Captain Mike Crofts RTR
Michael is a serving British Army Officer. He studied Politics and American Studies BA(Hons) at the University of Nottingham, before he attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He Commissioned into the Royal Tank Regiment in 2008. Since then he has attended the Armoured Troop Leaders’ Course and qualified as a Challenger II Tank Commander. He has completed a year at the Land Warfare Centre Battle Group in Warminster, aiding the training of future commanders, as well as a number of ‘Live Firing’ tank ranges and a ‘Conventional’ armoured exercise in Canada.
Michael recently completed his second deployment to Afghanistan. His first as an Afghan National Army ‘Tolay’ (Company) Adviser in a remote region of Helmand Province as part of the Irish Guards Battle Group in 2010/11. More recently he operated throughout the Province on his second tour, as the Squadron Second-in-Command of the Warthog Armoured Vehicle Manoeuvre Squadron.
Michael is happy to share his military experience with others. His more specific areas of knowledge relate to Manoeuvre, Armoured and Counter-Insurgency Warfare. In addition, Michael is an avid sportsman (Rugby, Football, Squash, Golf and Skiing) and long suffering Aston Villa fan.
In an effort to bolster unstable state powers, such as in Libya, there will be an increase in Defence Engagement; including the training of Indigenous Forces. Michael’s research focuses on the International Law concerns that this topic evokes. There is an inherent risk when dealing with forces in less developed, unstable, non-liberal states, that they may abuse the skills that we teach them.
In this interconnected world, humanitarian abuses by our allies and partners are easily identified; with the global reach of multimedia and social networking able to quickly assert culpability and damage credibility. We must mitigate such abuses and the impact of accusations, by properly developing those we train. That is not to say that we in the West have all of the answers, but identifying how to develop more effective civil control of indigenous forces may prove appropriate.
Michael hopes to examine the way in which we deliver crucial training to Indigenous Forces; so that we may continue to aid legitimate security in unstable states, whilst simultaneously encouraging adherence to International Law by the Indigenous Forces we train. He hopes to consult serving officers and soldiers, lawyers, journalists and policy makers during the course of his research.
Captain Crofts will publish a 10,000 word thesis on his findings as a contribution to Army Doctrine and Concepts.