Join us for a discussion with Brigadier Ben Barry regarding the analysis in his new book, “Blood, Metal and Dust: How Victory Turned into Defeat in Afghanistan and Iraq” of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Vanda Felbab-Brown to discuss how the war in Afghanistan ends.
Inextricably linked to the ongoing ‘War on Terror’, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan dominated more than a decade of international politics and their influence is felt to this day. “Blood, Metal and Dust” is the first military history to offer a comprehensive overview of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, providing in-depth accounts of the operations undertaken by both US and UK forces. Brigadier Barry analyses the wars which shaped the modern Middle East, providing a detailed narrative of operations.
Brigadier Barry is uniquely placed to tell the story of these controversial conflicts and offers a rounded account of the international campaigns which irrevocably changed the global geopolitical landscape. He served in the British Army in 1976. As well as training in Germany, France, Cyprus, Canada, Portugal and New Zealand, and operational service in Hong Kong and Northern Ireland, he commanded both an armoured infantry battalion and a multinational brigade on UN and NATO operations in Bosnia. He was director of the British Army Staff in the UK Ministry of Defence and author of the Army’s lessons learned analysis of post-conflict stabilisation of Iraq. He joined The International Institute for Strategic Studies in 2010, and is a visiting professor at the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. Brigadier Barry is also the author of “Harsh Lessons: Iraq, Afghanistan and the Changing Character of War” (IISS, 2016), and “The Road from Sarajevo: British Army Operations in Bosnia, 1995–1996″ (The History Press, 2016).
Vanda Felbab-Brown is a senior fellow in the Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. She is the director of the Initiative on Nonstate Armed Actors. She is also the co-director of the Africa Security Initiative and the Brookings series on opioids: “The Opioid Crisis in America: Domestic and International Dimensions. Previously, she was the co-director of the Brookings project, “Improving Global Drug Policy: Comparative Perspectives Beyond UNGASS 2016,” as well as of another Brookings project, “Reconstituting Local Orders.” Felbab-Brown is an expert on international and internal conflicts and nontraditional security threats, including insurgency, organized crime, urban violence, and illicit economies. Her fieldwork and research have covered, among others, Afghanistan, South Asia, Burma, Indonesia, the Andean region, Mexico, Morocco, Somalia, and eastern Africa. She is a senior advisor to the congressionally-mandated Afghanistan Peace Process Study Group. She is the author of multiple papers regarding Afghanistan, including “Aspiration and Ambivalence: Strategies and Realities of Counterinsurgency and State-Building in Afghanistan”, “The fate of women’s rights in Afghanistan,” co-authored with Brookings President John R. Allen, and “A BRI(dge) too far: The unfulfilled promise and limitations of China’s involvement in Afghanistan”.