Rupert Wieloch has seen more than his share of front-line military action, having served as a platoon commander during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, before leading a squadron during the Gulf War in 1990. Deploying to Bosnia with the United Nations, his troops became renowned by the press as ‘saviours of the children’ after he planned and executed the largest defensive battle fought by a Commonwealth combat force for twenty years.
Having worked as a spokesperson for the Army Board, his role moved to planning and strategy at the highest level. He played a key role in Operation Veritas, the UK’s response to 9/11, as part of the team which developed the UK’s campaign against international terrorism. With this wealth of experience, he went on to command the British contingent in the NATO mission to Iraq and later to serve as the Senior British Military Commander in Libya following the fall of Gaddafi.
In his lecture, Rupert will draw on his personal experiences and explain the changing reasons for going to war. He will discuss the strategic lessons which have been largely ignored and suggest ways that the international community can improve its approach to resolving crises and managing strategic risks.
Rupert Wieloch was born in Yorkshire and grew up in London. He joined the Army as three momentous events shaped the world: an Islamic revolution overthrew the Shah of Iran; President Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Begin of Israel signed a Peace Treaty; and just after he was commissioned into the 17th/21st Lancers, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. During thirty five years’ service to Queen and Country, he deployed on most of Britain’s major operations, ending up as the Senior British Military Commander in Libya in 2011. He was the final Director of Defence Studies for the British Army before the post was cut after the Strategic Defence and Security Review of 2010. He now divides his time between a dangerous sport in Switzerland and fundraising for veterans’ charities in London.
Rupert will be on hand to sign copies of his latest book, Belfast to Benghazi: Untold Challenges of War (Mereo Books: September 2016), which will be on sale.
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Refreshments will be served from 1215.
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