High Command: British Military Leadership in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

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9780190233051: High Command: British Military Leadership in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

From 2001, Britain supported the United States in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Victory" in such conflicts is always hard to gauge and domestic political backing for them was never robust. For this, the governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were held responsible, and paid the price, but the role played by the High Command in the Ministry of Defence also bears examination. Critics have noted that the armed services were riven by internal rivalry and their leadership was dysfunctional, but the truth is more complicated.

In his book, General Elliott explores the circumstances that led to these wars and how the Ministry of Defence coped with the challenges presented. He reveals how the Service Chiefs were set at odds by the system, almost as rivals in the making, with responsibility diffuse and authority ambiguous. The MoD concentrated on making things work, rather than questioning whether what they were being asked to do was practicable. Often the opinion of a junior tactical commander led the entire strategy of the MoD, not the other way around, as it should have been. While Britain's senior officers, defense ministers and civil servants were undeniably competent and well intentioned, the conundrum remains why success on the battlefield proved so elusive.

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

About the Author :


Christopher L. Elliott retired from the British Army as a Major General in 2002. This book was written over two years while Elliott was a research fellow at the universities of Oxford and Reading.

Review :


"It is the responsibility of the chiefs of staff to speak truth to power when Britain goes to war, but until now they have been accorded little attention when considering the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Christopher Elliott has put that right, combining an insider's perspective with shrewdness, wit and strategic insight. If we are to learn lessons from the last decade, this is where to begin." -- Sir Hew Strachan, Chichele Professor of the History of War, University of Oxford


"A clear and balanced account of the strategic direction and lack thereof in recent British operations. Elliott brings depressing evidence of gross institutional failure and indicates what should be done to rectify it." -- General Sir Rupert Smith KCB DSO OBE QGM, former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe


"Enthralling, gripping and brutally honest. With a gentle, skilful hand Elliot guides the reader through the complex world of "High Command" to explain why a valiant and well-trained military force was not afforded the proper conditions to succeed neither in resources nor in leadership at a political level." -- General Jack Keane, former Vice Chief of Staff, United States Army


"A diplomatically couched bombshell of criticism of UK decision-making and the conduct of war. Defence ministries the world over should reflect on Elliott's trenchant analysis and wise advice, lest lives and treasure continue to be wasted in ineffective or even counter-productive campaigns." -- Professor Beatrice Heuser, University of Reading


"Elliott is particularly well qualified to shine a light on the performance of the "High Command" and does so with highly rigorous analysis, shrewd observations and perceptive insights. A compelling and disquieting account." -- Lieutenant General (retired) Sir John Kiszely KCB MC, former Director of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom


"An impressively original work. Elliott authoritatively describes the blindness and blunders committed by Britain's politicians, civil servants and the military before and after the invasion of Iraq and exposes how the lessons of failure in Iraq were ignored during the venture into Helmand" -- Tom Bower, writer and journalist


"An outstanding book on British military leadership in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars." --L Changing Character of War, Oxford University


"Britain will lose more wars unless military chiefs stop agreeing to impossible missions after a decade of errors in Iraq and Afghanistan, a new book warns . . . High Command, based on interviews with many of those at the helm of the military and the Ministry of Defence from the turn of the century, also identifies fundamental flaws inside the ministry that set the conditions for failure. . . Offering a rare insight into the turmoil within the armed forces during one of the most critical decisions of the two wars -- the deployment of British forces to Helmand in 2006, when they were still fighting in southern Iraq -- the book will make uncomfortable reading for General Sir Nicholas Houghton, the current Chief of the Defence Staff, who was chief of joint operations at the time." -- The Times


"A very welcome present this Christmas was a copy of Major General (Retd) Christopher Elliot's book, High Command, about British Military Leadership in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. ... An extremely well written and thoughtful book it examines the causes of these wars and how the Ministry of Defence coped with the challenges that they presented." -- Salisbury Journal


"Long overdue, High Command is a study of what's wrong at the MoD, and an excellent primer for the Chilcot report. ... Elliott sets out an agenda for reform as well as a narrative. He does so in terms that Evelyn Waugh could not have bettered. ' -- The Spectator


Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

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Description du livre Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2015. Hardback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From 2001, Britain supported the United States in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Victory in such conflicts is always hard to gauge and domestic political backing for them was never robust. For this, the governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were held responsible, and paid the price, but the role played by the High Command in the Ministry of Defence also bears examination. Critics have noted that the armed services were riven by internal rivalry and their leadership was dysfunctional, but the truth is more complicated. In his book, General Elliott explores the circumstances that led to these wars and how the Ministry of Defence coped with the challenges presented. He reveals how the Service Chiefs were set at odds by the system, almost as rivals in the making, with responsibility diffuse and authority ambiguous. The MoD concentrated on making things work, rather than questioning whether what they were being asked to do was practicable. Often the opinion of a junior tactical commander led the entire strategy of the MoD, not the other way around, as it should have been. While Britain s senior officers, defense ministers and civil servants were undeniably competent and well intentioned, the conundrum remains why success on the battlefield proved so elusive. N° de réf. du libraire AAC9780190233051

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Description du livre Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2015. Hardback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From 2001, Britain supported the United States in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Victory in such conflicts is always hard to gauge and domestic political backing for them was never robust. For this, the governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were held responsible, and paid the price, but the role played by the High Command in the Ministry of Defence also bears examination. Critics have noted that the armed services were riven by internal rivalry and their leadership was dysfunctional, but the truth is more complicated. In his book, General Elliott explores the circumstances that led to these wars and how the Ministry of Defence coped with the challenges presented. He reveals how the Service Chiefs were set at odds by the system, almost as rivals in the making, with responsibility diffuse and authority ambiguous. The MoD concentrated on making things work, rather than questioning whether what they were being asked to do was practicable. Often the opinion of a junior tactical commander led the entire strategy of the MoD, not the other way around, as it should have been. While Britain s senior officers, defense ministers and civil servants were undeniably competent and well intentioned, the conundrum remains why success on the battlefield proved so elusive. N° de réf. du libraire AAC9780190233051

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Description du livre Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2015. Hardback. État : New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. From 2001, Britain supported the United States in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Victory in such conflicts is always hard to gauge and domestic political backing for them was never robust. For this, the governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were held responsible, and paid the price, but the role played by the High Command in the Ministry of Defence also bears examination. Critics have noted that the armed services were riven by internal rivalry and their leadership was dysfunctional, but the truth is more complicated. In his book, General Elliott explores the circumstances that led to these wars and how the Ministry of Defence coped with the challenges presented. He reveals how the Service Chiefs were set at odds by the system, almost as rivals in the making, with responsibility diffuse and authority ambiguous. The MoD concentrated on making things work, rather than questioning whether what they were being asked to do was practicable. Often the opinion of a junior tactical commander led the entire strategy of the MoD, not the other way around, as it should have been. While Britain s senior officers, defense ministers and civil servants were undeniably competent and well intentioned, the conundrum remains why success on the battlefield proved so elusive. N° de réf. du libraire BTE9780190233051

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