DR CHRISTIAN TRIPODI As the annual Advanced Command and Staff Course at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom progresses toward its conclusion, the students will shortly divide into three separate modules for the final term. One of those, the ‘Ends’ module, will draw the students into deeper consideration of the dynamics and processes underpinning… Read More History & Policy
By Dr. Amir M. Kamel The prospect of the US president-elect Donald Trump’s Administration has led to ripples across the international system, not least in the Middle East. Indeed, at the time of writing, Trump had pledged to reduce the US tendency to carry out foreign interventions. Significantly, this included harsh criticisms of the 2015… Read More Iran’s Afghanistan Policy: At odds with Trump?
DR GERAINT HUGHES Even before the release of the Chilcot Report on 6th July 2016 the reputation of Tony Blair was tarnished by the controversies surrounding Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War (2003-2009), his relationship with former President George W. Bush, and the flawed decision-making which took the UK into this conflict. One side-effect of Operation Telic is that… Read More THE OTHER VIETNAM ANALOGY: TONY BLAIR, HAROLD WILSON AND THE ‘SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP’.
DR CHRIS TUCK After seven years, the Chilcot inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war finally has been released. Its conclusions are an excoriating critique of the limitations in British strategy and policy in 2003. The inquiry has identified a raft of issues: that war was not the last resort and… Read More Iraq: not the first British disaster … and it’s unlikely to be the last
After a turbulent 2015, members of DSD’s Regional Security Research Centre (@KingsRegSec) look forward to the coming year and examine the issues that they believe will be prominent in 2016, including the US presidential elections, continuing instability across the Middle East and the various coalitions seeking to counter IS, talks between India and Pakistan on… Read More Reasons to (not) be cheerful in 2016…South Asia: thaw in India-Pakistan relations?
DR CHRISTINA GOULTER As Dr Huw Davies suggested in this post, how successfully the British armed forces incorporate their recent experience of counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan and Iraq into doctrine and planning is likely to shape future perceptions of those campaigns. The fight against the Taliban has not ended, even for the West, because some advisory work by… Read More COUNTER-INSURGENCY: A QUESTION OF VICTORY
DR ALISON HAWKS —The data presented here was drawn from a large-scale study of armed private security contractors, of which this blog post is one aspect. The study set out to explore the perceptions and realities of being a private security contractor after military service. Of the men and women who completed the survey (n=1516),… Read More What Private Security Contracting can Teach Us About Recruitment and Retention in the Armed Forces
by DR HUW J. DAVIES On Friday afternoon, I was asked if I would participate in a discussion on the BBC News Channel on ‘how history will view the recent campaign in Afghanistan’. I’m usually asked to participate in interviews that are way outside my comfort zone. This, whilst not entirely fitting within it, was… Read More Was it worth it? How History will view the British Campaign in Afghanistan
by DR HUW J. DAVIES This month marks the conclusion of my first decade teaching at Staff College. In that time, I can think of two years that stand-out as containing fundamentally unexpected events, that have caused quite drastic adjustments to what I talk about when I teach. Those years were 2011 – the year… Read More Hot Potatoes for 2015
by DR HUW J. DAVIES ‘From the Archives’ is a new regular feature on Defence-in-Depth. Archives are the lifeblood of historians. Papers, correspondence, diaries and journals constitute the primary material on which historical analysis is based. This feature is designed to fulfil two objectives. Our authors have selected an archive that has yielded an important… Read More From the Archives: The Causes of the First British Invasion of Afghanistan, 1839-42.