Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan

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9780300166712: Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan
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Partly on the strength of their apparent success in insurgencies such as Malaya and Northern Ireland, the British armed forces have long been perceived as world class, if not world beating. However, their recent performance in Iraq and Afghanistan is widely seen as—at best—disappointing; under British control Basra degenerated into a lawless city riven with internecine violence, while tactical mistakes and strategic incompetence in Helmand Province resulted in heavy civilian and military casualties and a climate of violence and insecurity. In both cases the British were eventually and humiliatingly bailed out by the US army.

In this thoughtful and compellingly readable book, Frank Ledwidge examines the British involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking how and why it went so wrong. With the aid of copious research, interviews with senior officers, and his own personal experiences, he looks in detail at the failures of strategic thinking and culture that led to defeat in Britain's latest "small wars." This is an eye-opening analysis of the causes of military failure, and its enormous costs.

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About the Author:

Frank Ledwidge is a former barrister and military intelligence officer. He has served in many conflict zones including Iraq, Helmand, and Libya.

Review:

".... a devastating, highly readable critique of why Britain's armed forces have fared so badly in two of the country's most recent and controversial conflicts: Iraq and Afghanistan." (Sean Rayment, The Daily Telegraph) ".... the author deserves applause for bluntly expressing the truths about our recent military failures that too many of those involved find it convenient to obscure." (Max Hastings, The Sunday Times) "... Losing Small Wars is a savage indictment of the military leadership that got British soldiers into one impossible situation after another in Iraq and Afghanistan." (Rodric Braithwaite, Financial Times) "Lieutenant Commander Frank Ledwidge, RNR (retired), has written one of the most upsetting books I have read about Britain's part in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Anyone who wants to understand what happened should read it." (Sherard Cowper-Coles, New Statesman)"

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780300182743: Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan

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ISBN 10:  0300182740 ISBN 13:  9780300182743
Publisher: Yale University Press, 2012
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