Saturday, 19 January 2019

The Mahdist Revolution

 Batte at Abu Klea, Sudan, January 1885
This thesis, by Major Robert N. Rossi, USA, covers the Mahdist Revolution in the Sudan from 1881 to 1885. Mohammed Ahmed proclaimed himself the Mahdi (the expected one or the deliverer in the Islamic faith), and fought the colonial Egyptian government of the Sudan and the British. Britain was drawn into the conflict by its interest in the Suez Canal, its heavy financial investments in Egypt, and its participation in suppressing the Arab revolt.
Mohammed Ahmed successfully defeated the Egyptian and British forces brought against him and established an Islamic state in the Sudan. He succeeded by effectively combining religious, economic, cultural, and military strategy under charismatic leadership.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

"It's Just Not Cricket"- The Anglo-Afghan Wars

... and Their Relevance To Current Operations, by  Major S A Turner, Royal Marines. "The British experience in Afghanistan in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries provides useful lessons which can be applied to current ISAF operations." Supplemental reading on the First Anglo-Afghan War, check out the article from Jiří Kárník

Monday, 14 January 2019

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Warfare

The future of technology in warfare: From drone swarms to VR torture | Security | Techworld
Three interesting papers I found by 'accident' while having my usual stroll through the darkness of the dusty archives... Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Warfare, by M. L. Cummings, AI and the Future of Defence, published by The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) and Future Warfare and AI, by Atul Pant.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Resolving Insurgencies

Sergeant R Beaumont of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI), attached to the Malay Regiment, instructs a Dyak tracker in the use of modern firearms.
"Counterinsurgency remains the most challenging form of conflict conventional forces face. Embroiled in the longest period of sustained operations in its history, the U.S. Army maintains a fragile peace in Iraq and faces a chronic insurgency in Afghanistan. In much of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, active insurgent conflicts continue and potential ones abound. The United States may become involved in some of these conflicts, either directly or by providing aid to threatened governments. Understanding how insurgencies may be brought to a successful conclusion is, therefore, vital to military strategists and policymakers. The author, Dr. Thomas Mockaitis, examines in great detail how past insurgencies have ended and how current ones may be resolved."

Friday, 11 January 2019

The Anglo-Zulu War of 1879

Detail of a painting depicting the Battle of Rorke's Drift
Today, 140 years ago, on the 11th January 1879, the British invasion of Zululand begun. "The Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 still intrigues both scholars and enthusiasts alike. Its story contains tragedy, high drama and the heavy loss of human life; it involved five major battles and two lesser fights; and led to the snuffing out of the direct male Napoleonic line of France with the death of the Prince Imperial. And all this in less than one year." Learn all about the various Zulu Wars - Historical Dictionary of the Zulu Wars.