Dr Rob Johnson Awarded the Trench Gascoigne Prize for Essay

20th December 2016

On 12th December Dr Rob Johnson, Senior Research Fellow at Pembroke and Director of the Changing Character of War Programme, received first prize in the Trench Gascoigne Prize from the Royal United Services Institute. Dr Johnson was presented with the prize by the Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach. This annual essay prize has existed since 1874, and recognises original writing on contemporary issues of national and international defence and security.

Dr Johnson’s essay, titled ‘Making Strategy: The Changing Character of War in the Twenty First Century’, is concerned with the current situation for the United Kingdom's defence. He examined the changing elements of warfare today and how certain ways of thinking can create a situation that leads to a significant strategic shock, just as 9/11 did in 2001. The essay was judged to be a critical appraisal of the problem.

Dr Johnson’s specialisms are in war; strategy and strategic thinking; military operations; and armed conflict in the Middle East. He works on the history of war in the 19th and 20th centuries, with particular interest in the First World War and the Inter-War Years. This research informs studies of recent conflicts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and the Middle East.

The Changing Character of War Programme (CCW) is devoted to the interdisciplinary study of war and armed conflict. It is a successful, policy-relevant research programme based in Pembroke College, University of Oxford, and enjoying global influence and international partnerships.