29 November 2019 

Listen to Past Podcasts

On 26 November, the Remote Warfare Programme launched their new report, written by Abigail Watson and Megan Karlshoej-Pedersen, on the roll-out of the UK’s Fusion Doctrine. The event was held at Fyvie Hall, London. An expert panel discussed the report's findings.    

The report was based on field research in Kenya and Mali, interviews with officials from the British Ministry Of Defence, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department For International Development, as well as roundtables with experts from a wide variety of backgrounds. It argues that as Fusion Doctrine is rolled out it presents an important opportunity to improve our offer to African partners in the Sahel and East Africa.

You can read the report here.

Chair: Mary Harper

Discussants: Dr Peter Albrecht, Dr Andrew E. Tchie, Oliver Major, Abigail Watson and Megan Karlshoej-Pedersen

Image credit: AMISOM/Wikimedia Commons. 

About the participants 

Mary Harper is a journalist and writer, specialising on Africa, especially Somalia. She has reported on events on the continent since the early 1990s. She is Africa Editor at the BBC World Serviceand author of Getting Somalia Wrong? Faith, War, Hope in a Shattered State (Zed Books) and Everything You Have Told Me Is True (Hurst). She writes for academic journals and publications including The Economist, Granta, The Guardian, The Times and The Washington Post. She has worked for, amongst others, the Economist Intelligence Unit and the United Nations. She writes expert reports for Somali-related legal cases and translated from French into English The State in Africa: The Politics of the Belly by J-F. Bayart

Dr Peter Albrecht is a Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies. His expertise is in the field of security, peace and development, both as a set of international policies and as individual programmatic approaches to reforming military, police, intelligence, judicial and oversight actors. His work focuses on international politics as well as the local level in West Africa (Sierra Leone, Ghana) and East Africa (Somalia, Kenya) and explores how security as a public service is being provided by state and non-state institutions. He has written several books, including ‘Hybridization, Intervention and Authority: Security Beyond Conflict in Sierra Leone’ (2020), ‘Securing Sierra Leone, 1997-2013: Defence, Diplomacy and Development in Action’ (2014), and ‘Reconstructing Security After Conflict: Security Sector Reform in Sierra Leone’ (2011).

Dr Andrew E. Tchie is a Research Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. He is the Editor of the IISS Armed Conflict Database (ACD) which focuses on monitoring armed conflict trends globally. His research focuses are on regional and local political dynamics impacting African states, peacekeeping in Africa, the use of indiscriminate violence in African conflicts and the response to conflict by the African Union and Regional Economic Communities. He runs the institute's Africa Session series which is designed to hear from prominent African voices about the emerging trends taking place on the continent. He previously worked for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan as a civil affairs officer (2015-17), UNDP in Nepal and the Commonwealth Secretariat. He is a visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Conflict and Health at King’s College London, a visiting researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and a fellow at the Michael Nicolson Centre for Conflict and Cooperation.

Oliver Major, C is the Chief of the General Staff’s Visiting Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, where he is seconded to aid the development of thinking on the future development of the Army in an independent environment which allows challenge to current thinking. An Infantry Officer, he has served on operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan as well as on Civil Contingencies operations in the UK. He has served with US Forces and NATO, and at Battle Group, Brigade, Corps, Component and Joint levels. He has also worked in Intelligence focused on Africa, was part of the team which introduced the Army’s Capstone doctrine, ADP Land Operations, into the Army, and chaired NATO’s Land Operations Working Group and Land Doctrine Panel. He has an MA from Oxford University, an MSc in International Security from Cranfield University and completed the National General Staff Course (LGAN) at the Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr in Hamburg. His current research includes a focus on increasing the utility of land forces by better linking engagement and deterrence to government needs.

All views expressed are his and not those of the MOD, the Army, or RUSI.

Abigail Watson is a Research Manager at the Oxford Research Group’s Remote Warfare Programme. She researches and presents on the military, legal, and political implications of “remote warfare”: the shift towards light footprint intervention. Instead of deploying their own forces states like the UK tend to work “by, with and through” regional and local groups, who are expected to the bulk of frontline fighting – with the UK providing, for instance, training, air support, equipment or intelligence. She leads on the team’s research into this shift, including conducting extensive field research with UK personnel undertaking these activities. This work has resulted in four reports: 'Lawful But Awful? Legal and political challenges of remote warfare and working with partners','Remote Warfare:Lessons Learned from Contemporary Theatres', 'No Such Thing as a Quick Fix: The Aspiration-Capabilities Gap in British Remote Warfare' and 'All Quiet on the ISIS Front? British secret warfare in an information age'. Abigail’s work has also been published in outlets such as Just Security, Strategy Bridge, E-IR and OpenDemocracy and can be found on the Oxford Research Group’s WarPod podcast.

Megan Karlshoej-Pedersen is the Remote Warfare Programme’s Research and Policy Officer.She researches and writes on Western countries’ shift towards remote warfare post 9/11 and supports the RWP’s engagement with Parliament, political parties, and policy-makers. She has co-authored a hard-hitting report on the transparency and accountability of Special Forces in remote warfare and a forthcoming report on the military and political importance of efficiently protecting civilians in remote warfare. Her work has been published in outlets such as the Small Wars Journal, Defense One, Open Democracy, International Review and more. She has also presented on these topics at conferences and workshops.