Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan

Losing Small Wars British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan Partly on the strength of their apparent success in insurgencies such as Malaya and Northern Ireland the British armed forces have long been perceived as world class if not world beating However th

  • Title: Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Author: Frank Ledwidge
  • ISBN: 9780300166712
  • Page: 468
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Partly on the strength of their apparent success in insurgencies such as Malaya and Northern Ireland, the British armed forces have long been perceived as world class, if not world beating However, their recent performance in Iraq and Afghanistan is widely seen as at best disappointing under British control Basra degenerated into a lawless city riven with internecine vioPartly on the strength of their apparent success in insurgencies such as Malaya and Northern Ireland, the British armed forces have long been perceived as world class, if not world beating However, their recent performance in Iraq and Afghanistan is widely seen as at best disappointing under British control Basra degenerated into a lawless city riven with internecine violence, while tactical mistakes and strategic incompetence in Helmand Province resulted in heavy civilian and military casualties and a climate of violence and insecurity In both cases the British were eventually and humiliatingly bailed out by the US army.In this thoughtful and compellingly readable book, Frank Ledwidge examines the British involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking how and why it went so wrong With the aid of copious research, interviews with senior officers, and his own personal experiences, he looks in detail at the failures of strategic thinking and culture that led to defeat in Britain s latest small wars This is an eye opening analysis of the causes of military failure, and its enormous costs.

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      468 Frank Ledwidge
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      Posted by:Frank Ledwidge
      Published :2018-09-27T11:01:29+00:00

    1 thought on “Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan”

    1. No doubt this is a very well researched book, written by someone with an intimate knowledge of the British armed forces. He does a very thorough job of detailing the specific areas of failure in the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns. My key complaint with the book is how he glosses over or simply ignores the failings of the U.S. government and armed forces in conceiving and executing these invasions in the first place. The British army may indeed have failed in their objectives, but it must be disc [...]

    2. The British Army was driven out of Basra and totally screwed up its deployment in Helmand, Afghanistan. The British public is generally ignorant of this, and attempts to tell them the truth is met by indignant denial. This of course is a large part of the problem. If the British had an education system, or a health service, or public transport which performed as abysmally as their army in recent years (and God knows the performances of these services have been pretty piss-poor by most First Worl [...]

    3. The most disturbing book I have read on the current state of the British armed forces.Watching on TV the British handover in Basra at the end of March '09, I felt the humiliation that Maj Gen Andy Salmon must have felt as he relinquished command to Maj Gen Oates and his US 10th Mountain Division. I wrote of this feeling on My.Telegraph blog site and expressed the view that this was no withdrawal but a serious defeat (I later heard it described as the worst defeat of British arms since the fall o [...]

    4. In high school (1989), I wrote a paper for my AP US History class comparing the Malayan Emergency to the American experience in Vietnam. My optimistic thesis was, that if only the United States could have learned something from Malaya, our war in Vietnam could've ended in victory. Little did I know that I was ahead of the curve, and that a succession of academics would make that same case into a cottage industry during our most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (I should've gone for that PhD) [...]

    5. The remit of the the book is looking at the strategic loose ends that orientated the British army to disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan, while the later part of the book deals extensively with counterinsurgency theory and the sort of structure and approach it requires to accommodate. I thought it was a good addition to the 'Our War' series you find on YouTube, albeit one that tells you why structurally MOD made the decisions the way it did, with it's bloated archaic structure and exacerbated the b [...]

    6. If you like me had no idea why the we got involved in Afghanistan this is for you. At the time I cynically just thought that we were only doing it because the Americans wanted to kick someone after 9/11 and they wanted some one else involved to legitimize it and we always do what they want. Seems it was just about the only reason we did other than politicians, armys and guns sellers like to have wars. Cost a lot of money, killed a lot of people and by all accounts no one but the people who sell [...]

    7. En av de mest kompromissløse evalueringene av, i dette tilfellet den britiske, deltakelsen i OIF/ Irak og ISAF som jeg har lest. Ledwidge har utvilsomt en agenda med det han skriver, og ikke alt er like godt drøftet, men at han er mange relevante poenger er utvilsomt.Les boken med en sunn skepsis og et kritisk blikk, se om det kan være paralleller til f.eks norsk Afghanistan- eller Faryab-strategi

    8. This is a well researched and well written account of a painful truth in the British military. It needs to be read and needs to be heeded. Sadly given the stifling of thought and the necessity to not rock the boat that leads to the promotion to the general staff it will be lauded and ignored. Mistakes will be repeated and there will be many needless casualties.

    9. The British Army isn't as good as it thinks it is. Why did we get involved in that war in the first place. Who gains? Everyone loses.

    10. Excellent read - very eye opening for those who didn't serve in Telic. Worrying that it appears we will go the same way with Afghanistan.

    11. I found the style very readable, and the author's points are logically made. All this without the bitter aroma I'd been expecting.

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