"2017: War with Russia" - a lecture by General Sir Richard Shirreff
On 22 November 2016, General Sir Richard Shirreff will deliver a public lecture on the subject of his recent book, 2017: War with Russia, in which he argues that Russia is now our most dangerous adversary and outlines why, by failing to heed the warning signals from Russia, we are on course for war.
- Where: Upper Hall, Peterhouse, Cambridge CB2 1RD
- When: 22 November 2016, 5-6.30pm
About this lecture
Putin’s invasion of Crimea and Ukraine in 2014, his build up of Russian military capability and willingness to use it for political ends, together with his self-proclaimed right to protect the interests of Russian speakers everywhere has shattered the post-Cold War security paradigm in Europe. At the same time, the West and NATO have struggled to find the will to establish effective deterrence and to generate the means necessary. In his talk, former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe Sir Richard Shirreff will highlight the threat Europe faces and give his views on what needs to be done to preserve peace.
About the book
Closely modelled on his NATO experience of war gaming future conflicts, the book outlines a terrifying scenario. This is a fact-based prediction, a narrative of how Sir Richard believes events might unfold, starting next year, unless the necessary steps are taken, based on his military experience at the highest level. Sir Richard believes that Russia is determined to prevent NATO ‘encirclement’ by seizing Eastern Ukraine, opening up a land corridor to Crimea and invading the Baltic states. Meanwhile Britain has emasculated its conventional military capability on the assumption that the international scene would remain benign. NATO increasingly lacks the knowledge, capability and military hardware necessary to match Russia’s ever-improving conventional capability. Maintaining an effective conventional military deterrent is essential. Without strong and effective conventional forces the use of nuclear weapons as a last, desperate western line of defence becomes ever more likely. As Sir Richard emphasises in the book, “ Be under no illusions, whatsoever – Russian use of nuclear weapons is hardwired into Moscow’s military strategy.”
Copies of the book will be available for purchase and the lecture will be followed by a Q&A and drinks reception.
About Sir Richard Shirreff
Born in Kenya in 1955 where he spent his early years, Richard Shirreff was commissioned into the British Army as a cavalry officer after reading history at Oxford. In his 37 years of service he commanded soldiers on operations from the most junior to the most senior levels. He saw combat as a tank commander in the First Gulf War, experienced many of complexities of Northern Ireland during his three tours there and learned first-hand the challenges of bringing peace to the Balkans in both Kosovo and Bosnia. He returned to Iraq as a multinational commander in 2006-7. When not in command he spent time either being educated in the art and science of war on a succession of different staff courses or in a range of staff posts as a formulator or executor of policy in the Ministry of Defence and Army Headquarters. His last seven years in uniform were spent in two senior NATO command posts: Commander of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps and Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe; the Alliance’s deputy strategic commander and the most senior British general in the Alliance.
Praise for 2017: War with Russia
‘It is very rare that such a senior and experienced general is prepared to put his reputation on the line, but Richard Shirreff is that man. He correctly called the consequences of the Russians’ invasion of Crimea and the annexation of parts of Ukraine back in 2014. I fear that he has again correctly called the Russians’ next moves in this book.’
Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret) Supreme Allied Commander NATO 2009-2013
'The best piece of super power military fiction since Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October. Enjoy this riot of a book. And be very afraid - it really could happen like this.'
'The great strength of this tale is that it is told by an insider who really knows. The moral of this story is clear. The relentless hollowing out of the military and defence postures of the west have placed us all in danger. This is a parable with a real message about our general ineptitude in the new realities of hard power...'
Robert Fox, Evening Standard
'We sit on our hands while busy fingers in the East boot up for cyber-war.'
The Sunday Times
'The evil gloating trope is much in evidence in General Sir Richard Shirreff's 2017: War with Russia...a pacy techno-thriller and a clarion call to the West.'
'This piece of "faction" is billed as an urgent warning - it's also an act of near mutiny.'
'NATO must bolster its military presence in the Baltic States or risk nuclear war, a former general has warned.'
'The authenticity of the high-level crisis talks within NATO which Shirreff attended in his past life, is so palpable that it lands this book like a 22lb bass. This and the foreword are reasons enough to buy a copy.'