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Lord Trenchard Memorial Lecture 2007: Counter-Insurgency – Echoes from the Past
10 September 2007, 1300 – 1400, RUSI, Whitehall, London SW1A 2ET

The Lord Trenchard Memorial Lecture 2007, will be given by Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy, Chief of the Air Staff, Royal Air Force on the use of air power in complex counter-insurgency operations.

The popular perception of the RAF’s doctrinal position in the 1920s is it focussed on the strategic use of air power, however it also considered, practiced, and wrote a great deal on counter-insurgency; with Lord Trenchard playing a significant role in its development. Whilst relationships between the Army and the Air Force in the 1920s might have been strained in Whitehall, at a working level it rapidly became apparent that only a strategy which used the capabilities of both air and land forces to best effect would achieve the desired results.

The RAF’s experience during the early twentieth century in this field, in places like Somaliland, Iraq and Afghanistan – will therefore be considered in the light of contemporary operations, where although the technology may have changed, arguably the human element that is central to any insurgency has not.

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