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Our National Security Policy


In preparing this short paper we have drawn heavily on the work that has gone before; from both individuals and governments. Excellent work by authorities in the UK, Norway, Estonia and others has been used in places but also adapted for Scotland’s specific needs. Acknowledgement of sources are highlighted within the text as footnotes and a detailed Bibliography provides reference to the origins of many ideas espoused here. This is not the finished article nor is it intended to be; rather it aims to place a different perspective on what National Defence entails in our modern interconnected world. We hope it informs, provides food for thought and a path to open discussion and consultation for those who value our Scottish society and wish to continue to improve it. Our Vision and Our Relevance 

Our Vision

Our vision is for a secure, well governed, and more equal Scotland, which is economically prosperous through the sustainable use of our natural resources by a culturally diverse, tolerant, and well-educated citizenry.

Economic prosperity goes hand-in glove with National Security. In a newly independent Scotland, we would seek to become a respected and trusted partner to our neighbours in Europe and further afield by forging mutually beneficial alliances and associations. We would be a strong voice in safeguarding and developing the relevance of international institutions based on the Rule of Law and Human Rights. 

We will seek to help stabilise and develop the current world order by providing our share of the financial, material, and professional knowhow that mitigates risks to those states and their peoples who are facing existential crises; brought on by environmental or man-made change.

Our Relevance

Scotland and its territorial waters, situated on the north western edge of continental Europe has long provided, as part of the United Kingdom, a strategic base for key elements of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. 

Historically, Scotland has been a critical staging post for transatlantic supply lanes. Its ports, airfields and secure harbours remain key elements for re-supply to continental Europe in the event of conflict on or around the continent. 

Our fuel reserves, fisheries, farms and forests make a disproportionate (to our population) contribution to UK’s internal and external markets.

Similarly, as the impact of climate change bites ever more fiercely, our abundant wind, water, wave, tidal and (dare it be said) solar resources provide us the opportunity to pivot from fossil fuel use for our energy provision.

Thereby, our fossil fuel resource can be husbanded to manufacture vital chemicals for materials for industry and civil society. 

Understanding our Situation in an uncertain World – Our Security

Our Security can be defined as the ‘state of being free from danger or threat’. This danger or threat can take many forms. The world is demonstrably becoming more unpredictable with variations from the ‘norm’ becoming both more extreme and common; be that environmental or political.  

This changing security environment is multi-faceted with an increasing blurring of the ‘traditional’ boundaries between state and non-state actors, fact and fake assertion, and direct and indirect attacks on economic and societal values. The increased Globalisation of economies with a simultaneous breakdown of consensus on the adherence to international norms (as stated in the UN Charter) has made it more difficult, internationally, to facilitate and develop new common agreements and beneficial solutions.

In attempting to understand and mitigate the impact on its Security: Scotland must reflect on its values and decide on the policies which best protect its citizenry while recognising that due to its size, population, and location that it necessarily must achieve its Security through partnerships and co-operation. 

Given that the notion of security applies to anything we would wish to make secure from an actual or perceived risk or threat then leaving this solely to traditional defence or intelligent services is unlikely to succeed. Therefore, there must be much greater coordination and cooperation across all sectors in the nascent nation state; including government departments, non-governmental organisations, businesses, and citizens.      

Although there are numerous facets of security from food supply, through water and energy to personal data and individual freedoms it is vital that the relevant stakeholders within each threat are identified, consulted, and involved to ensure that each threat/risk is removed or mitigated as far as is possible. Each stakeholder must be aware of their role, responsibility, and obligation in delivering a successful outcome.

In order to focus on developing a coherent national security strategy it is necessary to create a practical framework from which the necessary policies can be developed in a cooperative and coordinated manner. Using and adapting a simple breakdown, developed previously by Price Waterhouse Cooper consultants, the key interrelated areas are Physical Security, Digital Security, Economic Security and Social Security all integrated and assured by an accountable Governance process embodied in binding and enforceable national and international Rule of Law and Human Rights legislation. 

These are defined as follows: – 

Physical security: The physical and institutional security of the state or territory and its administrative apparatus — the classical dimension of national security — and defence. 

Digital security: The protection of data and digital networked assets, regardless of whether they are owned by the state, corporations, or private individuals. 

Economic security: The safeguarding of financial stability, nationally and within the wider global financial system. For the individual, this means, at a minimum, meeting the basic needs of having enough to live on for themselves and their family. 

Social security: Protection of citizen rights and civil liberties as traditionally defined in each state or territory. This is wider than social security as defined by a typical welfare system, including benefits and pensions; it includes food and water security, environmental sustainability, education, and health.Current and Future Security Threats

The impact of climate change will inevitably lead to large scale population migration and displacement of refugees which in turn  will place significant moral, social and economic demands on a newly independent Scotland. 

As natural resources become ever scarcer and more unequal to meeting the worldwide demand, Scotland with its extensive maritime footprint needs to be able to control illegal exploitation of its fishing grounds. It must also be able to control entrance to and exit from its borders thus controlling smuggling and other criminal activity.

Recent events in the Baltic, with the unattributed and unattributable destruction of Nord Stream 1 & 2 gas pipelines, have demonstrated just how vulnerable Scotland’s North Sea infrastructure is to covert attack with the inevitable incumbent impact on Scotland’s economic and social well-being. In this particular case the consequence is so potentially dire that protection is necessary despite the low likelihood of such an event occurring.

Self-evidently there are similar vulnerabilities within vital sub-sea communication cables to continental Europe and North America. Additionally, Ellon Musk’s brief shutdown of his “Starlink” transmitter/receiver network in Ukraine demonstrate vividly the consequences of non-regulated private or ‘other’ state actors having control of vital infrastructure assets.

The penetration of nearly every aspect of modern living by digital and networked assets have had, and still has, far reaching impacts on our economic and political institutions.  Individuals, terrorists (freedom fighters), idealists, criminal or those acting on behalf of a state can for political and/or financial benefit; gain access to, control or destroy both processes and assets to achieve their goals. State actors, such as China and Russia, employ thousands of computer software experts to conduct data espionage on both government and industrial rivals. Thereby, mining the ability to cause disruption to banking and other vital institutions by planting viruses or by gaining Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and even state secrets. Cybercrime and propaganda campaigns can be used to influence events even elections where the use of ‘bots’ and targeted biases can affect or change outcomes.

The activities of ‘influencers’ on the world wide web and associated mass-media outlets has in the early 21st century further expanded the ‘Security’ spectrum. States are scrambling to understand and control the impact of ‘influencers’ as their ability to magnify messaging and misinformation is phenomenal in both reach and speed. It can significantly affect the Nation State’s ability to act on and react to events. Of course, state, and non-state actors can choose to be or use ‘influencers’ for their own designs. This phenomenon can be reasoned to be a natural extension to hybrid warfare (4th Generation Warfare). Academics and Warfare theorists are labelling this as ‘5th Generation Warfare’. It is also called the war of perceptions and information. The main purpose of 5th Generation Warfare is the division of society. The distinctive feature of this war is that it is unannounced, unrestricted, and ongoing. It is usually, too, plausibly deniable – this ambiguity around the source of the disruption makes it much more difficult for the targeted state to take proportionate consequentially actions on the suspected perpetrators. International laws and conventions have not kept pace with technological advances adequately thus necessitating states to take more seriously cyber security as a vital tool on a societal, political, and economic level.

Protecting our Citizens and their Prosperity

To protect its citizens and enable their prosperity Scotland needs to safeguard our freedom, our way of life, our values, and our interests. Increasing threats, challenges and vulnerabilities must be mitigated by integrated policies, coherent priorities, and targeted resources.

The complexity of threats and risks and the plethora of potential adversaries (state, non-state and proxy) requires stronger and more flexible civil-military cooperation than hitherto. A new concept of a Total Security Framework (TSF) is necessary to combat both traditional kinetic military effect (using surveillance, materiel, and manpower) and non-kinetic effect (using disinformation to foment unrest, disharmony and division). 

Security (and Defence) Policy

To deliver strategic security Scotland must deliver on 4 key subordinate objectives: –

·      Protection of the Scottish population, territory, core societal functions and infrastructure against threats, assaults, and attacks from both state and non-state actors.

·      Prevention of armed conflict and the emergence of threats against Scottish and allied security.

·      Promotion of peace stability and further development of the international legal order.

·      Defence of Scotland and our allies against threats, assaults, and attacks in an allied framework.

As an independent nation, Scotland will sensibly lean on Europe for its economic and physical security. We have partners there with whom we share values and interests; particularly so with our Nordic neighbours. The UK’s departure from the EU has opened fissures in commerce, education, and other institutions to detrimental effect.

The EU, NATO, the Council of Europe, and OSCE provide the European Security Architecture in which naturally Scotland would wish to participate in, in one form or another. It is fundamentally important that Scotland contributes to a secure, free, and economically strong Europe.

A number of the current transnational challenges. such as terrorism and organised crime, fall outside the traditional sphere of Defence and Foreign policy but are fixed firmly in the TSF. Migration and subsequent integration offer similar policy dilemmas that require coordination between countries in new ways and with new measures.

We must prepare for new crises and have the necessary structures, processes, and resources in place to solve them. Crisis Management requires identification of the relevant stakeholders, development of professional expertise and regular realistic exercise of scenarios that challenge civil/military cooperation and executive and political decision making on local, national and European levels. Development of a Scottish Crisis Management Capability is a pre-requisite for meaningful engagement with Europe.

Similarly, in combatting terrorism and international organised crime Scotland must develop intelligence led police and customs/border force organisations which dovetail with their European equivalents and transnational organisations such as EUROPOL Appropriate Protocols and Agreements must be developed to assure the timely and comprehensible transfer of data and intelligence that aid the control of and protection of internal and external borders. A critical enabler for this work is the establishment of an arm of the Civil Service that creates and implements an Action plan which enables the assimilation of new citizens to Scotland, and helps prevent marginalisation, through courses, training, and employment. 

The underpinning of Democratic Organisations internally and externally serves to protect citizens’ rights and freedoms and to support civil society. Scotland can serve its own interests by being a proactive advocate in the fight for freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of the press in an increasingly authoritarian world. In conjunction with partners in the relevant international organisations it will help develop and strengthen the institutions and processes for robust governance, with the necessary authority to protect the Rule of Law and Human Rights. To further those aims internally it would develop an Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights charged with auditing and assuring the good governance expected of a Democratic nation with rights cemented in a written constitution. 

Well-functioning democracies depend on the existence of a strong Civil Society. Scotland, as a newly independent state must enshrine in its written constitution the checks and balances that maintains separation between the Executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary which in turn underpin the freedom of citizens. It will also need to develop the legal and judicial framework that underpins the independence of the 4th Estate (media – mainstream and social) which when working well holds government and organisations to account.

An essential element of a Nation’s security is its Economic strength. Binding cooperation based on common rules is not only essential for ensuring positive economic development, but it also helps to reduce the level of conflict between neighbours near and far. As a part of the UK much of Scotland’s wealth has been hitherto accredited to the UK as it is formally traded through London. The end destination of nearly 80% of that exported wealth is Europe. To that end establishing an agreement with the rest of the UK is vital but even more importantly partnership with other European countries, through already mature trade arrangements such as the EEA Agreement, will enable long term growth and prosperity. Scotland will seek to ensure that any EEA agreement functions well by implementing common rules correctly and on time. Our fisheries, renewable energy sources and fossil fuel reserves will ensure that we have a strong voice at the table to help develop the rules that meet global challenges such as climate change.

Scotland as part of the UK is a member of NATO, the strongest military partnership in the world. The principle of collective defence, enshrined in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, means an attack on one member state is an attack on all member states. This guarantee (with the US seen as principal guarantor) has prompted countries such as, Finland and Sweden long term exponents of neutrality, to apply for membership in consequence of Russia’s Feb 2022 invasion of Ukraine. As an independent nation Scotland must decide whether its Security continues to be best delivered under the NATO umbrella. An obvious challenge to status quo is the position Scotland might wish to take on stationing of Nuclear Weapons on Scottish soil or in its territorial waters.  There is a clear precedent set within NATO members (such as Norway) that precludes in time of peace the presence of nuclear weapons on their territory or in military vessels or aircraft visiting their ports or airfields. Scotland will need to negotiate with both the rUK and NATO the extent to which UK and/or NATO nuclear and conventional depots and facilities will be sustained and over what period. The basing of another nation’s nuclear weapons permanently on Scotland’s soil is unsustainable if independence is to have meaning. However, preclusion of NATO membership is not incumbent on a nuclear footprint being retained in Scotland so mutual self-interest can ensure a viable position which secures a win-win resolution. 

NATO is the only organisation in Europe that has real collective defence commitments and capabilities. If Scotland (as an independent nation) is to remain in NATO, it must help ensure that NATO is able to deal with the security challenges facing its members through credible deterrence and defence. Scotland will play its part by: –

·      Enhancing joint situational awareness through exchange of intelligence, regular political dialogue and promoting close links between NATO and National Defence Headquarters.

·      Contributing to NATO’s Core Tasks – collective defence; crisis management and cooperative security.

·      Providing niche military capabilities which flow from Scotland’s areas of expertise such as Unmanned Underwater Vehicles developed in the North sea.

·      Providing Military and Civil personnel to international operations endorsed by the UN.

·      Will support initiatives to strengthen cooperation between NATO and other key actors engaged in crisis management, particularly the EU and the African Union (AU).

·      Will contribute to developing NATO’s response to new challenges especially in the areas of cyber security and counter human trafficking.

In order to achieve these goals efficiently and effectively Scotland will with its NGOs, industrial partners, and other stakeholders develop cooperative plans and policies on force generation, crisis management, defence related development and procurement, and training and exercises.

No democratic state’s National Security strategy can be credible without a genuine commitment to Disarmament and Non-proliferation.  A key tenet of Scotland’s defence posture will be combining credible deterrence with a commitment to disarmament and arms control. This combination can enhance our collective security by both procuring the correct defence capabilities and precluding our ownership of certain categories of weapons.

Since the end of the Cold War, the former Eastern and Western Blocs have made significant cuts in both strategic and conventional forces. Recent crises centred on Ukraine and Taiwan have/are potentially putting those achievements in reverse. Also, territorial and political tensions in the Middle East, on the Asian sub-continent and on the Korean peninsula are creating proliferation drivers which, due to the involvement of and tensions between the major powers, are not being addressed by agreement of effective countermeasures. 

A world free of Nuclear Weapons is an aspirational goal which Scotland would work actively towards by becoming a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) with the view to achieving the balanced, mutual, irreversible and verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons. Realising the vision of a world free of Nuclear Weapons is one of NATO’s stated aims while asserting, at the same time, that it will remain a nuclear alliance as long as nuclear weapons exist. 

Developing Scotland’s Priorities to mitigate the risks to its National Security

Scotland is one of the safest countries in the world to live in. We have a stable and democratic society and a low level of conflict with a maritime temperate climate, ample natural resources, and a low population density. However, an ageing population, energy inefficient housing stock and infrastructure, and government policies which enhance and embed inequality offer significant challenges to a newly independent Scotland.

Furthermore, as the world becomes increasingly interconnected the digitalisation of society is giving rise to new solutions but also to dependencies and vulnerabilities that cut across sectors, areas of responsibilities and national borders. Critical societal functions such as energy supply, electronic communications, and financial services are dependent on long digital value chains that leave us vulnerable. Similarly, the global movement of people and goods more frequently and extensively heightens vulnerabilities to contagious diseases in our people, our food and our materials. By example, COVID 19, Avian flu and Ash dieback disease all of which are detrimentally affecting Scotland now but none of which originated here.  

To combat these and other risks authorities have a special responsibility to nurture and resource a resilient society.  However, a society’s ability to prevent and manage crises requires more than public services and efforts it requires the cooperation of and contributions from the private sector, NGOs, local communities, and individuals too. It is important to maintain and develop emergency preparedness and the ability to endure crises at the local, regional, and national level. Individuals and companies both have a shared responsibility for their security (particularly digital). We all must accept responsibility for how our own activities (or indeed inactivity) can affect the security of others.

Total Security Framework

Scotland’s Total Security Framework (TSF) will be based on four fundamental principles: responsibility, similarity, proximity, and cooperation. 

·      Principle of responsibility: that the organisation responsible for an area on a day-to-day basis is also responsible for the necessary emergency preparedness preparations and for managing extraordinary incidents in that area. 

·      Principle of similarity:that the organisation one operates with during a crisis should be as similar as possible to the day-to-day organisation. 

·      Principle of proximity: that crises should be handled organisationally at the lowest possible level. 

·      The principle of cooperation: that authorities, enterprises or agencies have an independent responsibility to ensure the best possible cooperation with relevant parties and enterprises on work related to prevention, emergency preparedness and crisis management. 

Systematic work is important to achieving a high level of resilience. Our skill level in one aspect of the work affects other aspects. Our work on resilience is therefore structured like a chain. This chain consists of: (1) knowledge development, (2) prevention, (3) emergency preparedness, (4) recovery after incidents, and (5) learning from incidents and exercises. 

When managing and resourcing Scotland’s TSF, authorities must ensure that the response is proportionate to the risk and that civil liberties are protected robustly. For example, while we want to prevent serious crime, we do not want a society based on wide-scale surveillance of private or public spaces. We must always identify such dilemmas, as they exist, and confront them to determine how they should be addressed. However, a 100% secure society is neither realistic nor desirable. We must manage uncertainty by consulting widely, prioritising as agreed to husband resources most effectively.

As a society, we must be prepared to manage contingencies, including large scale crises (even war), that pose a major challenge to our emergency preparedness. Fundamentally, this requires local authorities, police forces, fire and rescue services and the medical service responders to be resourced and trained and practiced in crisis management with the necessary emergency procedures and delegated command authorised. They must have operational command centres that are fitted with a communication suite, data library and operational orders which ensures interoperability and real time connectivity of all essential stakeholders. In addition, the available assets and expertise of private, NGO and military organisations, e.g helicopters or excavating equipment must be identified for each contingency and their readiness understood and exercised. Nationally, an effective and mobile communication system (like Norway’s Nodnett) should be developed for emergency response.

Digital Vulnerabilities and Information & Communications Technology (ICT) security

Enterprises and private individuals must be able to trust systems and networks to work as intended and protect the privacy of individuals and the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) of companies. Comprehensive ICT security is a prerequisite for gaining that trust. Therefore, Scotland must develop a national capability to detect and manage cyber attacks however and wherever they are presented. Global companies must be held accountable to the same standards as national companies and be licensed and audited to ensure that they comply with and adhere to those standards. An arm of Scottish Intelligence Services would be manned and resourced to provide the assurance required, with the cooperation of key stakeholders, to anticipate, monitor and control advances in this fast developing and expanding sector critical to Scotland’s current and future prosperity.

Scotland’s authorities within the TSF will develop an ICT infrastructure which provides a secure and resilient electronic communications network with inbuilt redundancy and hardened access portals. The availability and encryption of data networks (particularly satellite sourced) will be reviewed, and critical vulnerabilities identified. The Government, in partnership with trusted providers and allies, will act as guarantor of capacity, availability and security. A National Communications Authority (NCA) will be created to oversee the delivery of the ICT requirement identified and assure its ongoing delivery. Critical to its success will be the provision of the educational capacity and research commitment to supply the professional expertise needed to underpin Scotland’s ability to thrive in this critical sector. The NCA will seek allies and partners internationally to help create global guidelines and specific measures to reduce and combat threats in cyberspace.Natural Hazards

Every year natural hazards such as wildfires, floods, landslides, and storms destroy valuable assets. Recovery action expends more and more time and scarce resource. Climate change is both increasing the magnitude and frequency of these events. The flora and fauna of Scotland are threatened and changing at a pace last witnessed in the Ice Age. Our whole way of life is under threat with the projected impact becoming more rapid and severe as the modelling of climatologists improves with more comprehensive data and better understanding of the interaction of the multitude of possible variables. Scotland’s maritime temperate climate depends on 2 critical phenomena, the Gulfstream (Water) and Jetstream(Air), both of which assure a more moderate climate than might be expected at our northerly latitude.  As risks to our climate grow those to our National prosperity (and Security) do so too. Authorities have a key role to play – prior planning and preventive measures while not solving the problem can mitigate the impact. Planning permissions and building standards can greatly reduce the risk as can sea walls and flood alleviation measures in specific locales. However, global change needs international governmental action to resolve effectively.

A newly independent Scotland would be a signatory to the outcomes of COP 27 and seek to accelerate the necessary change to global policies to reach the zero carbon targets and timescales required to mitigate climate change. All government departments would be tasked to deliver which would modernise our economy to significantly reduce pollution, carbon footprint and other environmental impacts. The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) would be manned and empowered to enforce the relevant legislation and regulations. A robust Research & Development programme would utilise the expertise in the university and industrial base. It would be overseen and augmented by a National Defence and Economy Research Agency (NDERA) which would attempt to design and develop new technology that could affect global change be it through moisture retention in the soil in the Sahara or snow seeding in the Cairngorms. 1 in 100 ideas may come to fruition but ‘Blue Skies’ solutions are needed to safeguard Scotland’s future. In effect climate change knows no boundaries.

Serious Crime

Criminal activity and Crime gangs are morphing all the time. In general, crime is becoming more technologically advanced, organised, and Global. State and non-State actors are routinely involved. Threats include terrorism, human trafficking, drug running, financial scams, money laundering, industrial espionage, and cyber-crime.

Although, some of these crimes can be conducted remotely; in the main, individuals or groups of individuals need access to national territories or national networks. Identification of the potential perpetrators of crime is therefore key. Finland has facilitated the coordination of information by issuing electronic Identification (eID) to all its citizens and long-term residents. Careful layers of authentication and access to the individual’s data held have removed initial privacy concerns while greatly enhancing the necessary authority’s ability to ‘see’ the whole picture. For instance, a car accident victim’s eID can immediately provide blood type, vaccination status and underlying medical conditions to a paramedic on the scene. An independent Scotland should evaluate eID as a means to aid the protection and safety of its citizens. 

Crime flourishes where there is endemic poverty, those that have little; have little or nothing to lose. Thus, it can be a symptom as well as a cause.  The US have long had a policy of ‘seeding’ employment in deprived zones using the siting of government offices and agencies as catalysts for construction, supporting services and facilities, and infrastructure (such as schools and libraries).  A newly independent Scotland has the opportunity to provide an alternative for crime infiltrated poor communities. 

The combatting of cyber crime and its subsets such as industrial espionage, financial scams and personal data mining requires a sophisticated response from professionals who have a deep understanding of code-writing and network tracking. Scotland will require a Cyber Coordination Group which can share information, intelligence and expertise across the responsible organisations of the Intelligence Services, Police and Custom services as well as the security and computer service departments of OGDs, private companies and NGOs.  Commercial providers of electronic communication services will be subject to regulatory and security controls. 

Scotland’s maritime borders are vast with a coastline comprising many inlets and harbours. Policing it will require a separate Coastguard tasked with fishery protection and anti-smuggling duties. It will need to develop a close liaison with the Police force, Intelligence Services, Border Customs and Defence forces.  It could feasibly undertake a Search & Rescue support role if that was an efficient and cost-effective use of assets.

Infectious diseases and hazardous substances: preparedness

COVID 19 exposed how ill prepared government and its crisis management procedures were for the arrival of a severe pandemic on these shores. Although, the risk of a pandemic had been identified and initially addressed; over the years budget cuts meant that perishable resources had not been upgraded or replaced. Risk had been taken without considering the consequences. CBRNE policy had fallen into disrepute and disrepair. Chemical substances, Biological agents, Radioactive materials, Nuclear materials, and Explosives are all hazardous materials requiring a precautionary and expert response; that is a Crisis Management level response. Necessary resources must be pre-ordered, stockpiled and replenished to keep in date the first response capability.

Civil-military cooperation within the Total Defence Framework 

The security situation in Europe is more demanding than it has been for a long time. For the Armed Forces to perform their tasks, cooperation is needed between public authorities and private actors within the framework of total defence. Civil crisis management and civil protection, for their part, will benefit from assistance from the Armed Forces. Mutual civil-military cooperation has gained urgency and must be a key tenet of National Security.

To help meet both known and unforeseen needs, the relevant cooperative and emergency preparedness bodies will be created to be able to meet challenges associated with security crises and armed conflict. Civil society’s support for the Armed Forces will become more integral to training activities and will be included in both civil and military training programmes and in national emergency preparedness plans.

The need for the identification of critical nodes and facilities for the secure provision of essential services to civilians has been brought to stark focus in the Russo-Ukraine conflict. Government Contingency must prepare and plan for protecting and increasing the resilience of these vital services and where necessary resources must be provided to enhance survivability to the requisite levels. NATO has identified the seven baseline requirements on resilience of essential societal functions as follows: –

·      assured continuity of government and critical government services

·      resilient energy supplies

·      ability to deal effectively with uncontrolled movements of people

·      resilient food and water supplies

·      ability to deal with mass casualties

·      resilient communication systems

·      resilient transport systems

Necessarily when considering the TSF the international framework within which Scotland will create, nurture and promote its relations matters. A simple initial hierarchy of membership of the United Nations, the European Economic Area (EEA), the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and perhaps less obviously NORDIC under the Hague II Declaration for Civil Protection would provide that framing sensibly for a  nation new to the international scene.

Military and Defence Industry Contribution

As previously expressed at least initially remaining in/joining NATO would shield Scotland under the strongest military collective defence umbrella in the World. It is also fortunate, but perhaps not coincidental, that many of our probable key trading partners on which our future economic prosperity will depend are embedded in NATO.

As a nation with a relatively small population and limited financial clout (initially at least ) Scotland must dare to be different. Warfare in both scope and means is transforming rapidly; automation on the battlefield gathers pace and weapon lethality makes survival in the ever widening battle space extremely challenging. Logistics and training remain key enablers and force multipliers. Situational awareness and shaping the battlefield are critical elements of success with all modern warfare becoming extremely dependent on microchip technology and satellite communications. So how may a new nation protect itself while contributing meaningly to collective defence?

As its unique contribution Scotland must develop niche capabilities geared by our expertise in academia and industry. In finding solutions some (and preferably all)  of the following principles and utilities should be assessed and evaluated against weighting criteria: – 

·      Dual purpose assets (civil and military)

·      Resilience provided by numbers and/or robustness

·      Autonomous and remotely operated

·      Adaptable (modularity)

·      Mobile

·      Upgradeable

·      Low maintenance

·      Replicable

·      Shelf life

·      Tolerance to Climatic conditions

Layered Defence will be an underpinning principle that protects vital infrastructure and High Value Units (HVU). As a nation within the UK we host large elements of the UK (and NATOs) military training estate, maritime and aviation bases, and logistics (particularly fuel and munitions) and early warning sites. In addition, all of the top 5 UK Defence sector manufacturing and service providers have significant assets and employees currently residing in Scotland. Our highly skilled workforce maintains quality output aided by innovative research and development expertise. 

Our civil industrial and academic strengths also lend themselves to harnessing their expertise in niche technological and research areas.  These include, to name but a few potentially productive sectors such as: gaming technology, vaccine development, multi purpose Underwater Vehicles, satellite communications, energy distribution technology, and kinetic energy effect research.  Areas where the dual purpose civil and military use may be exploited rapidly are:  

The Ferry Fleet for the Islands – a fast fleet of  ferries capable of transporting and landing military vehicles, men and their modular supplies in most weather conditions fitted for but not with self-defence systems.

North Sea Support Vessels – capable of launching and recovering drones and remotely operated underwater vessels (ROVs) which in peacetime and conflict provide surveillance, monitoring and interdiction capability.

Meteorological and Surveillance Drones – drones with long range and endurance fitted with sensors to capture meteorological and oceanographic data and monitor vessel movement.

Satellite Communications – smallHigh capacitygeo stationary satellites with encryption and anti- interference technology that are recoverable and relaunchable.

Mobile Threat Detection and Defence Systems – obsolete north sea rigs provide ideal platforms for early detection and protection of  ‘live’ rigs and the Scottish mainland -development of an autonomous interlinked «Dome» defence system which can be moved between platforms will be a priority. 

Smart Medicines – that use and manipulate the genetic footprint of viruses and bacteria to provide immunity. 

Scotland’s Defence Forces although relatively small have the opportunity to be highly interoperable and integrated in the Community from the outset. There are some fixed bases  that, although needing adaptation, are strategically located, vital to the local economy and extraordinarily expensive to move. Lossiemouth (Airforce) and Helensburgh (Navy) are the critical examples. 

Force Mix 

There are as many  possible force mixes as pundits to propose them. This paper espouses that our National Security Framework will not be a mini-UK replica. This is for 2 main reasons in that, firstly, Western Forces have a preponderance of  high impact, high value units already and, secondly, the nature of warfare in a digitised interconnected world is changing rapidly and the very nature of future defence assets will change. Threat analysis and technological development will make variations to force structure essential and the more adaptable, interconnected, and interoperable the structure is the more rapidly new threats can be responded to. 

Assumptions made are that as a maritime nation with an extensive 200 mile zone its main effort will protecting its interests in that zone. Its Army will largely be expeditionary in support of operations requested by our membership of the UN and our Allies. Its Airforce and Special Forces will provide early warning and support to maritime and land forces operations. Equipment should be designed to have a design life of at most a decade whether it is supported on a slightly longer life base platform or not. Modularity will be key.

ARMY – A  Land Operations Centre with a deployable element which would function within a forward Joint Operations Centre. A force construct which includes an Intelligence Battalion, Regionally based and recruited manoeuvre and support battalions. High readiness maritime and air capable expeditionary battalions with their necessary supporting arms.

NAVY – A Naval Operations Centre with a deployable element which would function within a forward Joint Operations Centre. A force construct which would include  Command capable units, small highly manoeuvrable, stealthy and modular units ( flexible tasking), underwater vehicles capable of conducting surveillance, salvage and demolition tasks, amphibious vessels and the necessary support and logistic vessels and bases.

AIR FORCE – An Airforce Operations Centre with a deployable element which would function within a Forward Joint Operations Centre. An interconnected multi unit Airborne early warning system with in flight fuelling support elements, integrated air based air defence and force protection system, ground based air defence and force protection, forward operating bases infrastructure and force elements. A helicopter force consisting of ground attack and heavy lift maritime and land capable units. 

SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES – A Special Operations Centre with a deployable element which would function within a Forward Joint Operations Centre. A force with Land air and sea capability and specialised support resources and equipment capable of covert insertion and recovery.

HOME GUARD – A Home Guard Operations Centre integrated with the Civil National Emergency Response Centre. With regional centres ( also colocated with regional crisis emergency centres) designed to operate within distinct territorial districts and each having  Rapid Response elements.

COASTGUARD – A stand alone Coastguard Operations Centre with sufficient seagoing  vessels to patrol proactively and continuously our 200 mile maritime economic zone and our inshore waters with the forward support jetties and facilities to maintain a robust operating tempo.

JOINT FORCES/ASSETS – A joint headquarters with a deployable capability, intelligence service, cyber defence service, Armed forces logistics and engineering support arm (including Host Nation Support), joint CBRNE Protection Service, joint medical services  and joint military police with appropriate designated facilities. 


Protecting Scotland’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and freedom of action comes at a cost. Robust and comprehensive force development takes time. Negotiated legacy equipment and assets from UK will work but may not be optimum to meet the threats of a fast developing world. Addressing state and non-state threats takes intellectual effort, planning, resolution and resources – all of which Scotland is capable of delivering as a trusted ally and partner. It is time to start the journey.

Articles Vive Policy Vive Updates

Our Energy Plan

How to win at energy and become embarrassingly wealthy.  

It’s probably not escaped your awareness over the last few years that you, the consumer, have been propping up the massive global energy market. It’s terribly inconvenient to the energy producers and suppliers that prices have gone up while available supply has gone down. There is however a great lie you have been fed. That Scotland was on the precipice of running out – and experiencing blackouts. This could not have been further from the truth. Scotland may be the most energy-rich country on the planet. 

This is not your dads’ policy paper – this is yours. We’re ViveEcosse. 

There is something in the water. 

We already have the solution to the whole nature of how we should build, fund and run a national energy company. The solution already exists. It’s called Scottish Water. 

You probably already quite like Scottish Water. Your council collects the monthly payment you make to them, your council makes adjustments based on the value of your property, and the council suspends payment when it knows you cannot pay. It works quite well. 

You’ve maybe called them to report a leak or loss of supply – but it’s unlikely you’ve ever called them about a bill and never have you had to contact them about meter readings. They’re considered the best in the UK, and one of the best in Europe by their customers – and yet many don’t even stop to think about who the supplier is. 

They don’t generate profits for shareholders – any money made goes into network improvement and any profit gets added back to national investment spending by the government. They don’t go into debt and they don’t take risky gambles. Relatively they are boring – every single day is about stability – and doing things the same. 

Also – it’s one set monthly fee. Use unlimited. It’s still the same price. Go wild. Take as much as you like. 

Energy should be boringly simple.

We have three energy crises to handle just now;

1. The ‘heating or eating’ crisis – where your energy demands may exceed your ability to fund both energy and your ability to eat. A particularly annoying situation to find ourselves in during a National Health overload – people either freezing or malnourished. 

2. Climate Crisis beyond all imagination – The planet oddly isn’t too fussed and will survive just fine, it’ll just filter humans out when it wishes to rebalance itself. 

3. Energy security – where most of the countries with resources happen to be run by tinpot dictators and walking human rights violations. 

We should use more electricity. 

Running a gas supply to a house or having a bunker of oil on your grounds is something of the dark ages. Gas supplies and oil are not particularly useful in the continuation of human health. Honestly – burning fossil fuels directly in the home should be the absolute worst-case situation. 

Electricity in comparison is relatively safe. We have breakers that can turn it off before a jolt crosses your heart. It also doesn’t really have explosive capabilities or the tendency to suffocate you invisibly in your sleep. 

It’s more useful than the liquid and gaseous fuels as we can throw it along wires – and in many cases along extensions that you can plug in yourself. Oh, and we have a lot of it. We have more electricity than we could ever hope to use. We have more than we could ever hope to export. We have more than we reasonably know what to do with. There is more electric capability than just about anything else. Seriously it’s the most plentiful resource we’ve ever known. 

The sun, the sea and the blustery winds. 

We have the capability to pop a panel on every house in the country and the sun will power the majority of them for free year-round. It will partially power the rest for most of the year. The sun will recharge those cells daily and work consistently. 

Some big dangly things can be dropped in the waters that *checks notes* literally surround the entire coast of our country and by some kinetic movement magic – they fling out electricity from being tidally bounced about in the wavy waters that surround us. 

When we don’t have sun and light, and when the tide is not alright, we have a secret weapon – we have massive windmills in the sky stealing power from the currents in the air. More electricity is generated by these turbines than we could hope to use in our homes. 

But that surely isn’t enough?

It does seem a little optimistic to quickly get off the dinosaur juice with just 100% of national capacity covered by renewable energy – occasionally with only 100% designed in it won’t quite match how much we need – because we’re quite awkward in how we use it. We like spikes and dips. We like sleeping at the same time and making dinner together. Sadly the wind, rain and sun don’t come in a useful pattern. 

There’s some magic though – we can literally just add more capacity. You see, 100% of installed capacity takes up a tiny fraction of the available capacity. We really could be wild – 300% capacity – we’re capable of that in a few short years. 500% of capacity – maybe a decade. 1000% of capacity – maybe two decades. 

But what about when there is no sun, no light, no wind and no tide?

There’s a magic cheat device. It’s a bit like when we invented banks. It wasn’t that useful or safe to have all your money at home or on your person. So we built banks – a place to store our monetary resources until we needed them. 

We will call it an energy bank or in other words a battery. We build them for houses now. 

They’re about the size of a garden slab and about as heavy too. They can power your house for an entire day – and you can put them on the outside wall, the inside walls, in cupboards, under floors, in attics, in hallways, in corridors. In fact, they really don’t care how or where you place them. 

They even improve the general grid – when there is no grid power – there is no blackout because your little battery gives the power company a whole day to fix things

Where on earth are we going to find the resources to build these tidal collectors, these wind factories, and solar stealers? 

Our industrial past serves us well. We have transport links around the country. We have the ports. We have the engineering knowledge. The academic nuance. There are a ton of big empty factory buildings in nearly every town and city in the country – you may even be able to think of a few as you read this. 

So let us get to work and use those massive industrial spaces again for the industry. 

Surely once we’ve built it though – it’s done? 

Oh no. First, we’re gonna sell dinosaur juice (or fossil fuels) that we have Western Europe’s largest proven supply of to stabilise the energy security situation across the entire of Europe. Then we’re gonna sell them the fix to the climate emergency. 

Wind turbines need replacement blades, tidal boppers need regular cleaning, and solar panels need changed every decade for more efficient tech. There is a whole hidden industry in the perpetual development – and we’re going to lead it. 

We are going to take a crisis and we’re gonna criminally capitalise while saving the planet. Honestly, you can charge countries for the solution. 

We can sell them the interim oil, the transmitted clean energy over big cables, and then finally the solution to not needing the first two items. This alone would cover the entire cost and make it wash its face. 

We’re gonna be greedy though. 

The people of Scotland own the resources and own the means of supply. Much like Scottish Water, we’re only going to let our national energy company charge us the cost of running the network. A set fee will be introduced – based on your house band – and the average will be around £50 a month. Unlimited usage. Go wild. Heat your home. 

The truth is – waste as much as you like it doesn’t really make a dent. When it’s coming from an infinite renewable supply like our water – the amount the average house can use even when really trying – doesn’t really make the line move. 

Boom, in our energy glut, we’ve just solved the heating or eating problem, we’ve just stopped all the oldies hitting hypothermia this Christmas, and we can stop that annoying advert about being cold and putting on an extra jumper. Scarfs in the living room are out and shorts and t-shirt are in. Meters removed, batteries installed.

Businesses will be charged basically what they are currently – much in the same way they have metered water on a pay-as-you-use tariff.

See those profits energy producers used to get from extractions and generation – we’re just gonna take that over. Tell them to bolt. They’ve had their chance. 

The energy we export will be at the older – higher – extortion rates we currently pay on the global marketplace. However, the actual generation cost is so ridiculously low, not even 10% of the current wholesale cost – that we’re gonna make 90% profit selling our surplus to others. Then we’re gonna charge them for the tools to be their own solution. 

This sounds great but how are you funding this great idea? 

The solution to that already exists too – years ago we told companies to charge for single-use bags – and they did! They were supposed to send the money to charity but it was always a suggestion and not a rule. Well times are tough and the charity giving is poor from them – so we’re taking it. We’ll let them keep sending to charities they do support – but those companies profiting off our environmental tax – will soon be sending it our way. 

We’ve decided to be our own charity case – and we’ll use the bag tax to fund the start-up of Lightning Bolt Scotland – the national energy company. It generates tens of millions in tax every year – we’re gonna take that and bootstrap up. 

Our fossil fuel transition is another massive funding source – being a world leader in carbon capture, decommission and establishment of new technologies will be the remit of our workers in the North. If we’re to improve, replace, remove – the people working in the field already are the ones with the knowledge key to succeed quickly. 

How and when?

Our grid is already technically independent – we just need to assert control the same we in which we established Scottish Water. Councils have the billing apparatus in place and it’s well-tested and battle ready. Batteries can be installed pretty easily. The capital can be borrowed on energy infrastructure commercially without much fuss. We already build the things we need to make more power. We control our own planning rules. Pop some ugly panels on everyone’s roof, plug in a battery, and charge fairer rates. 

Shed no tears for the corporations that will be departing – they had a chance to show it was people before profit and they decided to profit even deeper, during the hardest of our times. 

We have every power, the potential and the plan – now we just need the politicians to do it. 

We are ViveEcosse and this is our energy plan. Thank you. 

Articles Vive Updates

And let’s roll

An election is a funny thing, be that a general, local or leadership election. They are all a lot of work, a lot of action and a lot of time.

It weighs heaviest on those who take part as volunteers. You see the volunteers are not paid. They have no real skin in the game other than the love for the activity they’re partaking in. These people sacrifice many many hours of personal and home life in the pursuit of a dream that is bigger than they are, in the pursuit of a country that is better, and more in line with the vision they have for the future.

However, it does not come without a cost. It does need to be said that the volunteers of any election do so with great personal sacrifice. The sacrifice of time, effort and missed opportunities from those special moments that you enjoy, just by being around people you love.

It is with that note, that we mention this blog has taken some personal time from some of the core contributors, following the SNP leadership election. 

It is also the case that Scottish politics has been such a rollercoaster in the last little while it has been difficult to stay up-to-date and up-to-the-minute, leaving us unable to provide a contribution that meets the high bar we set.

We do live in exciting times and politics does move at high speed. However, it is now time the story continues and our contributions once again increase, we begin looking at the next chapters of what will be – the delivery of Scottish independence. 

Thank you ever so much to all of our loyal support. Let’s roll. 

Articles Vive Updates

ViveEcosse at All Under One Banner Glasgow

We are Vive Ecosse – our mission is to help crowdplatform the contributors to Scotland’s future.

It is good to be here today talking about Independence.

This is normal. This is what normal nations do.

They talk about how about their future, their hopes and their dreams.

What is not normal is the pantomime we see down south.

Kings, Queens, and palaces made of gold – when poverty and precariousness scars our daily lives across society.

There is a proud history in Glasgow of standing up to those who stand averse the values we hold dear.

When we talk of empires and injustice we do not need to look far to see the rebellion of thought in our people who call this place home.

This week we celebrated ‘May the 4th’ be with you, a celebration of the rebel cause in Star Wars.

It gives a moment to think back to Scotland’s last national conversation, and chuckle.

In 2014 the great train was sent north with the members of UK parliament – who were welcomed by the famous rickshaw.

“Bow down to your imperial masters – the empire has arrived” he bellowed.

It was hilarious then and it’s still hilarious now.

So much so – we brought our lightsabers just in case!

The point is this though.

While the UK powers on with a failed Brexit, failed economic argument, and a failed outlook for the future.

We must look to the one aspirational light in the sky. The light of independence.

Independence is now the safe choice.

Independence is the only choice that will economically and financially improve our country.

Independence is the only solution to the societal problems we face.

It was said in 2014 when Alex Salmond stood down, that was the end, support would fall.

It was said in 2022 when the Supreme Court case was lost, that was the end, support would fall.

It was said in 2023 when Nicola Sturgeon stood down, that was the end, support would fall.

And yet here we are today.

And support has not fallen.

The answer never was and never will be – politicians.

The answer has always been the people.

The problem we face now is that we need to focus.

We need to build forward, ahead of the politicians and tell them to follow us.

The days of arguing on social media are over.

The days of what hat are you wearing and what club are you in are done.

Everyone is a contributor on this journey.

Everyone must advance the case.

Take the time you have, take the time you can.

Focus on a topic you feel passionate about.

Do the research, then write a document.

Take that document and share it. Everyone must share their work.

Elevate ourselves from saying “oh but thats rubbish” and improve it or write something better.

Ask your friends their fears and concerns. Ask them to tell you why they aren’tyet convinced to YES.

Then help build the documents and the arguments that solve that problem.

We have no opposition – we have a boundless future to write.

Every time the unionists point out a flaw, or a concern, or a soundbite – they do us a favour.

It gives us the opportunity to improve the plan. To make the ship watertight.

We need to embrace our critical friends.

We need to have a wider door and a longer table.

We need to build the prospectus together.

None of this needs massive organisations, none of this needs political parties, none of this needs any guidance from those in power.

The truth is the People are who the Politicians fear.

The people are where the ideas are born.

The people are who dream.

The people are who make the demands.

So today – invite the politicians to follow you.

Support and celebrate those who go home and start writing.

Iterate and build on ideas. Improve them with the power of your contribution.

The ideas of tomorrow will be written today.

The future is not yet written, it’s always been in our hands, so pic up your pen, keyboard or mic.

Take control. Make a stand. Write your own future.

The first words spoken after the French Revolution were Vive La France, may our first words of a Scottish Independent Nation be Vive L’Ecosse!

Those who dare to dream, plan and deliver a better future are as one.

We are dauntless, brave, and loyal, – valiant to the end.

If you come here a stranger, you will exit as a friend.