Britain’s Shadow Army: Policy Options for External Oversight of UK Special Forces

This report makes the case for introducing some form of external oversight of UKSF, and examines allied experiences of legislative scrutiny. It then outlines two different models of parliamentary committee oversight that might be appropriate policy options for the UK:

Option 1: Introduce legislative scrutiny of UKSF by expanding the mandate of the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC).

Option 2: Reform the House of Commons Defence Committee (HCDC) by providing it with the appropriate permissions to scrutinise UKSF.

Additional recommendation: Relax the “no comment” policy on UKSF to allow ministers to release unclassified briefings and budgetary information as deemed appropriate.

This report was first published by Oxford Research Group as part of their Remote Warfare Programme.