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British forces fighting ‘new’ wars with new tactics ?

Friday, February 05, 2010
by Andy Lawrence

A couple of useful articles published in recent days give students evidence on the extent to which the British Army is adapting to fighting in different kinds of conflicts.

The BBC report on Operation Moshtarak mentions that the Army are conducting ‘shaping operations’ in that they warn the local population of the impending offensive and work with tribal elders in order to win ‘hearts and minds’. By doing so, of course, the British lose the element of surprise but, it is hoped, some Taliban will see the writing on the wall and lay down their weapons. That is the theory.

The Daily Telegraph published an article yesterday on the ‘toxic cocktail’ of state-sponsored terrorists, extremist groups and criminal ganags that will form new enemies in the decades to come. The publication of the MOD’s assessment of future conflict now opens up the debate about what our armed forces shoudl look like and the role they should play in the future.

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