Commodore Steven Jermy RN, author of Strategy For Action, has been invited to take part in a Global Strategy Forum debate on Tue 1st March entitled 'Strategy in Afghanistan and Beyond: Delivering or Not Delivering on UK Objectives?'
Experience has not been kind to foreign militaries in Afghanistan. The current coalition operations appear to be conforming to this historical pattern. Despite domination of every aspect of the battlefield and the deployment of significant civilian resources, the coalition still faces a resilient and well-organised insurgency. Political ties with the government in Kabul are chronically tense. The 'safe haven' in Pakistan remains open. Overall, victory does not seem to be close. Indeed, there is little consensus on how victory should be defined.
This state of affairs poses many urgent questions: Is there a plan of action for improving the prospects of success? How can we deploy tactical military force against the enemy while not thereby undermining our strategic political aims? How should we define UK objectives in Afghanistan? And what is the right combination of military and civilian assets to advance these? Broader topics for debate also arise: what are the implications for the region, especially Pakistan? Does our experience in Afghanistan suggest lessons for British use of force in the 21st century? Does our Afghan engagement help or impair our relations with the Muslim world and the wider confrontations with terrorism?
Also taking part is Professor Anatol Lieven, Chair of International Relations and terrorism Studies at King's College London. The debate will be chaired by Bernard Jenkin MP.
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