Reading the initial news chatter suggesting Des Browne is to be replaced at the Ministry of Defence with John Hutton, I am filled with dismay. Des Browne is famous within our arms control community for the speech he gave at the Conference on Disarmament earlier this year and referenced earlier in this blog, at which he proposed a technical disarmament conference of the P5. As a defense secretary Des has been uniquely sympathetic to the more holistic, global perspective, whilst also winning the support of the military (when initially they were suspicious). His speech was indicative of the changed attitude at the ministry and the leading role it took on much of this agenda, previously a preserve of the Foreign Office. Des will be greatly missed.