Confronting Iran: The British Dimension

The posture of the British Armed Forces in and around the Persian Gulf mean that it would be very difficult for the United Kingdom, or its key ally Oman, to remain neutral in any military escalation of the conflict between Iran and the United States. Read more

Remote Warfare and the Practical Challenges for the Protection of Civilians Strategy

This briefing explores the strategic consequences of remote warfare for Protection of Civilians (POC) and outlines practical lessons the British armed forces can draw from contemporary theatres to improve its capacity for POC in partnered operations. Read more

ORG Explains #10: The UK’s Joint Expeditionary Force

This primer describes the new UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), situating it in the context of other European rapid reaction forces and the UK and NATO’s expanded military presence in the Baltic Sea region. Read more

Conceptualising Remote Warfare: The Past, Present, and Future

On 28 February and 1 March 2019, the Remote Warfare Programme and the authors, held a two-day conference on remote warfare. This essay provides an overview of the event and reflects more broadly on remote warfare scholarship. Read more

WarPod Ep #2 | Yemen, Drones and International Law

To discuss a recent German court case regarding drones, the Remote Warfare Programme team are joined by Fiona Nelson of ECCHR and Jennifer Gibson of Reprieve. Read more

The WarPod Ep #1: Building Partner Capacity in Africa

The Remote Warfare Programme are joined by Nic Marsh and Marie Sandnes of the Peace Research Institute Oslo to talk security assistance and building partner capacity in Africa. Read more

Improving the UK offer in Africa: Lessons from military partnerships on the continent

Based on field research conducted in Africa with British and international military personnel, this brief focusses on the military contribution to UK efforts in Kenya, Mali and Nigeria. Read more

Security cooperation with Saudi Arabia: Is it worth it for the UK?

This report assesses the costs and benefits to the UK of its defence and security relationship with Saudi Arabia, as well as the extent to which the UK is able to exert leverage and influence over Saudi Arabian foreign policy. Read more

No Such Thing as a Quick Fix: The Aspiration-Capabilities Gap in British Remote Warfare

This report is a first attempt to evaluate the gaps between contemporary strategies and activities in Iraq, Syria and Libya. Read more

Remote Warfare: Lessons Learned from Contemporary Theatres

This report is a first attempt to identify some of the factors that have helped or hindered the UK’s current approach to remote warfare. Read more

Defining Remote Warfare: British Training and Assistance Programmes in Yemen, 2004-2015

Between 2004-2015 Britain engaged in capacity building operations across Yemen’s police, military, and intelligence agencies. This briefing seeks to provide a critical review of these efforts, their successes, and the causes of their ultimate failure, in order to identify lessons for future training and assistance missions. Read more

Out from the shadows: the case for external oversight of UK Special Forces

By downplaying the benefits of opening UKSF to external scrutiny, the UK government places itself at a strategic disadvantage that devalues lessons learned exercises that could otherwise be incorporated into improving future military effectiveness. Read more

Agile Warrior Quarterly

Emily Knowles and Abigail Watson have contributed an article to Agile Warrior Quarterly, the British Army’s intellectual examination of current and emerging threat and opportunities for land capability. Read more

Defining Remote Warfare: The Rise of the Private Military and Security Industry

This briefing will show how, amid a new global security environment shared by state and non-state actors, the market for force has developed into a strategic partner for the state in both the Western and non-Western world. Read more

ORG Explains #1: The UK Military in the Asia-Pacific

This primer explains what presence, relations and obligations the UK military has in Asia-Pacific, defined here as the largely maritime region between Hawaii, New Zealand and the Asian mainland. Read more

Remote Warfare and the Boko Haram Insurgency

This report by Open Briefing examines the effectiveness of the use of remote warfare by the Nigerian government, its regional allies and Western states to counter the threat of Boko Haram. Read more

Are there sufficient mechanisms to protect UK special forces?

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. Read more

Defining Remote Warfare: Security Cooperation

This briefing paper provides an overview of a central, but often overlooked, instrument of US remote warfare: security cooperation. In the briefing, security cooperation is defined as Department of Defense-managed programmes to train, equip and advise foreign security forces to fight alongside, or as surrogates for, American ‘boots on the ground’. Read more

The Golden Age of Special Operations Forces

Special Forces have long captured people’s imaginations. Books, films, video games 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 knows or thinks they know what Special Forces are, few really know what they do. Read more

In Afghanistan, more is not the answer

This new briefing is based on off-the-record military interviews with both international and local Afghan troops between February and March 2017. Read more

After Mosul: Islamic State’s Asian and African Future

After three years and over 22,000 air strikes, the Levantine ‘Caliphate’ manifestation of the Islamic State seems destined for destruction in 2017. Yet the revolt of radicalised Sunni Arabs is unlikely to abate in Iraq or Syria, with the battlefield shifting to localised guerrilla insurgency, increasing attacks within western states, and the opening of new fronts in the global margins, not least Asia and Africa. Read more

Cameroon’s Far North: Responding to Boko Haram

Overall, the acute situation in Far North Region is linked to a wider crisis of responsive institutions across Cameroon. The political vacuum expected to succeed octogenarian president Paul Biya, sooner rather than later, is widely cited as a greater threat to human security than the immediate Boko Haram insurgency. Read more

All quiet on the ISIS front? British secret warfare in an information age

Remote Control’s latest report tracks the UK’s secretive but growing military commitments abroad by analysing the rise in the use of drones for targeted killing, the use of Special Forces, and the provision of capabilities such as intelligence and embedded troops to allied forces. Read more