• Yemen: A Battle for the Future

    Yemen: A Battle for the Future

    Yemen is embroiled in multiple civil wars, triggered by a long-term decline in oil production, the failure of state-building, strong sub-national identities and internal competition between rival elite networks that comprised the regime of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. Regional actors are intervening in Yemen’s local wars to support their preferred allies, resulting in a complex conflict environment. Written by Ginny Hill and Baraa Shiban, the paper sets Yemen’s multiple conflicts in the context of the ‘remote control’ approach to warfare – focusing on the use of special forces, mercenaries and armed drones. It highlights the moral and political risks for Western governments training and arming regional protagonists, such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

  • What British War on Terror?

    What British War on Terror?

    This briefing explores how the UK is using drones, Special Operations Forces (SOF) like the SAS, intelligence assets, and military advisers to tackle groups like ISIS, and why this allows a large number of military operations to fall through cracks in policy designed to scrutinise the use of force. Unlike when the UK deploys regular troops on the ground, the UK’s political system is poorly prepared to scrutinise this sort of remote warfare. The opacity surrounding remote warfare may be contributing to a lack of strategy, with the potential to have damaging implications for the effectiveness, accountability, and legitimacy of UK military options abroad for years to come.