Department of War Studies
The Department of War Studies, King's College London, focuses on promoting understanding of war, conflict and international security. The podcasts highlight the department's research and teaching activities. They also cover events the department organises
Event: 'Spying for Wellington' - Dr Huw Davies
Date of Recording: 19 Feb 2019 Description: Book Launch 'Spying for Wellington: British Military Intelligence in the Peninsular War' - Dr Huw Davies Intelligence is often a critical factor in a successful military campaign. This was certainly the case for Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, in the Peninsular War. In this book, author Huw J. Davies offers the first full account of the scope, complexity, and importance of Wellington's intelligence department, describing a highly organized, multifaceted series of networks of agents and spies throughout Spain and Portugal--an organization that is at once a microcosm of British intelligence at the time and a sophisticated forebear to intelligence developments in the twentieth century. Spying for Wellington shows us an organization that was, in effect, two parallel networks: one made up of Foreign Office agents "run" by British ambassadors in Spain and Portugal, the other comprising military spies controlled by Wellington himself. The network of agents supplied strategic intelligence, giving the British army advance warning of the arrival, destinations, and likely intentions of French reinforcements. The military network supplied operational intelligence, which confirmed the accuracy of the strategic intelligence and provided greater detail on the strengths, arms, and morale of the French forces. Davies reveals how, by integrating these two forms of intelligence, Wellington was able to develop an extremely accurate and reliable estimate of French movements and intentions not only in his own theater of operations but also in other theaters across the Iberian Peninsula. The reliability and accuracy of this intelligence, as Davies demonstrates, was central to Wellington's decision-making and, ultimately, to his overall success against the French. Correcting past, incomplete accounts, this is the definitive book on Wellington's use of intelligence. As such, it contributes to a clearer, more comprehensive understanding of Wellington at war and of his place in the history of British military intelligence. Speaker bio: Dr Huw J Davies is a Senior Lecturer in Defence Studies, and has been a member of the department since March 2005. He is currently Deputy Dean of Academic Studies (Education) and the Academic Course Director for the Advanced Command and Staff Course. Dr Davies gained his PhD from the University of Exeter in 2006, and, in addition to numerous articles on Napoleonic military history, his first book, entitled Wellington’s Wars: The Making of a Military Genius, was published by Yale University Press in 2012. His area of research focuses on the activities of the British Army between 1750 and 1850. As a result, he has conducted research in the United States, India, Pakistan and Australia, as well as in archives in Europe. Dr Davies has also held fellowships at the University of Michigan, the Huntington Library in California and at Yale University.
Podcast: Building Stability (CSD Conference)
Date of Publication: 16 March 2019 Description: What is the future of security and development in an uncertain world? On the 7th and 8th of March, students from KCL’s Conflict Security and Development (CSD) MA course in the Dept. of War Studies and students from the International Development Department in the School of Global Affairs held the 2019 student-led CSD titled ‘Building Stability: Security and Development futures in an uncertain world’ to address this very question. For this conference, students brought together rich and diverse panels of practitioners and experts from government, academia, and the private sector to address many topics and key debates around the future of security and development in fragile states, ranging from private investment and resilience building to the functionality of multilateral organisations and the role of state actors. In this edition of the War Studies podcasts we are going to hear from CSD MA candidate and conference co-chair Andrea Nara...
Event: In a Time of Monsters: Travels Through a Middle East in Revolt
Date of Recording: 25 Feb 2019 Description: Returning to the UK in September 2010 after serving in Iraq as the political adviser to the top American general, Emma Sky felt no sense of homecoming. She soon found herself back in the Middle East, traveling through a region in revolt. In A Time of Monsters bears witness to the demands of young people for dignity and justice during the Arab Spring; the inability of sclerotic regimes to reform; the descent of Syria into civil war; the rise of the Islamic State; and the flight of refugees to Europe. With deep empathy for its people and an extensive understanding of the Middle East, Sky makes a complex region more comprehensible. A great storyteller and observational writer, Sky also reveals the ties that bind the Middle East to the West and how blowback from our interventions in the region contributed to the British vote to leave the European Union and to the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. Speaker Bio: Emma Sky is a Senior Fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute. She worked in the Middle East for twenty years and was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services in Iraq. she is the author of the critically acclaimed The Unravelling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut.
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