Browsing All Posts filed under »Libya«

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 […]

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. […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Henry Kissinger as a guide to the Arab Spring

April 23, 2011

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It won’t surprise readers to learn I’m a fan of Henry Kissinger. Two books which shaped my early thinking on foreign policy were Diplomacy and A World Restored, the latter a textbook in returning order and legitimacy to regions destabilised by revolution. On Wednesday, Kissinger appeared with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Charlie Rose […]

The limitations of a nudge-nudge, wink-wink war

April 11, 2011

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My regular sparring-partner on Libya, Daniel Korski, has written today about the frustration felt by some over NATO’s handling of the campaign. They detained a ship carrying weapons to Misrata last week, and the rebels have criticised the organisation for being ‘bureaucratic and backward-leaning’ when it comes to the air campaign. Daniel concludes, ‘it is […]