia Frosina's recent blog

China's geopolitical, economic, and military weight make it essential for the UK to make a careful assessment of its relationship with China. How do we calculate the next more? Knowlton discusses his thoughts, which are mostly in agreement with Silvia Frosina. However, he raises some issues to add to the conversation. Find out what they are.

Tightening of UK-China Relations Demands to Deepen Knowledge of the Chinese Context

Silvia Frosina,  Research Officer at The Next Century Foundation , argues the U.K. needs to get the big picture about China, to "reboot its foreign policy and build healthier, equitable and ethical bilateral relationships with its international partners." Discover why in her article...

Opinion: The Atlantic Alliance Had Pre-existing Conditions. The Pandemic Will Worsen Them

Philip H. Gordon and Jeremy Shapiro argue that the trans-atlantic relationship should isolate. They argue that it was already in intensive care before the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic rapidly emerged. They also look ahead to the US presidential election with some pessism about a second Trump term in office, declaring the relationship would no longer be so special.

China - Friend or Foe?

 In association with Dr Roddy Gow, OBE, Chairman, AsiaScotand
DSF would like to have your opinions on the future of UK trade relations with China. Answer some questions and find out more...

Defence and the Integrated Review: A Testing Time

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) is the world's oldest and the the UK's leading defence and security think tank. Read the Whitehall Report 2-20 by Malcolm Chalmers and Will Jessett, which seeks to provider a foreign policy framework for the Integrated Review at a time of COVID-19.
The Maitland Ties with Ceylon/Sri Lanka Live On After Over 200 Years

In this speech Lady Olga Maitland explored, in 2016, her family's links to Sri Lanka.  She also reveals what makes her proud of the Maitland family's achievements. Discover them here...

American, Chinese, Iranian, and Russian Standoffs as Impacted by Covid-19 and Oil Prices

Find out why the recent escalation in US-Iranian tensions is related to several factors, including oil, US elections, and the month of Ramadan. Raghida Dergham offers a viewpoint in The National.
DSF Discussion Paper 1 - Back to Work NOW for the under 40's by Dr Sally Leivesley

Reducing Lockdown for UK and other Countries using lessons from Wuhan Back to Work (under 40’s). How can this be done?

Coronavirus Pandemic Has Thrown the World Order Into a Tailspin

Raghida Dergham, the founder and executive chairwoman of the Beirut Institute, argues in The National that it It will not be possible for nations to return to the policies that had been put in place before COVID-19. Discover why she thinks the world order has been thrown into a tailspin...

The Importance of European Medical Exports During COVID-19

The ELN publishes a policy brief on the importance of European medical exports during COVID-19. It follows the high-level transatlantic statement, organised by the ELN and The Iran Project, on the impact of US sanctions on the Iranian healthcare system.

Back to Work NOW for the Under 40’s: A Recommended Industry-Government Initiative

Continuing her discussion, Dr Sally Leivesley, reveals a plan to deliver confidence to the UK economy for growth and new trade opportunities by releasing all those under 40 from lockdown-to the workforce.

Opinion - COVID-19: The Dangerous Waiting Game

With the number of deaths mounting, we Cannot wait three months for the results of many trials of drug combinations to take place. Maybe we can wait two weeks max. Dr David McGhee offers his thoughts.

The Global Significance of COVID-19 and its Implications to Asia

In an interview with the Asia Scotland Institute Mr Stephen King, Senior Economist HSBC gives his perspective on the global significance of COVID 19 and its implications to Asia (YouTube).

2020: North Macedonia officially joined NATO

North Macedonia officially joined NATO, becoming the alliance's 30th member. Earlier that week, the EU gave its approval for membership talks to begin with North Macedonia and Albania. To mark these events, the European Leadership Network (ELN) brings together ELN commentaries on NATO and the EU, from network members and experts.

Webinar: Fighting COVID-19: Experiences and lessons from the frontlines in Asia

On 3rd April 2020, the Brookings John L. Thornton China Center convened a remote panel of experts from China, Japan, Singapore and South Korea to discuss what has worked to combat this pandemic.

Adapting To A New Security Environment: Challenges And Opportunities For Defence Industry

Lady Olga Maitland, President of the Defence and Security Forum, argues that The security environment globally is never settled in her speech to the ISTANBUL Bospherus Summit: An International Co-operation Platform. So what can change? Find out in her speech here.

Your views: The Geo-political Impact of COVID-19

During the current coronavirus crisis, it would  be helpful to have an analysis of the impact it is having geo-politically. One example would  be, will the gifts of aid from Russia and China change  global relationships? Send the DSF your thoughts, articles, podcast and video links. Talk to us, find out more...

12th Annual European GRC and DPO Day, 2019

GDPR facing constantly changing environment, challenges, technology. Is it always fit for purpose?...The threats and attacks continue, everyone is vulnerable, A business can crash. You can be hit from unexpected quarters, and third-party networks are the weakest spot...uncover more in Lady Olga Mailtland's speech.

Virus offers warring parties a ladder to climb down

Rt. Hon. Alistair Burt, former Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, tells Arab News that the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 offers warring parties in the region to find a truce. Learn more in his article.

Adapting To A New Security Environment: Challenges And Opportunities For Defence Industry

In 2017, Lady Olga Maitland declared: "The security environment globally is never settled", and that's true today in 2020.  So, where are the growth markets in defence? Uncovered all in her speech.

Lady Olga Mailtland: UK Outlook for 2020

The world is on the move. The dynamics are changing. Europe is drifting away from the US. Where does this leave relations with NATO? Lady Olga Maitland, President of the Defence and Security Forum offers her thoughts about the UK's relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump and NATO.  Read her speech here.

A CISO's Place Is on The Main Board

In 2016 Lady Olga Maitland argued that chief information security officers should sit on the main board of their companies. Learn why in her Copenhagen Compliance speech in Dubai.

Istanbul Security Conference 2019: ‘Reassurance and Re-engagement’

A speech by Lady Olga Maitland on “EU’s Demographic Challenge, Refugees and Migration:  Impact on Social Stability and Border Security: Developing Preventive Policies and Strategies’.

Copenhagen Compliance: The CEO Perspective on Security

In 2014, Lady Olga Maitland addressed the 9th Chief Security Officer Summit in Brussels, Belgium to examine the the role of CEOs in protecting organisations from cyber-attack, terorrism and organised crime. In many ways, she argues, it's a matter of corporate social responsibilty.

The Pace Heats Up at Holkham Hall, North Norfolk’s 18th Century Stately Home

Lady Olga Maitland explore opera at Holkham Hall where "the crowd roared and stamped crying encore for the celebrated opera singer José Carreras, one of the legendary Three Tenors.

The Use of Information Technology by Terrorist Organisations

"The story of the presence of terrorist groups in cyberspace has barely begun to be told...
The truth is that the use of the internet by terrorists has been growing like wildfire", said Lady Olga Maitland in her 2007 speech to the Homeland and Global Security Forum. Learn how they are using technology, and how they can be defeated.

Columbo Defence Seminar: Soft Power and its Influence on Global Issues

In 2016 soft power was consdired a force for good, but it can only go so far. Find out why Lady Olga Maitland, President of the Defence and Security Forum, thinks peacekeeping only really works when conflicts are resolved.

Money transfers: do senders and recipients get the best deal?

Lady Olga Maitland, CEO, International Association of Money Transfer Networks (IAMTN), explores their value in her 2006 article.

Copenhagen Compliance: Security and Risk Governance, Gaining Board and Stakeholder Buy In

In 2016, Lady Olga Maitland explored the chainging role of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) in the fight against cyber-attacks. Get it right, she warns, to avoid going bust... (PDF)

Nuclear Projects and their impact on Arabian Security

In her 2010 speech to the Euro-Arabian Centre For Studies, Lady Olga Maitland looks Britain's pursual of invaluable friendships with countries such as Oman and the UAE, going beyond energy to defence and security. Reveal the impact on Arabian security by reading her speech here. 

A British Perspective of Kuwait

Lady Olga Mailtland discusses the relationship between the UK and Kuwait - including the importance of trade between the two countries in this 2001 lecture. Learn about the history behind the relations between them.

A Common Sense Revolution

In December 1999, Lady Olga Maitland examined the reasons for not voting Labour. In her speech she discusses Labour's failed promises.
Western Isles Of Scotland: Europe’s Last Great Wildnerness

Europe’s last great wilderness lay way below Lady Olga Maitland as she flew over them  some years ago in a military plane en route to Canada. Read more in her speech of 28th May 2006.

Burn's Night Address, January 2000: Society of Scottish Lawyers

"In future nothing will be too much trouble.  A new me will emerge which will stun you all", writes Lady Olga Maitland.

A Just War?

Lady Olga Maitland examines what makes a just war in her 1983 speech to the Defence and Security Forum. Explore the answer to this question.

Lady Olga Mailtland and guestsTurkey Can We Have A Common Cause With President Erdogan: NATO? Regional Security?

Dr. Cenguiz Ozgencil, Chairman, Bosphorus International Co-Operation Platform think tank, was Guest of Honour at the dinner hosted by Lady Olga Maitland at 21 Cloudesley Street on 15th May 2018.

Find some photographs from the event here....

Prospect MagazineHow Much China Has Changed

"Returning to the city where I was once First Secretary of the British Embassy, I realised just how much China has changed" - Roger Garside.

Read his article in Prospect Magazine here.
Banquesting House
Image: Banqueting House, courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces.
Edward Heath International Lecture

Delivered by Dr. Henry A. Kissinger At the Banqueting House, Whitehall, London October 24, 2016
When the Tories unexpectedly won the 1970 election, Richard Nixon was so elated that he called nearly every hour to update me on the status of the returns.  In terms of hierarchy, it should, of course, have happened the other way around.  But I found myself in Mexico attending the 1970 World Cup without secure communications...

The United Nations' HQ
International Relations analyses the nature of the rules and forces governing the behaviour of states, the factors that lead to military conflict or peaceful co-operation, and the current trends towards both a more integrated and a more fragmented world.

Israeli and Palestinian flags.Gaza: a Pawn in the new 'Great Game'

Beirut based, Alastair Crooke, OBE, director of Conflicts Resolution is the renowned expert on the Hamas and Hezbollah and frequent broadcaster on the Israeli/Gaza war.

This is a past event.
Lady Olga Maitland and HH Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia (in white hat)Meeting The Patriarch

Lady Olga Maitland and HH Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia (in white hat)  at the Cavalry and Guards Club on Sunday, 16th  October 2016.

The pound 'Building up Confidence: Prospects and Challenges' by Arslan CHIKHAOUI - Economic & Political Specialist and CEO -  Middle East Association Seminar on Algeria. London, 6th November 2008.

Read more... (Microsoft PowerPoint presentation).

Arab Reform Initiative
SYRIA: Empowering The Democratic Resistance. A paper by the Arab Reform Initiative - September 2013.

CSIS GlobeReport: A Threat Transformed: Al Qaeda and Associated Movements in 2011

A 38 page PDF report by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, which was published in February 2011.

Money Transfer International Launch of International Association for the Remittances Industry - December 2008.

Polish flag. Can  Western European Economies Learn from Central and Eastern Europe?

Graham Jarvis looks to Poland and the Czech Republic for lessons on how the West might better have avoided the present financial and economic crisis.

Read more in the Diplomat magazine.

Free  Kuwait Campaign at the Cenotaph, 1991.  Lady Olga Maitland  and team placing flowers on the War Memorial.Free  Kuwait Campaign at the Cenotaph,  1991.  Olga M. and team placing flowers  on the War Memorial..

Politics Defence and Security

Politics is at the heart of the DSF and critical in its influence over international relations, defence and security.  The DSF frequently hosts leaders in British politics as well as representatives from countries all over the world from the United States to the Middle East to the Far East. 

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DSF discusses defence and security issues; they are not just affecting Britian, but countries all over the world.  After all, the Forum is a foreign and defence affairs think tank that was launched by Lady Olga Maitland in 1983. It was then known under its campaigning wing, ’Families for Defence’...

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