Browsing All Posts filed under »United States«

From the Archives: The New Year’s War in Gaza

November 16, 2012

0

With it kicking off in Gaza again, I thought I’d post an unpublished article I wrote in late 2009 about what I called the New Year’s War in Gaza.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

7

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 […]

David Cameron can avoid a war with Argentina by preparing for one

February 2, 2012

10

It sometimes feels like the Cameron premiership has so far been a replay of the early Thatcher one what with the cuts, the riots, bust-ups with France, and backbench discontent over the direction of the government. This sense of de jà vu is heightened by tensions over the Falkland Islands a month before the 30th […]

The Europhile (Un)imagination

December 29, 2011

2

I have to say, it has been fun watching British Europhiles have a collective nervous breakdown. Europhiles like to think of themselves as the embodiment of Enlightenment values, whereas their opponents are irrational, unintelligent, hysterical loons. Since David Cameron’s veto, however, you cannot open The Guardian or turn on BBC News without being blown across […]

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

December 20, 2011

5

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

1

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 […]

Some thoughts on the storming of the British embassy in Tehran

November 29, 2011

3

There were two concerns I had when I learned that the British Embassy in Tehran had been stormed today. One concern was whether any hostages had been taken, which continues to be unconfirmed, and I was also worried about the reaction of the “usual suspects”, for whom Iran is worse than Nazi Germany. England has […]

The West needs to drink a glass of man up!

November 3, 2011

2

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. […]

The Question

October 11, 2011

3

How do you take part in someone else’s historical moment? Christopher Coker, a sharp observer of world affairs, posed this question last spring, speaking at an event at RUSI. He asked it in the context of the unipolar moment – when the United States “was really the only country in town” – and how we […]

In which I respectfully disagree with Sir Christopher Meyer

October 4, 2011

0

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 […]

Striking Pakistan

September 26, 2011

5

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

3

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 […]

Afghanistan, David Cameron and the perils of bad history

September 7, 2011

1

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 […]