Search results

Controversial British techniques

Interrogation, Intelligence and Security examines the origins and effects of a group of controversial interrogation techniques often described as torture, known as the ‘five techniques’. Focusing on the colony of Aden at a time when British rule was being challenged by nationalist insurgents (1963-67), on the height of ‘the troubles’ in Northern Ireland (1971) and the conflict in Iraq (2003), the book explores the use of hooding to restrict vision, white noise, stress positions, limited sleep and a limited diet. Through its in-depth analysis the book reveals how British forces came to use such controversial methods in counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism and internal security contexts. In Aden and Northern Ireland the techniques were a part of policy, used because of the British military’s belief – a belief adopted by members of government – that the techniques would increase the amount and quality of intelligence obtained during interrogation. In Iraq the techniques were used for a much more complex set of factors that can be categorised into facilitating and motivating factors. The book finds that while it is likely that some intelligence was produced from these interrogations, the techniques had widespread and long-lasting negative effects that should be taken into account when judging whether these and similar techniques can be justified.

The politics of Britain’s small wars since 1945

Britain is often revered for its extensive experience of waging ‘small wars’. Its long imperial history is littered with high profile counter-insurgency campaigns, thus marking it out as the world's most seasoned practitioners of this type of warfare. Britain's ‘small wars’ ranged from fighting Communist insurgents in the bamboo-laden Malayan jungle, marauding Mau Mau gangs in Kenyan game reserves, Irish republican terrorists in the back alleys and rural hamlets of Northern Ireland, and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan's Helmand province. This is the first book to detail the tactical and operational dynamics of Britain's small wars, arguing that the military's use of force was more heavily constrained by wider strategic and political considerations than previously admitted. Outlining the civil-military strategy followed by the British in Palestine, Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus, Aden, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan, Defending the Realm argues that Britain's small wars have been shaped by a relative decline in British power, amidst dramatic fluctuations in the international system, just as much as the actions of military commanders and civilian officials ‘on the spot’ or those formulating government policy in London. Written from a theoretically-informed perspective, grounded in rich archival sources, oral testimonies and a reappraisal of the literature on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism, Defending the Realm is the definitive account of the politics of Britain's small wars. It will be of interest to political scientists and historians, as well as scholars, students, soldiers and politicians who wish to gain a more critically informed perspective of the political trappings of war.

Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles

Afghanistan, for example, the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) were civilian military units that supplied the population with services and goods. Set up by NATO, their mission was to win ‘hearts and minds’ and gather information on the Taliban. NGOs vehemently criticised this classic counter-insurgency strategy, accusing the PRTs of compromising their neutrality by ‘blurring the line between humanitarian activity and military operations’ and endangering them. Without a doubt, that dividing line – if it exists – was blurred in Afghanistan, but at a much deeper level

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Humanity and relief in war, Britain 1870–1914

The history of relief work is in its infancy. This book draws on new archival research to reveal the priorities of nineteenth-century relief workers, and the legacies of their preoccupations for relief work today. It first explores the inauguration of the British National Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded in War (NAS) at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 under the figurehead of Loyd Lindsay. Then, the book sees the revival of the NAS for work in the Balkans during a period of nationalist violence and Ottoman counter-insurgency which culminated in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. It also follows the staff of relief committees as they dispensed aid in British colonial wars. The book examines the critiques of British policy in the Boer War (1899-1902) emanating from intersecting circles of Quakers, New Liberals and ethicists, and considers these groups' offer of aid to Boer civilians. Further, the book concentrates on the methodologies of relief for Boer inmates of British concentration camps in South Africa and on the implications of this relief for its intended recipients during and after the war. It concentrates on aid to British soldiers. The book closes by tracing continuities in vocational practices and dispositions to emerging areas of concern in the post-war period, in particular child welfare, and briefly considers their implication for relief work today.

Conflict, displacement and human security in Burma (Myanmar)

suffered the brunt of the conflict. Minority insurgency struggles and their suppression through counter-insurgency campaigns by military-dominated governments have been fought out over a battlefield of civilian populations ( Lang, 2002 : Chapter 3 ). Over the decades, the direct and indirect impacts of ‘low intensity’ conflict have been pervasive and destructive, resulting in

in Critical Security in the Asia-Pacific

counter-insurgency. It will be shown in this book that the majority of the literature fails to go beyond the political debates outlined in chapter 1 as it lacks an adequate theorisation of temporality. These literatures rooted in concepts of suspect communities and counter-radicalisation move the book closer to this theorisation, showing, respectively, that Prevent operates through producing, and then transforming, identities. The Prevent literature and the separation of security and identity A paper by Thomas

in Counter-radicalisation policy and the securing of British identity
Open Access (free)
The bodyand counter-revolutionary warfare inapartheid South Africa

.23 The war on the corpse If the move to extra-judicial elimination is one in which the strategies and tactics of a wider regional war were adopted, then the variety of means and modes of killing outlined above speak to difficulties and constraints in relocating this war internally. For example, Koevoet, the police unit in which many security police officers had served in counter-insurgency operations in Namibia, shot dead guerrilla suspects and displayed their bodies openly, ‘tied onto spare tyres, bumpers, mudguards and were left there until [they] got back to the

in Destruction and human remains
Communism, communalism and decolonisation

desperately short of Chinese-speaking officers as well as Chinese constables, and the problems of gathering intelligence and of enlisting Chinese assistance would continue to hamper police work in Malaya long into the 1950s. The immediate effect of the Emergency, however, was to thrust paramilitary tasks of counter-insurgency upon the already hard-pressed Malayan Police. Paramilitary operations

in Policing and decolonisation

Tegart had been despatched to look at possible reform the scene was set for the security chaos that would ensue. Increasingly the Palestine Police was involved in counter-insurgency operations only to beat a hasty retreat in June 1948 with the end of the mandate. Without adequate intelligence, police operations often floundered, leading to repeated attempts at reform. Really this was more about

in At the end of the line
Combating terrorism in Northern Ireland

, it informed its readers that, ‘in taking on the British Army the I.R.A. Provisionals are tackling the most expert restorers of peace in the world’.25 However, it neglected the long history associated with Britain’s involvement in Ireland.26 Incredibly, and despite the purported reservoir of Internal Security and counter-insurgency knowledge, the Army was woefully unprepared for operations in Northern Ireland.27 At a purely tactical level, London had placed a huge amount of responsibility on the shoulders of the most junior of commanders without providing them with

in Defending the realm?