Iraq: not the first British disaster … and it’s unlikely to be the last

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

Brexit and International Security: A Guide for Undecided Voters

DR BEN KIENZLE The most recent polls for the referendum on Britain leaving the European Union suggest that neither the ‘Brexit’ nor the ‘Bremain’ camps have mustered the necessary support to win today. The still undecided voters will certainly play a crucial role. So, how should these voters take their decision? The most obvious approach… Read More Brexit and International Security: A Guide for Undecided Voters

Why ‘defence’ does not serve as a suitable argument in the Brexit debate

DR BEN KIENZLE Only one month remains until British voters can decide if the UK should leave or stay in the EU. Naturally, the debate about the benefits and disadvantages of British membership in the EU is heating up. Almost each day, the supporters of ‘Brexit’ and ‘Bremain’ vie with each other for the best… Read More Why ‘defence’ does not serve as a suitable argument in the Brexit debate

A Capital Mistake: Evidence and Defence in the Brexit Debates

Professor Matthew Uttley & Dr. Benedict Wilkinson In one of his more exasperated moments, Sherlock Holmes turns to his long-term companion, Dr. Watson and chides him for his impatience, saying ‘It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment.’ Strong words they may be, but wise ones… Read More A Capital Mistake: Evidence and Defence in the Brexit Debates

Understanding a different ‘holy trinity’: procurement and British defence policy, part 3: Time

DR ED HAMPSHIRE My previous two blogposts on the procurement trinity covered capability and cost. Many people see the problems of defence procurement as a trade-off between one of these two factors or the other, but there is also the third forgotten element: time. Delays in projects can affect the other two elements of the… Read More Understanding a different ‘holy trinity’: procurement and British defence policy, part 3: Time

Understanding a different ‘holy trinity’: procurement and British defence policy, part 2: Cost

DR ED HAMPSHIRE In my previous post I discussed the problems faced in defence procurement deriving from one of the members of the procurement trinity: ‘capability’. This post will now turn to the second element of this trinity: cost. It is the cost escalation of projects that unsurprisingly most exercises the Treasury when it reviews… Read More Understanding a different ‘holy trinity’: procurement and British defence policy, part 2: Cost

Understanding a different ‘holy trinity’: procurement and British defence policy, part 1: capability

DR ED HAMPSHIRE In defence procurement, as in Clausewitz’s description of warfare, there is a ‘holy trinity’ that must be kept in balance to ensure success and the achievement of objectives. The procurement trinity consists of capability, cost and time. The piece of equipment, weapon system or platform that has been procured must be able… Read More Understanding a different ‘holy trinity’: procurement and British defence policy, part 1: capability

Challenges for British Strategy and Defence Policy in 2016

DR TIM BENBOW British strategy and defence policy face a number of challenges over the coming 12 months. Some of these require close cooperation with allies, notably devising a common response to an increasingly assertive Russia whilst also formulating a workable approach to the Syria conflict (and the problems associated with it such as migration)… Read More Challenges for British Strategy and Defence Policy in 2016

Fraudulent Cases of PTSD: It’s Not Just About the Fraud

By DR ALISON HAWKS A recent Guardian article with the headline “Many military veterans’ PTSD claims ‘fabricated or exaggerated’” argued that fraudulent claims of PTSD take away valuable resources from those that genuinely do suffer. Professor Edgar Jones, of King’s College London, explained the problem: ‘‘The pressing issue of ‘stolen trauma’, that is the elaboration… Read More Fraudulent Cases of PTSD: It’s Not Just About the Fraud

Back to the Future? British Air Power and Two Defence Reviews 2010-15

Dr David Jordan When the Prime Minister sat down in the House of Commons after concluding his presentation of the 2015 SDSR, he may have allowed himself a smile of satisfaction at the largely positive response it received, and not just from his own back-benchers. This may have become a grin by the time the… Read More Back to the Future? British Air Power and Two Defence Reviews 2010-15