KEVIN ROWLANDS Commander Kevin Rowlands is a naval officer who was awarded a PhD in 2015 through the Defence Studies Department. He is the editor of 21st Century Gorshkov, recently published by the US Naval Institute Press. In the following post he argues the origins of Russia’s current maritime strategy can be traced to the… Read More THE RETURN OF GORSHKOV AND THE NEW COLD WAR AT SEA
DR GERAINT HUGHES James Bond aficionados will no doubt remember the scene in Ian Fleming’s first novel Casino Royale (1953) in which 007 is cleaned out at the baccarat table by the trade unionist and clandestine SMERSH agent, Le Chiffre. Facing the prospect of defeat in not just a card game, but an intelligence operation… Read More The Marshall Plan: Seventy Years On
DR GERAINT HUGHES Concepts of grand strategy generally stress the requirement of governments to outline clear strategic goals, and to ensure that all elements of national power are co-ordinated by ministers and senior officials (civil service and military) to achieve them. In recent history, one state achieved the apparent success of devising a ‘total’ strategy… Read More ‘TOTAL NATIONAL STRATEGY’: A CAUTIONARY TALE
DR JEFF MICHAELS In the vast majority of cases, scenarios of future war have rarely come to pass as originally envisioned. At least two inter-related reasons can account for this. First, due to the incredibly large number of variables to consider – geopolitical, technical, human, etc. – it is simply impossible to calculate how they… Read More General Sir John Hackett’s The Third World War: Or, How to Think about a Future War with Russia Today
By ROBERT SEELY Is Russia in a new cold war with the West? Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev seems to think so. “We have slid, in essence, into times of a new Cold War,” Medvedev told an audience of diplomats on 13 February at the Munich conference, blaming NATO states for the deterioration of relations. Medvedev’s words… Read More When is a Cold War not a Cold War?
DR ELLEN HALLAMS During the first week of February I was asked to deliver a talk at the annual Norwegian Air Power Conference at the Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy in Trondheim. The theme this year was ‘NATO: Threats and Challenges’ and I was asked to reflect on whether NATO today has common threats and… Read More Walking a Tightrope: NATO, Russia, Islamic State and the new brinkmanship
by DR KEN PAYNE The Vietnam war is quite a story. And it’s a story rich with irony: the dramatic irony of unintended consequences and flawed heroes. That makes it hard, perhaps impossible, for modern artists to say much new about conflict, and explains why that war continues to resonate a half century after the… Read More War Stories
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 My last post on Defence-in-Depth described a battlefield tour of Oman, studying the Dhofar conflict waged between insurgents and the Sultanate from the mid-1960s to late 1975. Thanks to the declassification of British government archives under the 30 Year Rule we now have greater knowledge of the covert operations conducted during… Read More The Secret War in South Yemen, 1972-75
This is the second in a series of posts from members of the Defence Studies Department’s Regional Security Research Centre, focusing on Russia and the implications of its increasingly assertive posture on the international stage. This post examines NATO’s response to recent Russian actions, particularly in Ukraine. It will be followed subsequent Mondays with posts… Read More Russia and NATO: A New Cold War?