Blogger at the Frontline

North on the war

General Sir Richard Dannatt General Sir Richard Dannatt
Dr Richard North, co-founder of the website EU Referendum, see HERE has anti-EU politics as his 'day job' He also has carved a niche for himself as an analyst of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and runs another blog, Defence of the Realm to deal specifically with this subject.

Tony Blair's wars were always a bit of a hotchpotch and lay somewhere between pure vanity and the evangelical with just a nod to strategy. North concentrates on Iraq and shows that the mistakes in Iraq were not recognised early enough, lessons were not learnt and so there is a risk of them being carried over into Afghanistan.

North's book, The Ministry of Defeat - The British War in Iraq, 2003 – 2009 has just been released and North was invited to the Frontline Club to talk about the subject and take questions. The occasion was supposed to be a proper debate with a full range of speakers, including General Sir Mike Jackson. But Jackson pulled out at the last moment for reasons not made fully clear.

It is hard as this stage to predict the reception the book will get. North is not an anti-establishment character in the classic sense, in fact he is a sort-of-conservative. The problem is that his 'establishment' is a lot more independent and democratic than the pro-EU right-wing would sign us up to. He is very supportive of the troops in 'the thick of it' but very sharp on the level of the armed services that are at ease with the Ministry of Defence and government, collectively accusing them of negligence.

This has led to North being openly critical of General Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, oh, oh! The lazy journalists, another target of North's ire, who simply cut and paste the 'news' from the MoD website into their own paper without analysis will not like this. For Dannatt is very popular with them and their readership; who could doubt a man with a row of medals that go from the buttons on his tunic to his arm?

The public cannot imagine how a man like Dannatt could do any wrong. It was the same problem for Boris Johnson in trying to get rid of Sir Ian Blair; it took ages as the public simply could not work it out from the lacklustre reports in the media.

I've watched this video clip all the way through, there's much to digest. At first I thought it was a pity that Jackson, or another high level military man did not attend but North is relaxed about this, suggesting that they might have been a 'distraction' and not added much to the proceedings!

Anyway time for North to speak for himself on the subject of wars and how not to fight them, to see the video click the link - HERE.