Afghanistan: The Lessons of War

Talk Wednesday 25 February 2015, 7:00 PM

In late October, Camp Bastion, Britain’s biggest overseas base since World War Two, was handed over to Afghan control, marking the end of 13 years of British combat operations in Afghanistan. With countless civilian and military casualties, many will now be asking what has been achieved.

We will be joined by those who served in Afghanistan and the journalists who covered the country, to take a comprehensive view of the conflict from its inception after 9/11 to the withdrawal. Looking at the decisions that were made and the consequences of those actions, we will be examining the lessons that should be learned by British and coalition forces.

Chaired by David Loyn, the Afghanistan correspondent for the BBC. He is the author of Frontline: Reporting from the World’s Deadliest Places and Butcher and Bolt: Two Hundred Years of Foreign Engagement in Afghanistan.

The panel:

Jack Fairweather is currently a fellow of the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University. He was the Daily Telegraph’s Baghdad and Gulf correspondent for five years. He is an expert on the American and British military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, and author of A War of Choice: Britain in Iraq 2003-9 and The Good War: Why We Couldn’t Win the War or the Peace in Afghanistan.

Mike Martin is a former pushtu-speaking British Army officer who spent almost two years in Helmand both serving and researching. During that time he also worked as an advisor to four senior British officers in charge of the British Helmand campaign. Last April, he published his history of the conflict, An Intimate War, in the face of an attempted ban by the Ministry of Defence.

Major General Jonathan Shaw recently retired from the British Army after 32 years during which time he commanded operations at every rank up to Major General. He has gained extensive operational experience in the Falklands, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. He is author of Britain in a Perilous World: The Strategic Defence and Security Review we need.

Jawed Nader is the director of the British & Irish Agencies Afghanistan Group (BAAG). He has extensive experience of working with both Afghan civil society and the Afghan Government. Since 2002, he has been working on promoting civil society and good governance in Afghanistan. He has worked as Programme Adviser and Director of the Afghanistan Land Authority in the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture (2009-2011), and as Advocacy Manager with the Afghan Civil Society Forum (2002-2006).

Picture: UK Ministry of Defence