The question to Sedwill: “Do you know who poisoned the Skripals?” To which Sedwill responded: “Not yet.” And despite this glaring lack of information, a huge and devastating campaign against Russia was launched.
Sedwill served as the United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010 and the NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan in 2010.
He was the Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from 2000 to 2002 in the run-up to and preparations for the 2003 Iraq invasion also based on a false premise.
Yet Sedwill did not hesitate to issue the following statement in the wake of the mysterious Skripal incident. “I set out the reasons for our clear assessment of Russian responsibility, the measured but clear response we were taking, the wider pattern of malign behaviour into which Salisbury fits, and the importance of a renewed and wider international focus, including from the EU, on the challenge Russia represents to our shared interests and values.”
Sedwill’s speech to the Defence Committee addressed the application of the UK’s new security doctrine, called the Fusion Doctrine. It sounds like a culinary fad. In cooking the term implies a mixture of cultures, a bit the same as a restaurant that offers a mixed cuisine.
The new UK doctrine however means no restrictions on ethical or legal limits, and by any means necessary. This is reflected in various British documents. For example, the UK’s National Security Capabilities Review, recently published, states: “ For modern purposes we use the full range of capabilities available to us.”
In the following section, it also notes: “Many capabilities that can contribute to national security lie outside national security departments.”
That suggests that the competent departments are in fact incompetent and do not know what to decide regarding national security. It seems surprising to think that law enforcement or intelligence services can not really ensure the safety of the UK.
The Fusion Doctrine implies that a political choice informs decisions related to an act of deterrence. Such decisions are thus reinforced not by an investigation, but by political expediency. In the past no stone was left unturned to avoid this manner of making difficult choices because of its serious pitfalls.
Negative PR campaigns currently shape the main thrust of British deterrence. Its adoption has enabled the UK to move with much greater speed in launching devastating international campaigns against a perceived enemy, especially where facts are lacking.
Sedwill actually acknowledges this. “So we were much faster and acted based on intelligence data, instead of waiting for the [Skripal]investigation to be completed – it is still ongoing.” Naturally such “intelligence data” remains conveniently “classified”.
He added: “We acted based on an intelligence assessment.” So deterrence is decided not based on any thorough investigation, but on an “assessment”. It means facts are no longer useful in informing action.
“We demonstrated our initial position to Russia; there were only two explanations. Then as you know the Prime Minister introduced a whole series of measures, and we worked to bring our allies on our side.”
Sedwill concluded: “That is essentially an example of the Fusion Doctrine.” So it seems that Perfidious Albion has prevailed and it know operates under a new name: Fusion Doctrine.
Signed and sealed in the year 1215 the Magna Carta has always been viewed as the sole inception of the idea of limiting the power of the ruler through legal rules, confirming it as part of England’s statute law.
Unlike the principle of legal state, the rule of law is closely linked to justice, separation of powers and legal certainty.
Aristotle in his Politics submitted this theory of the separation of powers but the most famous version was being suggested by Montesquieu in De L’Espirit des Lois. His arguments indicate that there were three functions of government, Legislative as the law-making body, Executive as the law-applying body and Judiciary as the Law-Enforcing body.
Since the UK was never invaded and colonized by other countries, the island has never needed a written constitution and this has been most convenient recently.
Apart from a series of incidents including one where Margaret Thatcher departed from the convention, the convention seemed to be working reasonably well, until now.
The fusion of powers is the uniqueness of the United Kingdom but there is clearly a need to adopt a US like constitution with Strict Separation of Powers to stop powerful lobbies from entertaining their narrow agendas.
The British have torn up their famous document, the Magna Carta, with their new venture: First find a goal, then the justification and finally “ get the allies on board”, when facts tend to get in the way.