Browsing All Posts filed under »liberal interventionism«

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…

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 […]

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…). […]

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 […]

In which I respectfully disagree with Sir Christopher Meyer

October 4, 2011

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Nik Darlington, m’friend and boss at Egremont, has a couple of good write-ups (here and here) of a brunch hosted by the Tory Reform Group today at the Conservative Party Conference. The guests of honour were Sir Christopher Meyer, the former British ambassador to the United States, and Alistair Burt, the UK minister responsible for […]

What’s in the name of a fascistic, oppressive, unjust foreign policy…?

September 19, 2011

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Last week, when Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey toured the Middle East, aligning himself with the Arab Street despite his dodgy credentials to do so, a Turkish analyst on Twitter rejected that this was ‘neo-Ottomanism’ on his country’s part. If the region had anything to worry about, it was the neo-colonialism of the Western powers, […]

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 […]

Unhappy families: Libya and Afghanistan

August 25, 2011

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I have a new article on Egremont today, pointing out worrying similarities between the intervention in Libya – and its alleged success – and the mistakes we made in Afghanistan in 2001/02. We helped a loose coalition of factions to topple a regime without knowing much about them or about what we wanted the postwar […]

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, […]

Younes, smugness and the future of Libya

August 2, 2011

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I have been smug about Libya for a while now. This afternoon, at lunch, a friend of mine complained that I seem to use Twitter simply to express smug satisfaction about this ill-considered war. “Facebook, too,” I added, with a smirk. The killing of General Abdel Younes, a senior rebel commander, and the retributions going […]

Passionately moderate-ism

June 24, 2011

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President Obama announced the withdrawal of ten thousand troops from Afghanistan, plus twice that number out by next summer, in a short statement he made Wednesday night at the White House. Others have written about the announcement and discussed the issues surrounding it much better than I could hope to, but there was a section […]

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 […]