‘Defence Alternatives: Human Security and the Small Nation Contribution’

Cathy Holman attended this ‘Scotland’s For Peace’ event on behalf of NFPB. It was held in the Scottish parliament building in March. She reports:

The meeting was organised to “rethink what ‘Defence’ policy should be about and to shift from aggressive expeditionary military action and nuclear weapons to a Human Security policy” and then to consider what this would mean for Scotland if they were an independent nation.

Speakers included academics, political representatives and activists. The discussion focused around defence issues being stuck in a time warp. It became clear that there needs to be a public debate around this trad-itional conception of protection against a state attack-ing a state. Cyber attack and terrorism are the top threats. To see where the battles are in the contempo-rary world we need to look at big corporate power;it is about status and politics rather than defence. In order to move forward there was a belief that we need to change the nature of the debate to “human security” and look at what non- aggressive defence in Scotland might look like? Trident was identified as a real threat to Scottish security; it is illegal, and an environmental disaster waiting to happen. The legality of Trident needs to be debated.

The discussion looked at how Scotland is proud of its military and it needs to de-velop a strategy which allows Scotland to be proud of the military as peace-keepers and peace makers. The idea of Scotland having an International peace-making college was explored where non violent resistance can be nur-tured and the creative passion of the Scottish people can be utilised. Most of all it was clear that the debates had in this room at the Scottish parliament need to be public and Scotland’s for Peace need a strategy to get it into the public domain.

A longer paper detailing speaker’s contributions is avail-able by contacting Cathy Holman at cathyholman@talktalk.net

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