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Michael Codner

Position: Senior Research Fellow in Military Sciences and Editorial Director RUSI Defence Systems

Michael Codner is Senior Research Fellow in Military Sciences and Editorial Director RUSI Defence Systems. Until 2013, he was RUSI's Director of the Military Sciences Department.

He researches a range of subjects from defence policy, strategic theory and doctrine, to defence management, future concepts and the application of technology to military capability. He also oversees conferences, meetings and lectures in these areas. He retired from the Royal Navy in October 1995 after a career as a Seaman Officer principally working in anti-submarine warfare and in the latter part of his career, maritime strategy and doctrine, future concepts, defence policy and international issues.

He was a lecturer in strategy and operational art at the US Naval War College, was a Defence Fellow at the Centre for Defence Studies, King's College, London and has held a NATO Fellowship working on coalition interoperability. His degrees are in Philosophy and Psychology (Brasenose College, Oxford).  He lectures regularly at University College, London, Southampton University, the University of St. Andrews, the University of Greenwich and the Joint Services Command and Staff College. His written work includes editorship and principal authorship of the First Edition of the Royal Navy’s BR1806: The Fundamentals of British Maritime Doctrine and numerous articles, papers and chapters in journals and collections.


RUSI articles and analysis by this author

Syrian Soldier - Chemical Weapons Suit Western Options to Respond to the Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria 28 Aug 2013
Western governments are now discussing when, not whether to attack Syria after reported use of chemical weapons. What would be the scope of any intervention mission, and what would be the targets?

Mali Map The British Military Contribution to Operations in Mali: Is This Mission Creep? 30 Jan 2013
As the UK sends 330 personnel to assist France's military intervention in Mali, there are real concerns that, like Afghanistan, the UK will be mired in another intractable conflict. However, the strategic conditions are very different for this to happen and it is wrong to assume there will be mission creep.

NATO Logo NATO’s Treaty Obligations to Turkey: Theory and Practice 5 Oct 2012
With the violence in Syria spilling into Turkey; Turkey as a NATO member has the right to call on the support of the alliance under Article 5. However implementing collective security is always more complex, thus a full scale NATO response in Syria is unlikely.

Free Syria Army Idlib February 2012 - Photo by tinyccSyriaFreedom SYRIA CRISIS BRIEFING: A Collision Course for Intervention 25 Jul 2012
The Syrian crisis took a decisive new turn on 25 July. President Bashar al-Assad’s own future is now significantly less relevant to whatever will happen next in the country and external intervention, in some form, is now significantly more likely. In this Briefing, experts detail the risks and challenges of intervention in Syria. Our contributors delve further into the internal andexternal aspects of this conflict, offering a sobering assessment ofthe prospects for Syria and the region.

1206_Journal_Sutherland with Codner_thumbnail Command and Control During Non-Combatant Operations 12 Jun 2012
The evacuation of non-combatants is often the operation of first resort when foreign crises erupt, as in Libya in 2011 (Free access)

Labour's Defence Procurement Report and Shadow Defence Review Launch 29 Mar 2012
Michael Codner, senior research fellow and director of Military Sciences at RUSI, commends the UK’s Labour shadow government for its recent report focusing on defence procurement

Barbarous Philosophers 28 Nov 2011
A review of Christopher Coker's reflections on the nature of war over 2,600 years - from Heraclitus to Heisenberg.

Linking the Front Line to Suppliers 12 Aug 2011
Michael Codner outlines how important front-line/industry relationships could be reinforced, and single service rivalries prevented from skewing equipment decisions.

Afghanistan soldier Analysing the implications for a complete US withdrawal in 2014 27 Jul 2011
Following a recent visit to Afghanistan, RUSI's Research Director assesses the impact of withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Building Panama’s Coastal Surveillance 23 Mar 2011
Michael Codner reveals how the monitoring of Panama’s busy coastal waters is set for a major enhancement

SDSR: What Next for Britain? 19 Oct 2010
The issues as to whether the Strategic Defence and Security Review was Treasury or policy led and whether it was conducted in too short a time for proper discussion, and consideration are now in the past. It is the implications and the unanswered questions that matter.

Mine-clearer, Lebanon Beyond the Convention: The Cluster Munitions Debate 18 Oct 2010
The Convention on Cluster Munitions is a welcome step forward, but it needs clarity

UK Defence reform: Watch assessment from Michael Codner 13 Aug 2010
RUSI's Michael Codner gives his assessment to the UK Defence Secretary's resolve to reform defence.

Standard Missile launch Missile Defence Considerations for the United Kingdom 23 Jun 2010
If Britain is to maintain an autonomous operational capability, decisions on ballistic missile defence cannot be postponed during the current defence review

cameron clegg RUSI: Will the new government fund Britain’s position in the world? 13 May 2010
The new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government must address the most basic question affecting the Defence Review and Britain's position in the world 'how much is the nation prepared to pay for defence?', according to a Future Defence Review Working Paper from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

Parliament Big Ben General Election 2010: Defence issues and the party positions 24 Mar 2010
RUSI Director Professor Michael Clarke, and RUSI's Director of Military Sciences, Michael Codner, offer their assessment on the defence and security issues that may be raised either prior to or immediately after the UK General Election.

Bosnia Herzegovina Army Insignia Bosnia’s Defence Review and NATO Membership 17 Mar 2010
Bosnia remains outside looking in at NATO and the EU. Effective defence reform could spell the beginning of a new chapter in its multilateral engagement

Helicopter Carrier The cost of Afghanistan to UK Defence 16 Dec 2009
Bring on new Chinooks. But the defence budget can't cover the needs of a long-term occupation

Karzai and Obama Obama's Grand Strategy - Afghanistan Plus 2 Dec 2009
President Obama aims to exert sufficient military effort to create conditions for transition. This means a dominance over the Taliban - unable to reemerge when transition takes place - together with space and capacity to train and grow the Afghan military and police security forces.

Barack Obama 5 Missile Defence: What the Obama Administration’s Change of Policy Means for Europe and the United Kingdom 30 Oct 2009
America's cancellation of its 'Third Site' is nevertheless accompanied by sizeable investment in missile defence programmes. Europeans should take note

British troop levels in Afghanistan 7 Oct 2009
Is Britain’s strategic posture as a global actor sustainable in the economic crisis and set against failing public support for the mission in Afghanistan?

NATO at 60 RUSI logo NATO’s Strategic Concept – a View from Mars 30 Mar 2009
As NATO marks its Sixtieth anniversary, many analysts will argue that members of the Alliance have sufficiently overcome their differences to launch a new Strategic Concept. This new Concept would see a rationalisation of Europe’s military capability and would envisage a ‘minus US’ strategy for some NATO operations.

UN Armed forcebmp Permanent United Nations Military Intervention Capability: Some Practical Considerations 25 Jun 2008
The development of a military intervention capability specifically owned by the United Nations has been a significant issue from the early days of the organisation. But what are the technical considerations?

Cluster Bomb The unpredictability factor 21 May 2008
With money and new technology, cluster bombs could become more ethical than large single-explosive warheads

Comprehensive Spending Review - Defence 10 Oct 2007
The increase of 1.5 per cent real growth in defence spending is inadequate if the Government intends to deliver its planned force structures.

Iraqi Army Conditions are not right for wholesale withdrawal 11 Sep 2007
An examination of existing Coalition responsibilities and committments in Iraq, where there is now a move towards 'overwatch'; Coalition troops are being taken off the streets but ready to back up Iraqi forces if necessary.

The Gay Ban and the New Armed Forces Code of Social Conduct 21 Feb 2000
On 12 January 2000, Geoffrey Hoon, the Secretary of State for Defence announced to the House of Commons that homosexual men and women would no longer be banned from serving in the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom.

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