Browsing All Posts filed under »foreign policy«

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

November 30, 2012

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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

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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 […]

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 […]

Intermediary World Domination Reading List

November 1, 2011

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For nerds, there are few things as fun as compiling reading lists. In May, Dan Drezner electrified the foreign policy blogosphere when he challenged writers to choose three books which would help politicians better understand international relations without having to take a graduate course in it. Since then, I have been thinking about which books […]

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 […]

Three books

May 11, 2011

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Dan Drezner, the commentator realists go to now Stephen Walt is crazy, posed a tough challenge to foreign policy bloggers a couple of weeks ago. We had to choose three books which would help our politicians better understand international relations, but which wouldn’t require a graduate course to understand. Here are my picks: Alfred Duff […]

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 […]

The dearth in Conservative foreign policy thinking

December 11, 2010

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The editor of ConservativeHome, Tim Montgomerie, started an interesting debate this week about the future of Conservatism in Britain. His contention is that there are two brands on offer to the Party, ‘liberal’ and ‘mainstream’. David Cameron and the coalition government are the former, and Montgomerie worries they have taken the Party too far to […]

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

November 26, 2010

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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 […]

Ellis and Rauscher on Europe

October 17, 2010

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I shouldn’t argue with Xavier Rauscher as I’m expecting him to write something for the blog, but we all have to do what we feel is right in our hearts. Today, we have been arguing about Europe. Like most of the world, I tend to treat the European Union with contemptuous indifference; like any Frenchman, […]