Browsing All Posts filed under »Europe«

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With it kicking off in Gaza again, I thought I’d post an unpublished article I wrote in late 2009 about what I called the New Year’s War in Gaza.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 […]

Conservatives should not praise David Cameron, but whip him

March 8, 2012

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David Cameron is a disappointment as Conservative leader. This view is prevalent throughout the Party; everyone seems to have a reason for being disappointed with the Prime Minister’s leadership. For me, it was his actions over Libya; the intervention was everything we promised we wouldn’t do. For others, it is vacillation on Europe and/or the […]

The Europhile (Un)imagination

December 29, 2011

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I have to say, it has been fun watching British Europhiles have a collective nervous breakdown. Europhiles like to think of themselves as the embodiment of Enlightenment values, whereas their opponents are irrational, unintelligent, hysterical loons. Since David Cameron’s veto, however, you cannot open The Guardian or turn on BBC News without being blown across […]

Has David Cameron re-nationalised the national interest?

December 16, 2011

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One of my bugbears is what I call the ‘internationalisation of the national interest’. It is the belief that the world has become so globalised and interconnected that every crisis is a threat to our health and well-being and that it is vital we are involved in sorting it out. The result of such a […]

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 […]

The West needs to drink a glass of man up!

November 3, 2011

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These last few years have been tough for the Western Alliance and a dispiriting time for those like me who feel the well-being of the world is best served by Western primacy. It isn’t the rise of the emerging powers that has been dispiriting, but rather the self-pity their rise has engendered in the West. […]

The Question

October 11, 2011

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How do you take part in someone else’s historical moment? Christopher Coker, a sharp observer of world affairs, posed this question last spring, speaking at an event at RUSI. He asked it in the context of the unipolar moment – when the United States “was really the only country in town” – and how we […]

Afghanistan, David Cameron and British grand strategy

May 17, 2011

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Yesterday, the Daily Telegraph reported that David Cameron has told the military to draw up plans for an early exit from Afghanistan. American commanders are alarmed by this and they are putting pressure on their British counterparts, as it might hasten an early US withdrawal. The story also ties into concerns the United States supposedly […]

Afghanistan, the Conservatives and the Special Relationship

January 26, 2011

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Why does David Cameron support the war in Afghanistan? I have touched on this here and here, but one reason not yet addressed is the importance of the United States. Though not crucial to them, the Special Relationship is vital for us; and Hew Strachan believes this is the reason for our involvement in the […]

No closer friend, no greater ally

January 13, 2011

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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 […]

Decontaminating Conservative foreign policy

January 8, 2011

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I have had another small breakthrough with my work on Conservative foreign policy, triggered by making notes from Professor Tim Bale’s The Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron. He spends the last chapter of the book looking at David Cameron’s ‘brand decontamination’ strategy. The biggest problem the Party had between 1997 and 2005 was that […]

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 […]