Richard Iron

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Person.png Richard Iron LinkedIn PowerbaseRdf-icon.png
(spook, soldier, academic)
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge
Interestswar

Colonel Richard Iron is a UK soldier. He commanded[When?] the UK Army's Doctrine Branch in the Directorate of Land Warfare.[1]

History

Richard Iron joined the UK army in 1975. In the 1980s , he served in Oman, where he learned to speak Arabic. In the early 1990s, he served in Sierra Leone as an expert military witness to the country's special court.[2]

In 1997, at the relatively young age of 40, Iron was appointed commanding officer of the 1st Battalion of the King's Own Royal Border Regiment.[3]

In 2005, Iron worked at the NATO Allied Command Transformation activity at Norfolk, Virginia.[4]

In 2007 and 2008, Iron served as liaison officer to Iraqi General Mohan al-Faraiji, and helped to plan the March 2008, "Charge of the Knights" operation in Basra.[5]

In August 2008, Iron accused British commanders in Basra of collaborating with a Mahdi Army commander in order to reduce attacks on British forces.

"Last autumn we made a mistake which was understandable but not excusable.
"A Shia prisoner, Ahmed al-Fartusi, said he could put a stop to the killings. We released 120 of their prisoners and withdrew out of town, but when we moved out, lawlessness took over.[6]

In a chapter of the 2008 book Counterinsurgency in Modern Warfare, Iron wrote about the role of informers in Northern Ireland:

Running agents in an insurgency demands difficult decisions. To reach a position of trust and influence, an agent needs to be physically involved with terrorist operations. Thus those in the pay of the British government conducted criminal acts, probably including murder. Additionally, choices sometimes needed to be made between agents, allowing one to prosper to the detriment, and possibly death, of another. The principal criterion was preserving the greatest long-term benefit.[7]

Publications

  • Britain’s Longest War: Northern Ireland 1967-2007 in Counterinsurgency in Modern Warfare by Daniel Marston and Carter Malkasian, Osprey Publishing, 2008.


References

  1. Adrian Monck, Confidential Informants in Northern Ireland, adrianmonck.com, 28 February 2009.
  2. Anthony King, Colonel Iron and the Charge of the Knights, Prospect, March 2009.
  3. Al Senter, UK: 24 hours in the life of Lt Col Richard Iron, Management Today, 1 November 1998.
  4. General Alfred M. Gray, Irregular Warfare II Conference Report, Marine Corps Research Center, accessed 28 February 2009.
  5. Anthony King, Colonel Iron and the Charge of the Knights, Prospect, March 2009.
  6. Damien McElroy, 'Secret deal with local militia kept British Forces out of battle for Basra', Telegraph.co.uk, 5 August 2008.
  7. Adrian Monck, Confidential Informants in Northern Ireland, adrianmonck.com, 28 February 2009.