Browsing All Posts published on »September, 2010«

Some quick thoughts on the SDSR

September 30, 2010


I can’t say whether this SDSR is the worst conducted in modern history, but it has not been edifying to watch. There have been briefings and counter-briefings and leaks across government; including the publication this week of a private letter from the Defence Secretary Liam Fox to David Cameron. He wrote that the review is […]

Comparing and contrasting Palmerston and Blair

September 29, 2010


My paper about Afghanistan and the British Conservative Party has led inevitably to Tony Blair, and there is a very good piece by Steven Haines looking at the extent to which the former prime minister influenced British defence policy. Throughout the piece, Haines poses a dichotomy between Blair and Lord Palmerston when it comes to […]

Adam Elkus: The Power of the State, Policy and Operational Technology

September 27, 2010


As I wrote last week, my Afghanistan paper will be eating up my time now and anything I write on here will probably be running commentary. To spice things up a bit, though, I have asked some friends to submit posts and Adam Elkus has written about the relationship between policy and technology in countering […]

Afghanistan: An unwinnable war?

September 23, 2010


I am always annoyed when someone says a war is unwinnable; it annoyed me when it was said about Iraq with much sanctimony and it annoys me now when said about Afghanistan. No war is unwinnable; to succeed depends on figuring out the kind of conflict you’re fighting, organising yourself accordingly and doing it better/faster […]

An Anglo-French nuclear deterrent?

September 22, 2010


With the misleading title ‘It is time to scrap Trident’, James Rogers at European Geostrategy argues that Britain and France should cut their nuclear submarines by half and share the deterrent. The rationale behind his idea is that both countries have budgetary pressures but rising defence costs, and given a nuclear strike against one would […]

James Wharton: ‘The strategic defence and security review has to be seen in the appropriate context’

September 19, 2010


I have decided to focus on my over-a-year-old paper on Afghanistan and the Conservative Party, and so much of this blog will probably be dominated by Afghanistan and British  defence policy over the next few weeks as kind of a running commentary as I write it. The House of Commons had an excellent debate earlier […]

Copying America: The British Tea Party

September 18, 2010


I like freedom. I like democracy. I like choice. But as a conservative, I do not like agitation or disorder or any threats to the status quo. And as I have been trained as a historian, I cannot stand ignorance and myths taken at face value. One can imagine then that the idea of a […]