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General Sir Rupert Smith KCB, DSO, OBE, QGM

General Sir Rupert Smith is a senior international authority on defence, security, strategy and geopolitics. He has extensive experience in advising governments, corporations and the private sector on defence and security planning and spending, and on evolving strategies. He has lead and managed combined civil-military forces of over 20,000 people, often of many nations and locations. He has worked widely
with defence and security industries in Europe and the US, both as a serving officer and over the past two decades as a senior advisor on a range of products, projects and strategies. He has been a member of the Strategic Advice Panel to the UK Chief of Defence, and was the only military member of the UK National Security Forum advising the Prime Minister and the Cabinet between 2008-2010.

General Smith retired from the British Army on 20 January 2002. His last appointment was NATO Deputy Supreme Commander Allied Powers Europe, 1998-2001, covering the alliance’s Balkan operations, including the Kosovo bombing, and the development of the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI). Prior to that he was the General Officer Commanding in Northern Ireland, 1996-1998; Commander UNPROFOR in Sarajevo, 1995; the Assistant Chief of Defence Staff for Operations, 1992-1994; and General Officer Commanding 1 (UK) Armoured Division, 1990-1992, including the Gulf War.

Alongside the transatlantic arena, General Smith served in East and South Africa, Arabia, the Caribbean, Malaysia and Australia. Since his retirement he has advised on peace negotiations and processes in Asia, Europe and Latin America. He is an expert in multinational leadership and has worked with major companies on global trends and geopolitical developments.

His book, The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World was first published in 2005 and has remained in print ever since, with an updated second edition issued in 2019. Defined as “seminal” by reviewers and practitioners alike, it has been translated into nine languages, including Indonesian, Japanese and Korean.

General Smith has lectured widely at universities, military and defence academies and industrial forums around the world. He co-leads an annual course on strategy at Sciences Po in Paris; and is a Visiting Professor at Reading University, a Fellow of Kings College London and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Born in 1943, he was educated at Haileybury & ISC and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He enlisted in 1962 and was commissioned into The Parachute Regiment in 1964.

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