Chief of the Defence Staff Warns of Dangerous Times in RUSI’s 2023 Annual Lecture

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin KCB ADC delivered RUSI’s Annual Chief of the Defence Staff Lecture, addressing the challenges facing the Armed Forces, as well as broader considerations of UK security.

In his address, CDS outlined the myriad defence and security challenges facing the UK and NATO. Considering growing global geopolitical tension and emerging threats, the Admiral spoke of the importance of generating a new national conversation around UK defence.

Summing up events in the outgoing year, CDS said:

These are extraordinarily dangerous times. We are responding by playing our part to uphold and strengthen the global system, and by the commitment and professionalism of our people. But it is not just the hideous violence or the competition over territory that should worry us. It is also the backdrop of ideological struggles and creaking pains of tense democracies which are putting the international system under intense strain. And what is particularly concerning is the slow dismantling of the security architecture that has been with us since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is a backdrop that my generation may have taken for granted. But it is collapsing.

Chief of the Defence Staff, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin KCB ADC

Following our tradition, a vote of thanks was proposed by the British Army's Visiting Fellow to RUSI, a position currently held by Colonel Simon Horne. He said:

It is my pleasure, as one of the military fellows seconded to RUSI, to offer my thanks to the Chief of the Defence Staff, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin. Today, Sir… you have demonstrated to us, our allies, and perhaps most importantly to our adversaries, that Defence can be made ready for whatever comes next and that, with the right direction, UK interests can be protected.

Si Horne

British Army Visiting Fellow

The lecture and subsequent Q&A session were moderated by Mark Urban, Diplomatic Editor for BBC Newsnight.

Speech highlights

RUSI members can access the recording of the event here.

Recording: Annual Chief of the Defence Staff Lecture 2023: Admiral Sir Tony Radakin KCB ADC
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