Browsing All Posts filed under »Cold War«

Great Britain, license to kill: The geopolitics of James Bond

November 30, 2012


What role should a post-imperial Britain play in the world? This question has dogged us since at least 1962, when the former U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson made his infamous remark. Arguably, though, the new Bond film has an answer: Our role is to kill bad guys competently and with style. Throughout Skyfall, it […]

No permanent threats, only permanent interests

November 6, 2012


A conceptual problem with British defence policy is that it is too focused on deterring threats, not on safeguarding interests – a problem unintentionally highlighted by The Telegraph today. It reports that the United Kingdom may increase its military presence in the Persian Gulf region ‘to counter the growing threat from Iran’, not to protect […]

History is more complex than the Iran debate allows

October 23, 2012


Whenever I have written about Iran, I have looked at the problems of numerous policies to deal with the country, rarely offering my own suggestions for solving the Iran problem. There are two reasons for this, one of which is that it is ridiculously complex and no one can really come up with what I […]

Mistaking Libya for the world

April 6, 2011


There is nothing like an international crisis to make pundits think they are foreign policy experts, as I wrote last month; and a common problem with their “take” is that they believe the crisis tells us something troubling about the future. When Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, the media predicted a new Cold War. I […]

Steven Metz: Islamophobia and the crumbling of American strategy

February 7, 2011


Although I don’t agree with the conclusions, this guest post by Dr. Steven Metz is an excellent critique of American grand strategy since September 11th and the corrosive effects which Islamophobia has had. He is the author of more than a hundred publications on future war, the emerging security environment, military strategy, defense policy, international […]

Crispin Burke and Courtney Messerschmidt: Shi Lang!

January 19, 2011


The rise of China and its implication on security in East Asia is conspicuously missing from the blog, but this guest post by Crispin Burke and Courtney Messerschmidt begins to correct this. It puts concerns about Chinese military technology into a more critical perspective, especially its new aircraft carrier. Crispin is a US Army captain […]

No closer friend, no greater ally

January 13, 2011


American readers, and French ones, and anyone who lives outside the United Kingdom might have missed that the Special Relationship ended this week. President Obama ended it with a shocking ‘kick in the teeth’, when he said the United States doesn’t ‘have a stronger friend and a stronger ally than Nicolas Sarkozy and the French […]

Ambivalent? Yeah, maybe.

November 5, 2010


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 […]

Some initial thoughts on the NSS and SDSR

October 19, 2010


I don’t want to write too much about the National Security Strategy and the defence review, as I’m working on a much longer post fitting both papers into Conservative foreign policy thinking over the last five years. But there are some brief points I want to make now. The National Security Strategy will not be […]

An Anglo-French nuclear deterrent?

September 22, 2010


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 […]

The Godfather Doctrine

September 13, 2010


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 […]

A quiet mopping-up operation

August 1, 2010


I like to use Sundays to sort out loose ends and tidy up little messes from the week previous so I can start the coming week afresh. With regard to the blog, there are a couple issues that need mopping up: Bernard Finel and me hating Jews. Finel wrote a curious post on Monday, arguing […]

“Britney Spears doesn’t do strategy”

July 29, 2010


A shorter talk by Professor Christopher Coker is here covering some of the same themes.