The King’s College Research Centre for the History of Conflict will be hosting a symposium, ‘Armed Forces and the Cold War: Operations and Legacies’, at the JSCSC in the Tedder Lecture Theatre on 13th July 2016. All staff and students are warmly invited to attend. DR GERAINT HUGHES In the autumn of 1972 Shah Reza… Read More All the Shah’s Men: The Imperial Iranian Brigade Group in the Dhofar War
DR GERAINT HUGHES Military manuals do not often attract readers from outside of the profession of arms, and the publication of the US Army/US Marine Corps’ manual on counter-insurgency (FM3/24) by the University of Chicago Press ten years ago was one of those rare occasions where military doctrine gained an audience beyond the armed forces. FM3/24… Read More Uncertain COINage
DR KATE UTTING In the past information, influence or non-kinetic psychological aspects of conflict had a supporting function to the physical, kinetic aspects; today it is seen as central. Militaries have done ‘influence’ for years, but there is a dominant view that in the current information environment all actions, deeds and words are scrutinised in… Read More Palestine 1945-48: the Information Campaign and the Limits of Influence
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 GERAINT HUGHES In a previous post I commented on the increasing importance of militias in internal conflicts, particular with both the Syrian civil war and the conflict in Iraq against so-called Islamic State. Scholars of Iraqi history can indeed draw parallels between the Kurdish peshmerga’s relevance to the US-led Coalition war effort and the… Read More ‘COUP-PROOFING’, INSURGENCIES AND MILITIAS.
This is the fifth of several posts running on Defence-in-Depth arising out of the Military Learning and Innovation Roundtable held at the Joint Services Command and Staff College on Wednesday 17 June 2015. The roundtable explored the various ways in which armed forces have learned, adapted, and innovated in times of war and peace, austerity, and pressure… Read More Military Innovation Studies: Well-Set for the Future?
DR ANDREW GAWTHORPE A new book from Evan Thomas reminds us – as if we needed it – of the peculiarities of President Richard Nixon. Brilliant, reclusive, and disturbed, Nixon ought to defy caricature even though he has often been the subject of it. His foreign policy partnership with Henry Kissinger reflected this. By marginalizing… Read More Nixon the Nation-Builder? Strategic Understanding in the Vietnam War
by DR GERAINT HUGHES Last month, I was invited to a workshop at the University of Glasgow on ‘Proxy Actors, Psyops, and Irregular Warfare’. This proved to be a valuable experience, giving me the opportunity to share and debate ideas with fellow academics, and also to develop a strand of research that started with an… Read More Militias, Weak States, and Contemporary Warfare
DR CHRIS TRIPODI In an era of supposedly unparalleled challenge and complexity (ignoring for one moment the fact that it isn’t in any way unparalleled), ‘Understanding’ appears to be the current doctrinal plat du jour for Britain’s armed forces. Particularly so for the Army, that service which by and large interacts most closely and personally… Read More The Doctrine of ‘Understanding’ and the Illusion of Control
by Dr GERAINT HUGHES Please click on the thumbnails in this post for full-sized images. Forty years ago Oman’s Southern province of Dhofar was in a state of civil war. The Sultan’s Armed Forces (SAF) was fighting to wrest control of the province from the guerrillas of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Oman… Read More Oman – On the Ground in Dhofar