Friday, November 22, 2013

Counterinsurgency in Crisis: Britain and the Challenges of Modern Warfare

A video well worth watching featuring our own Security Studies Professor and Director of Teaching Dr. Robert Egnell and his co-author and our good friend Dr. David Ucko and Dr. Thomas Mahnken, another good friend.

Published on Nov 20, 2013
The IISS-US book launch for "Counterinsurgency in Crisis: Britain and the Challenges of Modern Warfare" featured a panel of guests, including the books authors, David Ucko and Robert Egnell, as well as discussant Thomas Mahnken, Senior Research Professor of Strategic Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS. David Ucko is currently an Associate Professor at the College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University as well as  Adjunct Fellow at the Department of War Studies, King's College London and Robert Egnell
is a Visiting Associate Professor and Director of Teaching in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University.

The British military--long considered the masters of counterinsurgency--encountered significant problems in Iraq and Afghanistan when confronted with insurgent violence. In their effort to apply the principles and doctrines of past campaigns, they failed to prevent Basra and Helmand from descending into lawlessness, criminality, and violence. The lessons from these experiences are as urgent as they are relevant, not only for Britain but also for the United States and other key NATO allies. Most critically, they point to the nature and challenges of intervention, of counterinsurgency, and of understanding and properly implementing strategy.

On the basis of their newly published book, Counterinsurgency in Crisis, David H. Ucko and Robert Egnell will discuss the contributions and limitations of counterinsurgency for the expeditionary settings of today and tomorrow. In calling attention to the enduring effectiveness of insurgent methods and the threat posed by under-governed spaces, the two authors underscore the need for military organizations to acquire new skills for meeting the likely irregular challenges of future wars. Yet as their book makes clear, the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq also point to the need for more modest forms of intervention, and greater realism about what the West can and cannot do.

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