Sir Paul Newton KBE

Distinguished Fellow


Sir Paul Newton spent thirty-eight years in the British Army. Educated at Sandhurst - and later at Camberley, then Cambridge University - he joined his local county infantry regiment at 19. He completed eight operational tours in Northern Ireland (including command of 2nd Battalion, The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (2PWRR) and most recently as commander of 8 Infantry Brigade, for which he was awarded a CBE) and two in Iraq. 

In 1999 he graduated from the Joint Higher Command and Staff Course and was immediately seconded to the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) to write the plan for the Kosovo operation. He exercised command over Brunei Garrison, helping to plan and deploy the force to East Timor. Later, he then went to Sierra Leone to complete the DCMO strategic assessment, and in addition planned and mounted several other contingency operations. 

In 2003 Paul Newton attended the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) where he completed PhD research training with KCL, but left early to become the chief of defence staff's liaison officer to the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs in Washington, working on Iraq. He deployed from there to Baghdad as the deputy, strategic planning in HQ Multi-National Force Iraq, for which he was awarded the US Legion of Merit.

In January 2005 he took over the Intelligence Division at the UK's PJHQ, a year dominated by Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen. 

Promoted to Major General in February 2006, he briefly went back to RCDS, followed by a return to Baghdad in early 2007 to lead the Coalition reconciliation effort as head of a new Force Strategic Engagement Cell, for which he was awarded a Legion of Merit, First Oak Leaf Cluster. He later ran the Ministry of Defence's Developments, Concepts and Doctrine Centre producing Global Strategic Trends, the first UK doctrine for stabilisation and the MoD position paper on the Future Character of Conflict in time for the Strategic Defence and Security Review. 

In April 2010 Lieutenant General Newton became commander for force development & training and a member of the Executive Committee of the Army Board charged with 'leading and driving' change: he took delight in being the Army's constructive contrarian, and he helped lay the ground work for Army 2020.

Awarded a KBE in 2012, he is the founder and first director of the Strategy and Security Institute (SSI) at the University of Exeter. This institute works closely with RUSI on a broad range of contemporary global security issues through innovative teaching, policy-facing research and field-based consultancy drawing on a broad base of expertise.  

SSI delivers a unique Master's in Security Strategy: a highly selective course designed primarily for those who aspire to be future leaders and strategists in the fields of diplomacy, defence, security and intelligence, and also those who may view global events from a different perspective such as the media and Non-Government Organisations.

He is Senior Advisor (Defence and International) with Babcock Defence and Security and he runs his own advisory business, Paul Newton Consultants.


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