Seizing the advantageMar 15, 2021
What the US can learn from the UK about strategic reviews
By Peter Watkins, Will Jessett CBE
The Biden administration has begun work on a slew of strategies—including a new National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy, and Nuclear Posture Review—that will form the framework for its approach to security challenges. There’s a lot that it can learn from the British experience of conducting strategic reviews.
Will Jessett is a nonresident senior fellow with the Scowcroft Center’s Transatlantic Security Initiative. Will retired from the UK Ministry of Defence in January 2019. His last role was as the department’s strategy director, in which he led work on the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review and the 2017/18 National Security Capabilities Review and Modernising Defence Programme. He worked in a variety of policy, strategy, and operational roles during his thirty-three years in public service, specializing in strategic planning and the conduct of defense and security reviews. He spent more than a third of his career living and working overseas (including in Namibia, Poland, Cyprus, and the United States).
Will is now pursuing a second career, advising overseas governments and commercial organizations on strategy and planning. He has academic affiliations at King’s College London, Exeter University and the Royal United Services Institute He is currently writing a book about UK defense policy and defense reviews over the past thirty years. He is married and has four grown-up children. He enjoys travel, music, sport, fast cars, and good wine.