This article was first published on The Strategy Bridge on March 28, 2018 When news first emerged that four American special operators and five Nigeriens had been killed in a deadly ambush on the 4th of October 2017, it catapulted the hitherto, little-known United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM) presence in Niger into the limelight. Almost immediately, Senators […]Read more "Special Forces Opacity: Dangers for the U.K."
Defence and security expert Christopher Spearin discusses the use of private military and security companies by states and the implications of this trend for international security. Q. A series of examples in recent conflicts – such as the US’ use of contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan and Russia’s reliance on mercenaries in Ukraine and Syria […]Read more "Private Military and Security Companies: An Interview with Christopher Spearin"
Renowned political communications scholar Daniel Hallin talks about the media coverage of the Vietnam war and its lasting legacy on the relationship between the media and the state during wartime. Q. Much discussion on the media and war often focuses on the Vietnam War, which was described as “the living room war” and the first […]Read more "The Media and War: An Interview with Daniel Hallin"
Expert on jihadi-insurgency groups Christopher Anzalone talks about the recent activity of Al-Shabaab and the effectiveness of the counter measures against the group. Q. Recently, there were two major attacks on civilian targets in Mogadishu, Somalia. The first was the third-deadliest act of terrorism in recorded history. Whilst Al-Shabaab has yet to admit or deny […]Read more "Interview: Christopher Anzalone"
Alexander Thurston, specialist in militant Islamism, discusses the history and evolution of Boko Haram. Q. Boko Haram: The History of an African Jihadist Movement, your new book, offers a comprehensive history of one of the world’s deadliest jihadist groups. Who are Boko Haram and what are the origins of this group? Boko Haram originated in north-eastern Nigeria […]Read more "Interview: Alexander Thurston"
This article by Abigail Watson was first published on DefenceReport on November 30, 2017. Recent reports suggest that UK special forces could have been left “understaffed” for years, and efforts to rectify this appear flawed. This adds to building questions about whether the current level of oversight is sufficient to protect our special forces. In […]Read more "Are there sufficient mechanisms to protect UK special forces?"
This article by Abigail Watson was first published on E-International Relations on November 28th 2017. Special Forces have long captured people’s imaginations. Books, films, videogames and news outlets propagate an image of heroism and mysticism – only added to by governments’ reticence to discuss their operations. The impact of this is that, while almost everyone […]Read more "The Golden Age of Special Operations Forces"