Politics expert gives evidence to House of Lords Committee on security challenges facing the UK

Posted by ap507 at Jul 11, 2018 12:37 PM |
Dr Andrew Futter discusses cyber threats to military and nuclear systems with Parliamentary inquiry

Issued by the University of Leicester on 11 July

A University of Leicester expert has contributed to a House of Lords inquiry on international relations and foreign policy.

Dr Andrew Futter from the School of History, Politics and International Relations has shared his expertise on security with a Parliamentary committee.

He presented to the International Relations committee’s inquiry into “UK foreign policy in changed world conditions.”

The scope of the inquiry is: ‘A radically changed international landscape is taking shape, posing new issues of global stability and power configurations, and presenting new challenges and opportunities for British foreign policy. The response of the Government to these trends will dictate how the UK fares in this era of new international relations. The Committee will examine the changing face of international relations and foreign policy, and assess the UK’s place and capability to adapt to these changes throughout its inquiry.’

Dr Futter said: “The latest computer or IT revolution has undoubtedly changed the modern battlefield but has principally reinforced and augmented hard power rather than changed it.  At the same time, these developments have probably made the instruments of hard power more vulnerable to attack, especially attacks against their support systems.

“It is impossible to know to what extent the UK’s military capabilities have been undermined by cyber attackers, but we should assume that; (i) they could be, and; (ii) there are actors that might want to do this.  The same has to be assumed for the UK’s nuclear weapons systems too.

“The UK should play a leading role in two main areas: setting a new agenda for arms control in this new technological context and aiding in the development of new norms of security and restraint.  However, a major concern that I have going forward is that these developments are underpinned by a certain technological determinism.  That is, technologies that will be developed and used simply because they can be irrespective of the security implications.”

Dr Futter’s latest book ‘Hacking the Bomb’ has recently been published by Georgetown University Press. This book is the first ever study of the cyber threat to nuclear weapons, provides the first ever comprehensive assessment of this worrying and little-understood strategic development, and it explains how myriad new cyber challenges will impact the way that the world thinks about and manages the ultimate weapon.

The book cuts through the hype surrounding the cyber phenomenon and provides a framework through which to understand and proactively address the implications of the emerging cyber-nuclear nexus. More information can be found here.


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