British foreign policy and the use of force after Iraq

A British Academy sponsored workshop

Yorkshire Bank Lecture Theatre, Leeds Business School, University of Leeds

What is this workshop about?

The UK experience in Afghanistan and Iraq casts a long shadow over contemporary British foreign policy. For instance, Prime Minister Cameron was at pains to stress that the 2011 use of force in Libya would not repeat the mistakes of the previous decade. It is too early to tell whether regime change has delivered a stable and democratic Libya but the character of the intervention (e.g. the UN mandate, the limited costs to the intervening forces) has led some to suggest that UK policymakers transcended any ‘Iraq syndrome’ and created a model for future interventions. The possibility of military action against Syria and Iran has to be understood against this background. This one-day workshop will meet to consider the issues and address the following questions: drawing on the evidence of the Iraq Inquiry and Afghan experience what were the lessons of the previous decade (panel 1)? Were those lessons learned before the Libyan operation and does it provide a model for using force in the future, in Syria for example (panel 2)? What considerations will and should guide the UK when considering the possibility of force against Iran (panel 3)?

Event Programme

09.30 Registration, refreshments available

10.00 Panel 1 Iraq and Iraq Inquiry (Chair: Jason Ralph, Leeds)

11.30 Coffee

11.45 Theo Farrell (KCL) Keynote speaker on Afghanistan.

12.45 Buffet Lunch

13.30 Panel 2 Libya and Syria (Chair: James Worrall, Leeds)

15.00 Coffee

15.15 Panel 3 Iran (Chair: Clive Jones, Leeds)

16.45 Summary and Closure

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