Browsing All Posts published on »March, 2011«

The risk of a Dolchstosslegende after Libya

March 16, 2011

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Whenever arguing about intervention in Libya, I always ask interventionists how militarily viable the rebels were in the first place. I felt the answer was important because if the rebels were a lame horse from the start of the race, which seems to have been the case, then whatever equipment we sent them might fall […]

Libya, The Spectator and the limits of punditry

March 13, 2011

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There is nothing like an international crisis to make pundits think they are foreign policy experts; to the actual experts, each sloppy op-ed is like someone pushing to the floor a trolley full of brass instruments. As the uprising in Libya has turned to armed rebellion, I have had to cover my ears to avoid […]

Advice for statesmen

March 11, 2011

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I was going through one of my old Moleskin notebooks and found in the back pocket a list I wrote a couple of years ago, titled ‘Advice for policymakers’. The list isn’t as precocious as I believe I was two years ago, so I thought I’d publish it here. Have a loose but decisive command […]

What to do in Libya?

March 10, 2011

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The clamour for a no-fly zone over Libya is deafening; and so frightening is the sound that politicians may soon lose their heads and concede to creating one. I keep asking myself: what would the no-fly zone be for? James Forsyth, political editor of The Spectator magazine, seems to think it’d help the rebels defeat […]

A few thoughts on the Iranian arms seizure

March 9, 2011

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It was reported earlier that NATO had seized Iranian rockets on their way to the Taliban. William Hague, the British Foreign Secretary, released a statement condemning this as ‘unacceptable’. Before the usual suspects claim to be shocked – shocked! – at this revelation, and use it as a cause for war, I think we should […]

Making sense of the 2015 withdrawal

March 6, 2011

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The Foreign Affairs Committee published a report this week on Afghanistan and Pakistan, looking at how the United Kingdom has handled the conflict – especially the Coalition government. I have been following the inquiry since it began last summer and was excited to finally get my hands on its conclusions. From what I’ve read, regional […]

Forget Garibaldi and Palmerston; listen to Lord Salisbury

March 2, 2011

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David Cameron gave a statement on the Libyan crisis Monday, telling MPs he will not tolerate the violence and that he had asked the Chief of the Defence Staff to look into creating a no-fly zone. The American Weekly Standard described him as ‘Churchillian’, which should’ve been a warning to the Prime Minister that perhaps […]