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Behavioural Conflict: Why Understanding People and Their Motives Will Prove Decisive in Future Conflict

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Since the end of the Cold War the West’s armed forces have fought wars ‘amongst the people’.These people, amongst others, have been Mendes, Kissis and Konos (and the 13 other tribes of Sierra Leone), they have been Serbo-Croats, Bosnians, Kosovars, Albanians, Unizzahs, al-Ribads, al-Zobaids,…

SKU: 9781780394688. Paperback: 220 pages Categories: , , , , , Authors: Steve Tatham, Andrew MackayPublisher: Military Studies Press

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Since the end of the Cold War the West’s armed forces have fought wars ‘amongst the people’.These people, amongst others, have been Mendes, Kissis and Konos (and the 13 other tribes of Sierra Leone), they have been Serbo-Croats, Bosnians, Kosovars, Albanians, Unizzahs, al-Ribads, al-Zobaids, Kurds, al-Montifig (and the other tribal groups of the nearly 40 that make up Iraq), Pashtuns, Hazaras, Uzbecks (and the other 6 ethnic groupings that make up Afghanistan’s rich tapestry of population), they have been Sunni, Shia, Orthodox, Agnostic, Christian, Catholic. they have been farmers, politicians, police, administrators, businessmen, narco khans, war lords, men, women and children.In fact you can divide them in any one of a hundred or so different ways but the only certainty is that all of these groups and people will exhibit behaviour, that may appear utterly irrational but for better or worse will have profound effects upon the manner in which military missions are conducted.In 2007 then Brigadier Andrew Mackay took command of British forces in Helmand, Afghanistan.In preparing for that tour he found the British Ministry of Defence institutionally incapable of helping him prepare for and understand the people he was fighting for and amongst.Since then he and his co-author, serving Royal Navy Commander Steve Tatham, have thought deeply about the nature of future conflict in an ever more unstable, contentious and uncertain world.This book argues that future conflicts will be best resolved by focusing attention on altering the behaviours of others, either in advance – and therefore deterring conflict – or as a coupled component in the process of combat and post-combat operations.They also argue that Western Armies have learnt too many lessons the hard way and been found wanting too easily.Behavioural Conflict, argues for a fundamental rethink of the way that the West’s militaries are organised, educated, trained and deployed.Includes a foreword by General (ret.) Stanley McCrystal and an introduction by Tim Harford. Whilst geopolitics, economics, religion and ethnicity all play crucial roles in starting and sustaining conflict this book advances the idea that it will be people’s behaviour, and the West’s ability to understand, interpret and influence that behaviour which will become the defining characteristic of resolving future armed disputes. This seminal study draws directly on the authors’operational experiences in Sierra Leone, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan. Includes a chapter by behavioural scientist Dr. Lee Rowland and an introduction by the BBC Radio 4 ‘More or Less’ presenter Tim Harford. The foreword is by former ISAF commander General (ret.) Stanley McChrystal. This book argues that future conflicts will be best resolved by focusing attention on altering the behaviours of others, either in advance – and therefore deterring conflict – or as a coupled component in the process of combat and post-combat operations. They also argue that Western Armies have learnt too many lessons the hard way and been found wanting too easily. ‘Behavioural Conflct’ argues for a fundamental rethink of the way that the West’s militaries are organised, educated, trained and deployed.

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Weight 386 g
Dimensions 17 x 169 x 256 cm

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