Past eventNominees Breakfast BriefingPartners and Major Corporates

Lessons from Britain’s Military Mistakes

15 January 2014 - 8:00am to 9:15am

Chatham House, London


James de Waal, Visiting Fellow, International Security, Chatham House



More than 10 years after Tony Blair took Britain to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the government’s handling of these campaigns remains highly controversial, casting an enduring shadow over the debate on intervention in Syria and elsewhere.

James de Waal, author of the recent Chatham House report Depending on the Right People? British Political-Military Relations 2001-2009, will argue that simply blaming the politicians is both an inadequate explanation of what went wrong in the past and a poor guide to doing better in the future. 

He will suggest that tensions and mistrust between politicians, the military and the civil service exacerbated Britain’s military troubles and led to a decision-making process highly dependent on individuals whose performance was uneven. He will provide suggestions as to how the decision-making process can become more resilient.

To enable as open a debate as possible this event will be held under the Chatham House Rule.

About Nominees Breakfast Briefings

This event is only open to Major Corporate Members and Partner organizations of Chatham House.