Army: Behind the New Front Lines

BBC Two, Wednesday 18th October, 9 pm.

The British Army in 2017 is in unchartered territory. They haven’t been at war for three years. After controversial campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan there is political and public opposition to military intervention overseas. The Army’s budgets are under pressure and they have the smallest troop numbers since the days of Cromwell. But with the rise of the so-called Islamic State, the threat of a new cold war in Eastern Europe and famine and conflict in Africa, the British Army has to play a new role in a deeply unstable world. 

In episode one of this three-part series the Army returns to Iraq, where they have a bloody history. Between 2003 and 2011, 179 British soldiers were killed here. Now they’re helping the Iraqis defeat the so-called Islamic State. As the battle for Mosul begins, this series opener follows British soldiers operating behind the frontlines.