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Richard Dannatt: The Battle for Hearts and Minds: Morality and Warfare Today

General Lord Richard Dannatt, former Chief of the General Staff, delivered the fourth annual Theos lecture on 8th November 2011.

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General Lord Richard Dannatt gave the 2011 Theos Annual Lecture at One Birdcage Walk, Westminster. Lord Dannatt argued that the need for soldiers to understand and adopt high moral and ethical standards is more critical than ever today; and that military leaders need to set an example and ensure those ethical standards are rigorously adhered to. He also suggested that there is “a spiritual dimension that must not be overlooked.”

“I have been fortunate to have had 40 years as a soldier – those forty years covering four decades each with a different characteristic…What that forty years experience has taught me is that warfare, for all its violence, controversy and cost is essentially about people. It is people who do the fighting, on behalf of other people and amongst the people in whose country we are operating – so warfare today, and perhaps it was ever thus, is a human activity. So in addressing tonight’s title, I do so in the broadest context of the hearts and minds of the people – their attitude to what they are doing, and their attitude to what is going on around them.”

The lecture was chaired by Caroline Wyatt, BBC Defence Correspondent.

Richard Dannatt

Richard Dannatt

General Lord Dannatt was Chief of the General Staff of the British Army from 2006 to 2009. He served in Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Bosnia and was a leader in the Army’s operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is a leading authority on military and defence issues.

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1 Birdcage Walk
London SW1H 9JJ


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