Clausewitz in Orbit: Spacepower Theory and Strategic Education

BLEDDYN BOWEN The politics of war and peace in space is an overlooked field. Space is a quiet and lonely place in war studies – despite space systems performing critical infrastructure roles in war, peace, politics, economics, and nuclear stability. In the mid-1990s John Sheldon and Colin Gray bemoaned the fact that there is no […]

Clausewitz and Learning Through Communities of Practice

by DR ROBERT T. FOLEY Many organisations like to describe themselves as ‘learning organisations;’ however, very few are actually good at organisational learning. One of the key challenges facing any organisation is how to take the knowledge and experience of individuals and spread this throughout a group so that everyone learns. This problems is particularly […]

Was Clausewitz the first military blogger?

by DR HUW J. DAVIES As Christmas approaches, I’ve been casting around for a suitable topic to help draw to a close Defence-in-Depth’s first four months – something light-hearted and suitably tongue-in-cheek. By the looks of the title of this post, I’ve found one. Last week, a young Lieutenant (that’s Loo-tenant, rather than Lef-tenant) posted a […]

What did officers read before Clausewitz?

by DR HUW J. DAVIES A few weeks ago, I visited Stratfield Saye, the Berkshire country estate of the Duke of Wellington. Acquired in 1817 as a reward for the decisive victory he gained at Waterloo two years earlier, grand plans were drawn up to knock down the old house and erect an enormous palace […]

The British Army & the Chilcot Report: Strategy isn’t the answer

DR DAVID MORGAN-OWEN This post originally appeared on The Wavell Room – a new blog to encourage the discussion of thinking within the British armed forces. Follow the Wavell room on Twitter @wavellroom The long-await report of Sir John Chilcot’s commission on the Iraq War is feeding a dangerous illusion in the British Armed Forces: that […]

Were the Attacks in Paris and Brussels an Intelligence Failure?

Dr. Emmanuel Karagiannis During 2015-2016, ISIS cells and ISIS-inspired lone wolves launched a series of terrorist attacks against European cities. On 13 November 2015, a group of ISIS assailants launched coordinated attacks on civilian targets in central Paris. They killed 132 people and injured 352. It appears that there were three teams of nine gunmen. Three […]

The Operational Level as Military Innovation: Past, Present and Future

DR STUART GRIFFIN As Defence-in-Depth once again spends time exploring the concepts of the operational level and operational art, it seems an appropriate time to relate my previous contribution on the subject to the other research strand that I have previously blogged about: military innovation. Though the popular focus of military innovation tends to be […]

It’s about reaching the decision, not victory: strategic theory and the difficulty of taking action

DR BLEDDYN E. BOWEN As students of the Defence Studies Department grapple with strategic theory this winter, a useful way to begin is to consider the purpose of strategic theory and the work of ‘that dead Prussian’. One perspective on this issue is that we are engaging with why reaching decisions in war is difficult […]

From Sparta to Space: Astropolitics and IR Theory

DR BLEDDYN BOWEN What does the world of Thucydides have in common with that of Wehrner von Braun or Sergei Korolev; of the realm of the trireme with the Delta IV rocket? Much like the popular misconception that satellites in orbit have ‘escaped’ the influence of Earth’s gravity, there is a common perception that outer […]