Browsing All Posts filed under »history«

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 […]

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 […]

Afghanistan, David Cameron and the perils of bad history

September 7, 2011

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The political use of history, including bad history, has always interested me, and the way bad history can persuade a politician to make bad decisions. In his survey of the British Foreign Secretaryship, Douglas Hurd warns that the most dangerous form of ignorance ‘is that smidgeon of shallow knowledge which lacks any understanding of the […]

Michael Burgoyne: Old Luk-Oie and military adaptation

February 9, 2011

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I am pleased to publish a guest post by Michael Burgoyne, as he has been more than helpful to me with some of my writing. Michael is a Major in the United States Army and author of The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa. Incidentally, his co-author Jim Marckwardt will be discussing full spectrum operations at the […]

Hermit of Peking

January 20, 2011

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Hugh Trevor-Roper is my favourite historian and he should be the model for budding academics. Much of my week has been spent on the sofa reading one of his few books, one of his best: a life of Sir Edmund Backhouse. It is not a familiar name today, arguably due to Trevor-Roper. Backhouse was a […]

A peace to end all peace

January 3, 2011

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The historian Margaret MacMillan wrote an interesting op-ed for The New York Times the other week, about reparations and the First World War. I stopped reading after a few paragraphs because it sounded like a load of balls, but I went back to it and the article has its merits. The thing I objected to […]