Britain has evolved dramatically in the first two decades of the twenty-first century. The British Army fought two campaigns during this time, in Iraq and Afghanistan, at great economic and human risk. Despite this, neither war accomplished its goals. Simon Akam’s new book, The Changing of the Guard: The British Army Since 9/11, is made up of meticulous documentary research, field reportage, and other sources, which offers some fascinating ethnographic insights into this society. Many of the rituals and traditions described in Akam’s hefty book may seem alien to people who have had little or no involvement with the military.
The Crossroads of Special Operations