29 April 2020 – CHACR Weekly Take Away Newsletter: Issue 6

This is the sixth issue of the weekly CHACR Take Away newsletter.  In these newsletters, you will find links to the latest products by the CHACR, but also links to key reports and studies by external experts and institutions which we think you should pay attention to.

A Word From the Director
As Lockdown continues, albeit with some positive signs of alleviation, the CHACR continues to look back at history for useful lessons (a paper for DStrat on the lessons from the Spanish Flu epidemic of a hundred years ago will shortly be converted for wider distribution into a special Ares and Athena) and forwards for food-for-thought for the Army’s future development in the world after COVID-19. One of the big lessons that we were able to offer on the Spanish Flu (and it may seem to be a banal glimpse of the obvious, but it was worth stating nevertheless) was that despite a casualty rate of military and civilians that exceeded anything that World War One had delivered, let alone anything that COVID has even threatened, it seems to have been treated as a complete side-issue from 1918 to 1920. In 2020 COVID has brought the world to a locked-down standstill. This has been a stark reminder that context, circumstance and perspectives are as important as the events themselves. And because perspectives and contexts matter, it is important to remember that Coronavirus is not the only thing happening in the world – and for that reason we have also sought to provide a steady stream of reminders that the ebb and flow of politics, diplomacy, conflict, tension, economic shifts, power balances and human interactions of every stripe are carrying on regardless. While our national Main Effort rightly remains the defeat of this disease, the wider thinkers and watchers need to keep thinking and watching too.

Maj Gen (Ret) Dr Andrew Sharpe