Browsing All Posts published on »November, 2010«

Assange, murder and reason of state

November 29, 2010

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I caused something of a hoohah this weekend when I suggested Julian Assange should be bumped off, if possible. My argument was that publishing diplomatic cables is more destabilizing to the international order than an occasional foiled bomb plot by al-Qa’ida, and is aimed to be. Wikileaks are thus fair game for our intelligence agencies […]

Time for the Blogification of Academic Giants, or T-BAG

November 26, 2010

1

Adam Elkus and I were talking about punditry last night, lamenting a world where Fellowships with the Council of Foreign Relations are handed out liberally to any tool who can sound plausible on world affairs. I put forward an idea I’ve had for a while now, coaxing out (still) living giants like Paul Kennedy and […]

Hague goes to Washington!

November 17, 2010

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William Hague gave the last speech in his series on the coalition government’s foreign policy tonight, speaking to students at Georgetown University. To be honest, I tuned out for much of it simply because there wasn’t anything new (I’ve spent the last two months going over and over his and other Conservatives’ statements on foreign […]

Making grand strategy

November 11, 2010

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How do we make grand strategy? Jason Fritz wrote a piece on this yesterday, asking if good grand strategy needs an enemy. He uses Winston Churchill as inspiration, who argued in his memoirs that a theme throughout British history is focusing our efforts on resisting great existential threats. That has become ‘somewhat useless’ as a […]

Scoop! Arnie to Defense?

November 9, 2010

2

Arnold Scharzenegger will make ‘a major announcement’ on an American chat show, according to his Twitter account. One commentator speculated (jokingly?) if it is to let slip he’s replacing Robert Gates as Secretary of State for Defense. This sounds awesome and absurd and awesome, but then I remembered Arnie paid a visit to British troops […]

Ambivalent? Yeah, maybe.

November 5, 2010

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Kenneth Payne has interesting pieces at Current Intelligence and on the BBC about the supposed ambivalence towards war felt in this country. Not to be facetious, but I’m ambivalent about them. It is true the British public are uninformed and uninvolved with Afghanistan, and that they are uninterested in defence policy generally. But I don’t […]

The hidden Blairism in David Cameron’s worldview

November 5, 2010

4

As pundits focused on the defence cuts last month, Iain Martin at the Wall Street Journal pointed out the government had put an end to the Blair Doctrine with its new National Security Strategy. ‘Britain is out of Iraq, heading for the exit in Afghanistan and scaling back its ambitions to more modest levels.’ The […]

The real Anglo-French defence treaty

November 2, 2010

3

Thinking Strategically has only been going for five months now but I’ve managed to secure something of a coup: getting hold of the real (i.e. secret) Anglo-French defence treaty signed today. Its contents are dynamite… Nuclear weapons: ‘Our governments will continue to maintain publicly that we both possess a nuclear deterrent and delay publication by […]