Strategic mobility: An historical perspective

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During the twenty‐odd years following the Second World War to the Healey reviews of the late 1960s, the UK's capability for strategic mobility was significantly depleted. By concentrating on in‐place NATO roles, there was a limited need for a major out of area capability, the Falklands War being the only significant exception. This changed with the end of the Cold War, and Operation GRANBY in Kuwait. By exploring the period from 1945 to 1968, and looking at the changed security environment today, Colin McInnes sets the issue of strategic mobility in historical context, comparing key features then and now. In so doing he finds marked similarities—in international obligations, crisis prevention, constraints on independent action, the cost of movement, over‐ stretch and the overall cost of over‐seas operations. But there are also major differences a new emphasis on wider security interests with the demise of Cold War confrontation greater limitations on geographic areas of power projection; the role of public opinion and expectation; and the important changes in the whole operational environment, which takes in a panoply of developments making planning today a more complex business than in the past.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-70
Number of pages41
JournalRUSI Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 1998


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