On July 10, the Brookings Institution hosted the British Secretary of State for Defence, the Rt Hon Des Browne MP, for a discussion of British and U.S. policies in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond—now and with the change in U.S. leadership in 2009. Secretary Browne spoke about Britain’s experiences in Afghanistan and its commitments in Iraq. The Secretary also discussed the future of the transatlantic military alliance as well as Britain’s current national security priorities.
Tony Blair appointed Browne to the office of Secretary of State for Defence in May 2006. A Scottish Labour Party politician, Browne was also appointed Secretary of State for Scotland in June 2007. As Britain’s Defense Secretary, Browne is responsible for making and executing the U.K.’s defense policies. His responsibilities include oversight of all military operations, personnel and finance for the Ministry of Defence and its agencies.
Brookings President Strobe Talbott provided introductory remarks. Daniel Benjamin, senior fellow and director, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings, moderated an audience question and answer session at the conclusion of Secretary Browne’s address.