British defence policy since 1997

Thomas Waldman, Claire Taylor, Sophie Gick

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


British defence policy has altered significantly since the Labour Government came to power in 1997. Those changes have been prompted largely by the shifting nature of the strategic environment over that period, and in particular the events of 11 September 2001. However, the strategic foreign policy objectives of former Prime Minister Tony Blair have also helped to shape the direction of British defence policy and have had a fundamental impact on the role, structure and welfare of the Armed Forces.

This paper is not intended to be a comprehensive assessment of all aspects of defence policy since 1997, but an introduction to some of the main issues that have shaped the defence agenda in that time. It also examines the prospects for defence since Gordon Brown became Prime Minister in June 2007. Background to some of the themes in this paper is available in Library Research Paper RP08/58, British Defence policy since 1997: background issues. This paper should also be read in conjunction with Library Research Paper RP08/56, British foreign policy since 1997.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherHouse of Commons Library
Number of pages134
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2008


  • British Defence Policy
  • Defence


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