Past event

Research Event

Depending on the Right People: British Political-Military Relations 2001-10

Chatham House, London

International Security Department, UK Defence

Overview

The roundtable will launch James de Waal's report 'Depending on the Right People: British Political-Military Relations 2001-10'.

The author will discuss the report, which analyses the difficult relationship between politicians, senior military officers and civil servants in the first decade of this century, showing how this aggravated British difficulties in Iraq and Afghanistan, hampered democratic oversight, and contributed to a continuing breakdown of trust between politicians and the military.

The report uses recent evidence, including from the Iraq Inquiry, to illustrate the shortcomings of a decision-making process highly dependent on individuals viewed at the time as “the right people”, but whose performance was in fact uneven. The author will compare the unsystematic British approach with practice in the US and elsewhere, and suggest why and how the decision-making process must become more resilient.

Attendance at this event is by invitation only.