Does leading counter-insurgency operations against the Taliban have any application to a purely civilian realm? Yes, and more than you can probably imagine. I explore this question in this episode and there is so much wrapped into the answers, that it makes for an enthralling discussion about leadership, war, discipline, decision-making in the midst of uncertainty and so much more. I think you’ll love it!
My guest is Nick Copperwaite. Nick currently works in the finance sector here in London. However, prior to this he spent 17 years in the Parachute Regiment of the British Army, rising to the rank of Major. He led operations in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
I know many of you have a wide range of views on war, foreign policy and military intervention. However, regardless of your perspective, I am certain that you will get a lot out of this conversation.
Nick is a great guy, with a huge amount of knowledge and insights and a very interesting journey from the battle fields of Afghanistan to the his current role working in the office complexes of Canary Wharf. I have a great amount of admiration and respect for him.
In this episode, we discuss:
- Nick’s background and what led him to joining the military – and to be clear, it is not an interest in fighting or conflict!;
- The benefits of military training;
- His time doing counter-insurgency operations, particularly in Afghanistan against the Taliban. I found this to be a fascinating discussion on Nick’s efforts in winning hearts and minds, armed conflict in the 21st Century, working with local Mullahs and local communities, and the broader limitations of counter-insurgency.
- Leading men and women into war and how he prepared for the prospect of losing lives
- Transitioning to a civilian life;
- Things he learned in the military that are highly applicable to civilian organisations, particularly:
- Leadership and how to motivate and treat others;
- Planning in the midst of uncertainty
- Whether or not we (as in Western governments) do enough to help service leavers transitions to a civilian life
- And much more!
This is an amazing conversation and I am sure you will enjoy and get a lot out of it!
The book “The Utility of Force” by Rupert Smith:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/211972.The_Utility_of_Force?ac=1&from_search=true