Dr. Mike Martin is an author and consultant on conflict and strategy, particularly in Afghanistan. He regularly appears in international media, speaks and publishes on these topics.
- The retreat from Musa Qala is not “strategic withdrawal” (Prospect) – 2016
- Avoiding conflict with communities: An investment that pays off for mining firms (Myanmar Times) – 2015
- Britain didn’t understand the enemy in Helmand (The Telegraph) – 2014
- The centrality of human terrain in the contemporary operating environment (British Army) – 2011
- The importance of cultural understanding to the military (British Army Review) – 2009
- Effects of trail gradient on leaf tissue transport and load size selection in leaf-cutter ants (Behavioral Ecology) – 2008
See also Mike’s Google Scholar page
- A brief history of Helmand (British Army) – 2011
- An Intimate War: An oral history of the Helmand conflict (Hurst/OUP) – 2014 – Kindle (paperback out Oct 2017)
‘This is the best book ever written on Afghanistan. Martin writes what I have been feeling since the 1980s, but have not expressed in such a clear way. It is a remarkable work of political anthropology.‘ Professor Olivier Roy
‘An extraordinary book … An Intimate War is the work of a wise and patient scholar.’ London Review of Books
‘An uncompromising, deeply thought and important contribution.’ The Times
‘It is impossible to do full justice in this review to the range and depth of Martin’s research, arguments, or account of the Helmand conflict.’ Asian Affairs
- Crossing the Congo: Over Land and Water in a Hard Place (Hurst) – 2016 (See here for trailer.)
Shortlisted for the Wanderlust Adventure Travel Book of the Year
‘A remarkable story of psychological and physical endurance, and a compelling account of what pushes people to embark on impossible journeys.’ Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE
‘Crossing the Congo gives you a deeply, brutally honest view of what it is like to complete a great journey. At times they were lucky to survive.’ Robin Hanbury-Tenison OBE, DL, Dsc, Dhc, MA, FLS, FRGS
Chapter in When Tribes Join the Global Jihad (Hurst/OUP) – June 2017
Why We Fight: The Cognitive Basis For War (Hurst/OUP) – November 2017
Dr. Mike Martin is a former British Army officer trained to fluency in Pushtu who pioneered, designed and implemented the British Military’s Cultural Advisor programme, which trained Pushtu-speaking British officers to build and leverage relationships with local notables (profiled here in The Sunday Times).
He subsequently read for his PhD at King’s College London in Conflict Studies and wrote an oral history of the conflict in Helmand province, which he later turned into a critically-acclaimed book, An Intimate War.
He also consults and speaks on defence and security Issues, and comments in the international media, mostly on Afghanistan.
Mike lives in London, where is a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London. His second book, giving an account of his crossing of the Congo, has just come out, and he is writing his third, called Why We Fight, which explores the cognitive basis for war.
Speaking & Consultancy
Mike regularly speaks and consults on a wide range of issues relating to conflict and strategy, particularly in Afghanistan.
This encompasses work as wide-ranging as advising the UK Government and Ministry of Defence on its deployments to Afghanistan, through working with the US military, to briefing the cast and crew of the film War Machine featuring Brad Pitt. Mike also regularly comments in international media including the BBC, NPR, DR, WYNC, Washington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Vice, Information, Prospect etc.
When advising on commercial deals Mike works through Morphose.