Browsing All Posts filed under »negotiation«

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 […]

Striking Pakistan

September 26, 2011

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Since the September 13th attacks in Kabul, relations between Pakistan and the United States have become so bad that it is rumoured the baddies in the next Indiana Jones film will be the ISI, which is much more damaging to a country’s reputation than being listed as a state sponsor of terrorism. On Thursday, Admiral […]

How do you solve a problem like the Haqqanis?

September 13, 2011

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I came to study Afghanistan because of a Big Idea, which was counterinsurgency. One of the earliest things I wrote about the war, in the summer of 2009, was an article about how wonderful this new doctrine was and the ways in which it would win us this war. Had I written it now, I […]

Making sense of the 2015 withdrawal

March 6, 2011

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The Foreign Affairs Committee published a report this week on Afghanistan and Pakistan, looking at how the United Kingdom has handled the conflict – especially the Coalition government. I have been following the inquiry since it began last summer and was excited to finally get my hands on its conclusions. From what I’ve read, regional […]

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 […]

Iran, murder and reason of state

December 15, 2010

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There is a new article on the Newsweek site about the ‘covert war’ going on inside Iran to destabilise its nuclear programme, noting the suspicious attacks on its nuclear scientists recently. It brought me back to the discussion about murder and reason of state: are Iran’s scientists ‘fair game’ for targeted killing? Xavier says no: […]