Browsing All Posts filed under »Iraq«

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With it kicking off in Gaza again, I thought I’d post an unpublished article I wrote in late 2009 about what I called the New Year’s War in Gaza.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

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 […]

Tim Montgomerie can add Iraq to his list of foreign policy failures

December 20, 2011

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I have a complicated relationship with neoconservatives. Laws prohibiting murder complicate things, but also the way ‘neocons’ ruin good ideas with bad analysis. Democratization in the Middle East is tainted by its association with them (though the claim that the Arab Spring vindicates their beliefs is like Jehovah’s Witnesses claiming credit for the Second Coming…). […]

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, […]

Ellis of Benghazi!

August 16, 2011

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This letter, which has been classified for fifty years, sheds a fascinating light on British foreign policy in the early 21st Century and the career of Lord Litherland (more popularly known as “Ellis of Benghazi”…) 16th August, 2011 To the Rt. Hon. William Hague MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs My dear, […]

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 […]

Realism: to be sandwiched between craziness and naivety

June 21, 2011

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Late this morning I tweeted sardonically, ‘If I had a pound for every pound I had for each day a government minister said Gaddafi is on his way out…’ The next thing I know, I’m being asked to speak on the BBC World Service about the surprising durability of the regime three months after our […]

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 […]

Steven Metz: Islamophobia and the crumbling of American strategy

February 7, 2011

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Although I don’t agree with the conclusions, this guest post by Dr. Steven Metz is an excellent critique of American grand strategy since September 11th and the corrosive effects which Islamophobia has had. He is the author of more than a hundred publications on future war, the emerging security environment, military strategy, defense policy, international […]

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 […]

Don’t bring in the Bismarck unless you know what you’re doing

October 4, 2010

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There are few things more dangerous than a historical analogy. It must be made carefully, the scenarios mirroring one another as much possible if people like me aren’t going to ridicule it. And if the comparison is with a period the reader fancies himself knowledgeable on, each sentence better be referenced by at least six […]

Up to a point, Lord Copper…

August 24, 2010

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Tim Montgomerie, the editor of influential blog ConservativeHome, has written an article in the London Times today (£) defending George W. Bush and his legacy. He credits the president with many deserved but underrated achievements, from Africa and his outreach to moderate Islam to a burgeoning special relationship between India and the United States. ‘The […]

Good Lord…

August 18, 2010

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I have been working on a post about the arguments around attacking Iran and not, which I hope to finish soon, but came across this video that is just, well, watch it. Have written three pages so far simply deconstructing this kind of dodgy neoconservative narrative.