Browsing All Posts filed under »diplomacy«

From the Archives: The New Year’s War in Gaza

November 16, 2012

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With it kicking off in Gaza again, I thought I’d post an unpublished article I wrote in late 2009 about what I called the New Year’s War in Gaza. Some of the observations are understandably dated, but I think the piece is still relevant. At eleven o’clock Saturday morning, on December 27th 2008, the New […]

History is more complex than the Iran debate allows

October 23, 2012

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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 […]

Britain needs William Hague

August 20, 2012

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William Hague will not be a great Foreign Secretary, but the guy who creates the circumstances for someone else to be a great Foreign Secretary. If Britain is to have a truly strategic foreign policy in the early 21st Century, it is crucial that he stays in his job, not randomly replaced by someone far […]

Sykes-Picot is not to blame for Syria

August 16, 2012

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For many in the Arab world, the Sykes-Picot Agreement is what the Yalta conference was for many conservatives in the United States during the Cold War. It is a betrayal of a people seeking freedom, a damning indictment of Great Power politics, and the source of all the problems in the Middle East. As with […]

From the Archives: Civilization III

June 12, 2012

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Daniel Knowles of the Telegraph wrote a great piece on the video game Civilization today, which I used to play constantly before I went to university. The following is an account I wrote of a scenario I played in August 2007 (it was the day before I received my A Level results, so I had […]

Why Britain is not isolated in Europe

December 13, 2011

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Since the European Summit on Friday, when David Cameron blocked an EU-wide treaty, many in the media have talked a lot of balls about the United Kingdom and “isolation”. Those who have criticised the Prime Minister, (who, funnily enough, have mostly been Europhiles), have bemoaned our lack of “influence” in Europe. If one follows the […]

David Cameron and the European crisis: some hard truths

December 9, 2011

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I woke up this morning to discover history had been made, or so I was told. Europe and the United Kingdom have parted ways. At a summit in Brussels this morning, David Cameron had used our veto for the first time to stop a ruinous financial transaction tax, but he has also isolated the country […]

In which I respectfully disagree with Sir Christopher Meyer

October 4, 2011

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Nik Darlington, m’friend and boss at Egremont, has a couple of good write-ups (here and here) of a brunch hosted by the Tory Reform Group today at the Conservative Party Conference. The guests of honour were Sir Christopher Meyer, the former British ambassador to the United States, and Alistair Burt, the UK minister responsible for […]

Striking Pakistan

September 26, 2011

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Since the September 13th attacks in Kabul, relations between Pakistan and the United States have become so bad that it is rumoured the baddies in the next Indiana Jones film will be the ISI, which is much more damaging to a country’s reputation than being listed as a state sponsor of terrorism. On Thursday, Admiral […]

A plea for honesty in the aid debate

September 1, 2011

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Many years ago, David Cameron pledged to protect the international aid budget from cuts if he became Prime Minister, and, since then, there has been a recurring debate in Conservative circles about the wisdom of this commitment. It appears on the horizon like a cloud promising rain; supporters of the pledge become very Wet; and […]

Libya: A clarification

August 18, 2011

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Since February, when the drumbeat for war with Colonel Gaddafi began, and I made an awful racket in response, I have been bugged by someone called Kellie Strøm. He has supported the intervention from the beginning and regularly makes obtuse comments about my opposition. Yesterday, Strøm pointed out my apparently uncertain position. On 17th March, […]

Afghanistan: A timeline

August 12, 2011

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I was surprised to discover recently that there is no comprehensive, publicly available timeline of the war in Afghanistan. This was also annoying, as it meant I had to construct my own. Here is what I have so far, but will continue to build it and hope others will contribute too. My aim is cover […]

Israel and its inability to think strategically (still)

May 23, 2011

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Last summer, when perennial concern about Iran’s nuclear programme grew hysterical, Ron Tira, a noted Israeli strategic thinker, wrote that the importance of an attack on the country was not the operation itself but manipulating international reaction. ‘It is necessary to examine Israel’s response to different events, for example, the Turkish flotilla to the Gaza […]