GSF May 2024 Event: ‘Reflections On ‘War & Peace: The Life And Times Of General Sir Richard Barrons’

For the first in our ad hoc series of lunchtime events on Wednesday 15th May, we were delighted to welcome General Sir Richard Barrons back to GSF.

He was in conversation with the journalist Manveen Rana, discussing his forthcoming memoir, War And Peace: The Life And Times Of General Sir Richard Barrons, in an event which was hosted by GSF’s Chairman, Lord Lothian.

General Barrons’ service from 1977-2016 took him from the rank of a 2nd Lieutenant to a 4-Star General, witnessing pivotal moments in international military history—from the remnants of the Cold War to the complexities of conflicts in the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan. His personal and candid narrative vividly illustrates the multifaceted nature of war, from the trenches to the strategic command centres, while his accounts of interactions with government bodies, the MOD, and comrades of all ranks provide a unique and revealing window into the dynamics of military life and decision-making.

Beyond the battlefield anecdotes, War & Peace offers a shrewd analysis of military strategy, leadership, the element of surprise in military history, and the evolving role of technology in warfare, including cyber advancements. We are very pleased to have this opportunity to host General Sir Richard and Manveen Rana for what promises to be a fascinating discussion, full of valuable insights equally applicable to today’s increasingly volatile and conflict-prone world.




GENERAL SIR RICHARD BARRONS KCB CBE served as Commander Joint Forces Command, one of the six ‘Chiefs of Staff’ leading the UK Armed Forces until April 2016. He was responsible for 23,000 people worldwide and a budget of £4.3bn, delivering intelligence, Special Forces, operational command and control, all surveillance, reconnaissance and information systems and communications, operational logistics, medical support, and advanced education and training across the Armed Forces. An artillery officer, his military career included leadership from Captain to General on military operations in Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan – often as part of US-led coalitions and in NATO. He is a Distinguished Fellow at RUSI, Co-Chairman of Universal Defence & Security Solutions and a regular speaker and commentator on Defence & Security, especially its evolution for an era of great power confrontation in the Digital Age.


MANVEEN RANA is an award-winning journalist and the host of The Story, the daily news podcast for the Times and the Sunday Times. She previously worked for the BBC as a reporter for the Today programme and as a foreign correspondent covering the Middle East. As an investigative journalist, she exposed a global Russian disinformation campaign during covid, the Wagner Group’s activities in Ukraine and she conducted the investigation that brought down the controversial PR firm, Bell Pottinger.


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