(Lord) Simon McDonald was the British ambassador to Germany before becoming Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Head of the Diplomatic Service.
For too long, successive governments have shied away from acknowledging uncomfortable truths about the decline of Britain’s military capabilities. We are faced with urgent and daunting challenges: climate change, technological development, the rise of AI, and a growing threat from China.
Simon McDonald persuasively argues that the UK’s significant soft-power strengths can be harnessed to expand its international influence, but only if we first acknowledge the challenges of Brexit and reduce our unrealistic hard-power ambitions. Excellence in areas that other countries care about will keep us internationally relevant in a way that nostalgia for a lost pre-eminence will not.
Image Credit: Graham CopeKoga
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