Lessons from Britain’s Military Mistakes
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.