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Photo of Lieutenant General (Retd) Prof Paul Newton KBE

Lieutenant General (Retd) Prof Paul Newton KBE

Chair In Security And Strategy, Director Of Strategy And Security Institute


01392 726494

Sir Paul Newton spent 38 years in the Army before accepting the post as Professor of Strategy at the University of Exeter in 2012. Educated at Sandhurst - and later at Camberley and then Cambridge University - he completed 8 operational tours in Northern Ireland (including Command of 2nd Battalion, The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (2PWRR) and most recently as Commander 8 Infantry Brigade for which he was awarded a CBE) and two in Iraq.

In 1999 he graduated from the Joint Higher Command and Staff Course and was immediately seconded to the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) to write the plan for the Kosovo operation.  Whilst exercising command over Brunei Garrison, he helped to plan and deploy the UK force to East Timor.  Shortly after he went to Sierra Leone to complete the UK strategic assessment.

In 2003 he became the Chief of Defence Staff’s Liaison Officer to the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs in Washington, working on Iraq.  Deploying to Baghdad as the Deputy, Strategic Planning in HQ Multi-National Force Iraq, he was awarded the US Legion of Merit.  In January 2005 he took over the PJHQ Intelligence Division. Promoted to Major General in February 2006, he briefly went back to the Royal College of Defence Studies as Army Director before returning to Baghdad to lead the Coalition reconciliation effort heading a new Force Strategic Engagement Cell, for which he was awarded a Legion of Merit, First Oak Leaf Cluster.  He later ran the MOD Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre producing Global Strategic Trends, the first UK doctrine for stabilisation and the MOD position paper on the Future Character of Conflict, in time for the Security and Defence Review.  In April 2010 Lieutenant General Newton became Commander Force Development & Training and a member of the Executive Committee of the Army Board, charged with ‘leading and driving’ change.

Awarded a KBE in 2012, upon leaving the Army Sir Paul Newton founded and became first Director of the Strategy and Security Institute (SSI), working on contemporary global security issues through innovative teaching, policy-facing research and field-based consultancy. From October 2013 it will deliver a unique Masters in Security Strategy; a highly selective course designed primarily for future leaders and strategists.

He has established ‘Paul Newton Strategic Consultancy’ advising an international service delivery and engineering company, amongst other clients. Recently appointed a Senior Associate Fellow at RUSI, he has co-edited and contributed to ‘After the Spring: Prospects for the Arab World in 2013, UNA-UK’, published in December 2012 and has written a chapter entitled ‘Adapt or Fail: The Challenge for the Armed Forces after Blair’s Wars’ for Professor Sir Hew Strachan's book, 'British Generals in Blair’s Wars' published in June 2013. Sir Paul Newton continues to serve in various honorary appointments, including as Colonel Commandant of the three infantry regiments that comprise the Queen's Division.

Note: Professor Sir Paul Newton is unable to take on new PhD students, please find an alternative supervisor. 

Research interests

Paul has particular expertise in the following areas:

  • Strategy
  • Defence reform
  • Leadership
  • Conflict (past, present, and future)
  • Decision-making
  • Military culture and reform
  • Capacity-building
  • Counter-insurgency and stabilisation
  • Land warfare
  • Intelligence
  • Civil / military relations
  • Horizon scanning

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