About Patrick

Defence and security expert with comprehensive media experience, coupled with specialist knowledge of Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan and military operations past and present.

London-based security analyst, Patrick has worked for NATO as an analyst and is a former Captain in the British army's Royal Irish Regiment. He is currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Exeter's Strategy and Security Institute, studying the reform of the U.K's Army Reserve, cohesion and logistics. Patrick has appeared on international, UK and Irish television and radio to discuss security matters, and has written for leading broadsheets. His latest appearances were as an expert contributor to National Geographic's 'Nazi Mega Weapons' series, where he contributed to four episodes, including on the Atlantic Wall, the Wolf's Lair, the SS, and the Siegfried Line. He has specialist knowledge on the conflict in Afghanistan, having served in Sangin in 2008 and he has provided security research and analysis for the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. He also has expert knowledge of the current security situation in Libya and comments on wider security issues, including strategy, current military operations, military history, the role of the media in war, and ethics in war.

He has written for The Irish Times, The Guardian and The Independent, and has appeared on The National Geographic Channel/Channel 4, Sky News, BBC News, BBC News HardTalk, BBC Radio 4 Today programme, BBC File on 4, BBC Radio 5, and numerous Irish national TV and radio programmes.

His memoir, 'Callsign Hades', (Simon and Schuster 2010) has been called "the first great book of the Afghan war" and describes his experiences serving with Irish soldiers in the last Irish line regiment of the British army in one of Afghanistan's most dangerous places. It has since been incorporated onto the syllabus at Sandhurst, and excerpts from his work are also taught to Australian officer cadets.

Patrick was educated at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and King's College, London, where he studied Intelligence and International Security before attending the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He was awarded the Trust Medal for Overall Academic Performance, The John Pimlott Prize for War Studies and the Defence and International Affairs Prize during his time there.

He has commanded soldiers on operations in Afghanistan and deployed to Cyprus, Kenya, Malawi and Malaysia.

He has also published in military and ethics journals and on defence issues on political blogsites. He has spoken at numerous universities and military command courses on security and ethics issues. He is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Royal United Services Institute, the Irish Military History Society, the Military Ethics Education Network, and former member of an IED and Radicalisation project funded by the US Office of Naval Research and Hull University. A full list of Patrick's publications are listed in the links section below.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Setting the record straight: Journalist equates NATO tactics in Afghanistan to Peshawar school attack

Last night I was invited at about 9pm to speak about the Peshawar siege on Irish TV3's Vincent Browne Tonight show, as they wanted some security analysis about the very disturbing terrorist attack. The show airs live at 11pm, so it was a last minute request, and I prepared a brief on the subject.

I should point out the following:

1/ The International Security and Assistance Force is an UN-mandated stabilisation operation undertaken at the request of the elected government of the Republic of Afghanistan. See here

2/ NATO, (including British) troops are subjected to very stringent rules of engagement concerning the use of small arms, artillery and air strikes in civilian areas. These often mean that insurgents can take tactical advantage of the presence of civilians in the urban environment. Vincent also failed to mention that many civilian casualties in both Iraq and Afghanistan are caused by insurgents. Here is an example of the complexity of the issue. See here

3/ If anyone has read my book they'll know the lengths to which most professional soldiers go to to prevent civilian casualties. Callsign Hades is also used to teach ethics to Cadets in numerous Western armies.

Here is the interview.

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