Browsing All Posts published on »September, 2010«

Some quick thoughts on the SDSR

September 30, 2010

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I can’t say whether this SDSR is the worst conducted in modern history, but it has not been edifying to watch. There have been briefings and counter-briefings and leaks across government; including the publication this week of a private letter from the Defence Secretary Liam Fox to David Cameron. He wrote that the review is […]

Comparing and contrasting Palmerston and Blair

September 29, 2010

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My paper about Afghanistan and the British Conservative Party has led inevitably to Tony Blair, and there is a very good piece by Steven Haines looking at the extent to which the former prime minister influenced British defence policy. Throughout the piece, Haines poses a dichotomy between Blair and Lord Palmerston when it comes to […]

Adam Elkus: The Power of the State, Policy and Operational Technology

September 27, 2010

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As I wrote last week, my Afghanistan paper will be eating up my time now and anything I write on here will probably be running commentary. To spice things up a bit, though, I have asked some friends to submit posts and Adam Elkus has written about the relationship between policy and technology in countering […]

Afghanistan: An unwinnable war?

September 23, 2010

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I am always annoyed when someone says a war is unwinnable; it annoyed me when it was said about Iraq with much sanctimony and it annoys me now when said about Afghanistan. No war is unwinnable; to succeed depends on figuring out the kind of conflict you’re fighting, organising yourself accordingly and doing it better/faster […]

An Anglo-French nuclear deterrent?

September 22, 2010

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With the misleading title ‘It is time to scrap Trident’, James Rogers at European Geostrategy argues that Britain and France should cut their nuclear submarines by half and share the deterrent. The rationale behind his idea is that both countries have budgetary pressures but rising defence costs, and given a nuclear strike against one would […]

James Wharton: ‘The strategic defence and security review has to be seen in the appropriate context’

September 19, 2010

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I have decided to focus on my over-a-year-old paper on Afghanistan and the Conservative Party, and so much of this blog will probably be dominated by Afghanistan and British  defence policy over the next few weeks as kind of a running commentary as I write it. The House of Commons had an excellent debate earlier […]

Copying America: The British Tea Party

September 18, 2010

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I like freedom. I like democracy. I like choice. But as a conservative, I do not like agitation or disorder or any threats to the status quo. And as I have been trained as a historian, I cannot stand ignorance and myths taken at face value. One can imagine then that the idea of a […]

The Godfather Doctrine

September 13, 2010

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There is nothing wrong with using popular culture to enliven international relations. I have drawn comparisons between Afghanistan and The Magnificent Seven, while Adam Elkus and Crispin Burke look at strategy and giant robots. The Godfather Doctrine has taken one of the best films of all time and used it as a parable for American […]

Conservatives and the threat from Germany 1902-1914

September 13, 2010

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This is the first part in my series looking at the British Conservative Party and the First World War. The topic brings together many interests of mine from international relations in the early 20th Century to the ‘strategic culture’ of the Party and the nexus of foreign policy and domestic politics. My dissertation examined it […]

Joe Chamberlain, bitch!

September 12, 2010

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I’m sure the whole two people interested in early 20th Century British politics and international relations cannot wait for my first post on the Conservatives and the First World War, but I thought I’d put this video up as a teaser. Joe Chamberlain, bitch!

Some ‘light’ Sunday reading

September 12, 2010

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I tend to use my Facebook page to recommend reading, but obviously there are people who don’t ‘like’ it – maybe due to mental illness, maybe because of sexual deviancy. Who knows? But as my first post on the Conservatives and the First World War is taking longer to finish than expected, I felt I […]

Remembering September 11th with guff

September 11, 2010

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I have been working on a lengthy post for the last fortnight, which is why blogging has been slow, but I wanted to write something on the anniversary of September 11th. The impact of the attacks on New York and Washington nine years ago cannot be understated either on a personal level or on the […]

Up to a point, Michael Cohen…

September 1, 2010

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Michael Cohen, who writes at the blog Democracy Arsenal, has said some curious stuff these last few days that I took issue with on Twitter. A hundred and forty characters are a bit measly to discuss the topics properly, however, so thought I’d explain my points here. The Millard Fillmore Doctrine Cohen tweeted Tuesday night […]