The Perils of Mission Command – A Historical Perspective

Conor O’Neill Mission command is firmly built into UK and Allied military doctrine.  It has become an article of faith that it produces better results as it “…encourages initiative and decentralized decision-making” and thus “promotes…speed of action…”.  UK doctrine argues that the British approach goes further than the Allied one, with use of the concept… Read More The Perils of Mission Command – A Historical Perspective

Credible Commitment Problems In Civil War

Craig Harvey Credible commitment problems are a long-understood challenge in the international environment. They can manifest themselves in a number of ways, but they are generally understood to apply in situations between two or more parties to a conflict who, after years of brutal war, have finally agreed upon a peace settlement. The problem, though,… Read More Credible Commitment Problems In Civil War

Nightingale’s legacy: Women on the COVID ‘frontline’

Hannah West Coronavirus is not only a disease but a human security threat. We are used to seeing the, predominantly male, Armed Forces deploy in response to a conventional security threat. But, the NHS frontline is disproportionately manned by women. Nurses symbolise the frontline of the medical profession in their hands-on capacity caring for patients… Read More Nightingale’s legacy: Women on the COVID ‘frontline’

The advent of the ‘third revolution in military affairs’; is the UK now facing the threat of AI-enabled cyber warfare(?)

Rod Thornton and Marina Miron In respect to China, it seems to be the case that in the United Kingdom the penny has finally dropped. The UK government now sees a threat from having Huawei technology embedded in the country’s communications infrastructure. This may be part of a fundamental reappraisal within the UK of the… Read More The advent of the ‘third revolution in military affairs’; is the UK now facing the threat of AI-enabled cyber warfare(?)

Colouring Russian views of conflict in the 21st century

Tracey German The perceived threat posed to Russia from so-called coloured revolutions – popular uprisings attributed by Moscow to malign sponsorship by external forces – has become a central theme in Russian security discourse. There is a deep-rooted concern that coloured revolutions are part of the character of conflict in the 21st century, a new… Read More Colouring Russian views of conflict in the 21st century

Historical Reflections On The ‘Grey Zone’

Geraint Hughes Following Anna Karenina’s suicide in Tolstoy’s eponymous novel, her lover Count Vronsky enlists to fight for the Serbs against the Turks. Vronsky’s decision reflected the contemporary reality of Russian volunteers taking up arms against the Ottoman Empire during the Balkan crises that preceded the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, and it provides a reminder… Read More Historical Reflections On The ‘Grey Zone’

Defence Diplomacy in the Cold War: The Experiences of British Military Attachés in Egypt, 1968-1973

Geraint Hughes The terms ‘defence diplomacy’ and ‘defence engagement’ are used to describe some of the aspects of military activity that fall outside the direct use of force. These can include multinational exercises, the diplomatic liaison work of military attachés posted at embassies, port visits by naval vessels, the provision of training teams and loan… Read More Defence Diplomacy in the Cold War: The Experiences of British Military Attachés in Egypt, 1968-1973

Covid-19 and why state resilience in the United Kingdom needs to be strengthened: The link to the changing character of war and lessons from Russia

Rod Thornton As the United Kingdom struggles to cope with the effects of the Covid-19 virus, it is becoming clearer just how weak the county’s state resilience system is. Shortages of the most basic of medical items indicates a system that is not prepared to deal with times of extreme duress. The option of last… Read More Covid-19 and why state resilience in the United Kingdom needs to be strengthened: The link to the changing character of war and lessons from Russia