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

Westminster Round-Up Podcast | May 2019

The Remote Warfare Programme's Liam Walpole and Megan Karlshoej-Pedersen discuss the latest developments in UK defence and security policy. Read more

Iraq After Islamic State: Divided We Stand?

This briefing examines how choices made throughout the anti-IS campaign have contributed to several of the factors that are currently destabilising the Iraqi security sector. 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

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

Pacifism or Pragmatism? The 2013 Parliamentary Vote on Military Action in Syria

Several commentators have argued that the 2013 Syria vote was a marker of parliamentary pacifism and a symbol of the perils of democratising the decision to use force. This briefing uses the transcript of the debate and recent interviews to assess the validity of these claims. Read more

Trump and Bolton: Making a Greater American Century?

The last month has seen dramatic upheavals among the key personnel within the Trump administration tasked with advising the president on foreign affairs and national security policy. Trump has sought a wider range of policy options on Iran and North Korea and he is now likely to get them from a more hawkish team, increasing the possibility of new US regime change operations. This briefing compares current events to the rise of the Neo-Conservative agenda in 1997-2002. Read more

The Invasion of Iraq Fifteen Years On

20 March 2018 will mark the 15th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Despite President Trump’s confident assertions that the Islamic State is defeated there and in Syria, if ORG’s predictions from before that invasion continue to hold true, we may be only half-way through a generational struggle. Indeed, dispersal of combatants from Iraq and Syria means that this is becoming an increasingly globalised war in which the West is ill-equipped to prevail. Read more

Nuclear Posture Review: Sliding Towards Nuclear War?

North Korea and Russia may be the focus of contemporary Western fears of imminent nuclear-armed conflict but development and deployment of “useable” nuclear weapons has been a constant throughout the atomic age and by all nuclear-armed states. Read more

Defining Remote Warfare: Cyber

This is the second briefing in a series by the Remote Warfare Programme which will bring together experts to discuss important aspects of remote warfare to provide some conceptual clarity.This briefing by VERTIC attends to cyberwar, a subject that has grabbed the attention, and imagination, of publics, media, civil society and academics alike. Read more

Mind the Gap: Parliament in the Age of Remote Warfare

This briefing by Liam Walpole explores the origins of the War Powers Convention and parliament’s role in scrutinising the UK government’s use of lethal force over the last decade. Read more

After the Fall: Views from the ground of international military intervention in post-Gadhafi Libya

This report by Libya specialist Alison Pargeter elicits Libyan views on international operations in Libya and analyses the possible effects of such operations on Libya's longer-term stability. Through interviews with a diverse section of Libyan society, the research paints a detailed picture of how international intervention, both covert and overt, is perceived by Libyans Read more

Towards a New Consensus on National Security

As the UK commences negotiations on leaving the EU, juggles challenges to its own union, confronts a new wave of DIY terrorist attacks, and launches Europe’s largest ever warship, the need for a “strategic” National Security Strategy has never been greater. Read more

Hans Blix: Trump's Missile Attack Motivated By Domestic Politics

It is possible that the Trump administration's signal of readiness to tolerate Assad encouraged the Syrian government to barge ahead for more military gain and to use gas against its own citizens. 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

The UK and the Terror Threat

The recent statement from the UK’s new Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation that the terrorist threat to the country is at its highest level since the 1970s raises at least three crucial questions that this briefing seeks to answer. Read more

Special Measures: Donald Trump and Trans-Atlantic Relations

The first part of this briefing will expand on two good reasons why it is in the interests of the UK government and people to embark upon a full assessment of its central relationship with the US under a Trump presidency. Read more

ORG, Russia and NATO

Since the onset of the conflict in Ukraine in 2014, Oxford Research Group has worked to understand what drives the greatest tensions in European security for a generation, not least Russia’s own perception of its place and interests in Europe and the wider world. Read more

Beyond Deterrence: Rethinking UK Security Doctrine

This article by ORG’s founder and patron, Scilla Elworthy, is based on a keynote address given to the “Making Deterrence work in the Twenty-first Century” forum held at Merton College, Oxford, 15 July 2015, hosted by the Ministry of Defence’s Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC) and the University of Oxford Changing Character of War Programme Read more

Conservative Defence Policy - Five Knowns and Ten Unknowns

This briefing sets out five things that we now know about the SDSR and ten things we do not yet know. Read more