Browsing All Posts filed under »Great Britain«

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 […]

Britain’s Syria policy

November 14, 2012

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I’m working on a long piece about British interests, and involvement, in Syria, but I think this clip from Yes, Prime Minister best sums up the best approach to the crisis…

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 […]

David Cameron can avoid a war with Argentina by preparing for one

February 2, 2012

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It sometimes feels like the Cameron premiership has so far been a replay of the early Thatcher one what with the cuts, the riots, bust-ups with France, and backbench discontent over the direction of the government. This sense of de jà vu is heightened by tensions over the Falkland Islands a month before the 30th […]

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 […]

Can democracy save us from Pakistan?

December 14, 2011

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British policy in Central and South Asia is in a bit of a bind. We want stability in Afghanistan, a special relationship with India, and have signed up to a strategic partnership with Pakistan. The problem for us in achieving our goals in the region is that the latter two see a stable Afghanistan as […]

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 […]

Some thoughts on the storming of the British embassy in Tehran

November 29, 2011

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There were two concerns I had when I learned that the British Embassy in Tehran had been stormed today. One concern was whether any hostages had been taken, which continues to be unconfirmed, and I was also worried about the reaction of the “usual suspects”, for whom Iran is worse than Nazi Germany. England has […]

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. […]