Browsing All Posts published on »December, 2010«

Cutting off your nose to spite your face

December 19, 2010


To me, Afghanistan is perhaps the most intellectually exciting conflict that there has been for a while now. It captures all the problems of warfare in the 21st Century, as well as being the sum total of decades of internal conflict and great power politics. The downside to this complexity is figuring out a solution. […]

Go for growth! A narrative for British grand strategy

December 17, 2010


If work is getting you down, and you feel frustrated intellectually, then the answer is Hew Strachan. My afternoon yesterday was spent reading his 2009 essay ‘The Strategic Gap in British Defence Policy’, which puts succinctly many of the problems I’ve been struggling with for months. As well as the internationalisation of national security and […]

Iran, murder and reason of state

December 15, 2010


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: […]

Tim Mathews: Time to talk, time to kill

December 13, 2010


This week will likely be dominated by Afghanistan, with Andrew Exum launching his new paper at CNAS tomorrow and the White House releasing its December review on Thursday. Perhaps as a last minute pitch to the review, a number of experts signed an open letter to President Obama last week calling for negotiations with the […]

The dearth in Conservative foreign policy thinking

December 11, 2010


The editor of ConservativeHome, Tim Montgomerie, started an interesting debate this week about the future of Conservatism in Britain. His contention is that there are two brands on offer to the Party, ‘liberal’ and ‘mainstream’. David Cameron and the coalition government are the former, and Montgomerie worries they have taken the Party too far to […]

Mark Sutherland: Reflections on the Reserves

December 8, 2010


As I’m still working on my Afghanistan paper, I haven’t had the time to write as many considered posts as I would like to or the ones I have planned. To keep the love alive between the reader and me, I’ve asked talented and learned friends of mine to guest post on the blog and […]

Can you tell when it’s peacetime and wartime anymore?

December 6, 2010


Wikileaks has released ‘probably the most controversial document yet’, according to the BBC. It is a list of facilities around the world that the United States considers vital to its national security. ‘This is the kind of information terrorists are interested in knowing’, the former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind has said. My reaction was […]