The Defence and Security Forum was founded by Lady Olga Maitland in 1983. It was originally a campaigning organisation known as Families for Defence launched to challenge the anti-nuclear protest movements such as CND. Families for Defence’s remit was to promote the NATO case for multilateral nuclear disarmament. In the course of doing so the purpose was to focus on the importance of a proper provision for the defence of the United Kingdom.
About the Defence and Security Forum
The Forum is a foreign and defence affairs think tank was launched by Lady Olga Maitland in 1983. It was then known under its campaigning wing, ’Families for Defence’ whose remit was to put the case for NATO’s policies of multilateral nuclear disarmament in the face of vociferous voices from the anti-nuclear protest groups such as CND.
The chairman is Major General Patrick Cordingley, DSO, who commanded the ground forces in the First Gulf War. Deputy Chairman is Rt Hon Sir John Wheeler former Minister of State, Northern Ireland responsible for counter terrorism. Lady Olga Maitland, former MP, serves DSF as its President.
DSF is supported by a distinguished panel of honorary patrons lead by Lord Lamont of Lerwick and Lord Nazir Ahmed of Rotherham. The purpose of DSF is to inform and brief members of the City, the professions, diplomats and servicemen on current events in the field of defence and foreign affairs. Bearing in mind the impact that the economies of the world have on international relations, DSF keeps a monitoring eye on trade relations and economic issues.
The Gulf War and Liberation of Kuwait
The DSF achieves its goals in a variety of ways. In the first instance by debating current issues on television, radio, in the press, in university lectures and debates, conferences etc. Defence and Security Forum organises public campaigns on major issues of the day as they did in the months leading up to the Gulf War seeking to mobile public support for the liberation of Kuwait.
Since then Defence and Security Forum has played an active role in highlighting the plight of the 605 Kuwaitis POWs in Iraq.
Pageantry & Performance, Royal Horseguards
DSF has also assisted in the development of publications such as this that celebrate British armed forces and particularly the guards of Her Majesty the Queen.
Events and Speakers
The DSF has organised events with speeches from many distinguished diplomats, politicians, journalists, military personnel and academics. The long list includes speeches to the DSF by:
Sir Andrew Green, KCMG;
General Sir Jeremy Mackenzie, GCB, OBE
Japanese Ambassador, Masaki Orita
Sandy Berger, Adviser President Clinton
Sir Christopher Meyer, KCMG
Lieut General Sir Christopher Wallace KBE
Ukrainian Ambassador, Igor, Mitiukov
Simon Weston OBE
Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, GCB, OBE, ADC
Frederick Forsyth, Author
HRH Prince Michael of Kent
John Simpson, BBC
Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazair Bhutto.