Ben Barry

Ben Barry

Senior Fellow for Land Warfare


  • Military analysis of major recent and current conflicts, higher management of defence, military innovation and adaptation.
  • UK, and recent conflicts in Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine, Iraq, Syria and the Islamic State. 
  • Land forces capability, including key equipment such as tanks and armoured vehicles, artillery, missiles, combat engineering, unmanned systems, infantry and cyber, as well as other capabilities including organisation, doctrine, personnel, training and battlefield use of weapons of mass destruction. Formulation and execution of military strategy, defence reviews and reform. UK defence policy and capability.

Languages: English

Summary: Brigadier (retired) Ben Barry OBE is the IISS expert on the higher management of defence, military strategy, operations and tactics, military innovation and adaptation, modern warfare and land warfare in particular.


  • 1975–1996: British Army infantry officer. Served in the UK, Hong Kong, Northern Ireland, France, Germany, Cyprus, Canada. Commanded armoured infantry battalion on UN and NATO operations in Bosnia.
  • 1997–2010: British Army General Staff. Served on Army and joint staff in MOD and at Land Warfare Centre. Commanded NATO brigade in Bosnia.

Selected Publications:

  • Harsh Lessons: Iraq, Afghanistan and the Changing Character of War (IISS Adelphi book 461, 2017).
  • Several articles in British Army Review, an in-house journal.
  • 'Operations in Iraq January 2005–May 2009: an Analysis from the Land Perspective', British Army Lessons Learned Study (October 2010)
  • The Road from Sarajevo: British Army Operations in Bosnia 1995–96 (Second edition: The History Press, 2016)
  • Articles in Survival: Global Politics and Strategy: 'More Than Muddling Through' (February–March 2011), 'Adapting in War' (December 2012–January 2013), 'Women in Combat' (April–May 2013), 'Stanley McChrystal, Special Forces and the Wars of 9/11' (October–November 2013), 'Britain’s Difficult War in Iraq' (October–November 2016).

About the Defence and Military Analysis Programme:

The IISS Defence and Military Analysis Programme (DMAP) analyses global defence and security affairs. Focus areas include national military and security policies and capabilities; reform and modernisation of armed forces; the impact of new technologies; defence spending and procurement; the effects of austerity and rising spending on defence policy and acquisition; trends in equipment design and utility; and the defence-industrial base.

Joined IISS: October 2010

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