Mackinder Forum Lecture #1: Rear Admiral Dr. Chris Parry, “Ukraine: The Hinge of Eurasia”

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On Friday, November 18, 2022, 9:00 a.m. Eastern U.S. Time, Rear Admiral Chris Parry (ret., UK) presented the inaugural lecture in the Mackinder Forum’s newly established “Colin S. Gray Memorial Lecture Series in Geostrategy.”  

ABSTRACT:  Chris Parry spoke about the coincidental symmetries between the works of the great geopolitical theorists of the 20th century and the situation that has been unfolding and emerging during the first three decades of the 21st century.  He explored the features and consequences of a world that appears to be coalescing around two ideologically and geopolitically divided blocs and which appears economically and geopolitically to be progressively deglobalizing.  He also discussed the implications of this dynamic shift for the future of strategic deterrence, the global commons, great power trajectories and warfare. 

BIOGRAPHY:  Chris Parry runs a strategic forecasting and trouble-shooting company, proving accurate assessments to governments, leading commercial companies and financial institutions about geo-political and strategic issues, future trends and systemic risk. 

Previously, after reading Modern History at Jesus College Oxford, he served in the Royal Navy as an aviator and warfare officer.  He commanded the destroyer HMS GLOUCESTER, the Amphibious Assault Ship HMS FEARLESS, the UK’s Amphibious Task Group and the Maritime Warfare Centre.  He was also Director Operational Capability and Director General, Development, Concepts and Doctrine as well as holding three other senior Joint and UK Ministry of Defence appointments, with responsibility for the strategic development, policy, effectiveness and operational deployment of all three armed forces.

As well as sailing every sea, he experienced regular operational tours and combat operations in Northern Ireland, the Gulf and the Falklands, where he rescued 16 SAS troopers from a glacier during a hurricane in South Georgia and disabled the Argentinian submarine SANTA FE.  He was awarded the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators Helicopter Rescue Award in 1983 and his Falklands War diary was published as the best-selling “DOWN SOUTH” in 2012.

With a doctorate in organizational psychology, Chris is a visiting Fellow at Churchill College Cambridge and at the University of Reading and presents on strategic issues, geopolitics and international relations at several other universities in the UK (Oxford, Swansea) and elsewhere.  He also teaches strategic leadership, risk management and organizational psychology within corporates and at the UK Defence Academy and the Global Leadership Academy.  He appears as a regular broadcaster and commentator in international and UK media and is an active author, most recently with the authoritative “SUPER HIGHWAY: SEA POWER IN THE 21st CENTURY.” 

READINGS: No readings were assigned for this presentation.