Browsing All Posts published on »January, 2011«

Afghanistan, the Conservatives and the Special Relationship

January 26, 2011


Why does David Cameron support the war in Afghanistan? I have touched on this here and here, but one reason not yet addressed is the importance of the United States. Though not crucial to them, the Special Relationship is vital for us; and Hew Strachan believes this is the reason for our involvement in the […]

Hermit of Peking

January 20, 2011


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 […]

Crispin Burke and Courtney Messerschmidt: Shi Lang!

January 19, 2011


The rise of China and its implication on security in East Asia is conspicuously missing from the blog, but this guest post by Crispin Burke and Courtney Messerschmidt begins to correct this. It puts concerns about Chinese military technology into a more critical perspective, especially its new aircraft carrier. Crispin is a US Army captain […]

No closer friend, no greater ally

January 13, 2011


American readers, and French ones, and anyone who lives outside the United Kingdom might have missed that the Special Relationship ended this week. President Obama ended it with a shocking ‘kick in the teeth’, when he said the United States doesn’t ‘have a stronger friend and a stronger ally than Nicolas Sarkozy and the French […]

Decontaminating Conservative foreign policy

January 8, 2011


I have had another small breakthrough with my work on Conservative foreign policy, triggered by making notes from Professor Tim Bale’s The Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron. He spends the last chapter of the book looking at David Cameron’s ‘brand decontamination’ strategy. The biggest problem the Party had between 1997 and 2005 was that […]

Afghanistan, the Conservatives and the national interest

January 5, 2011


That simple truth was reaffirmed last night: when in doubt, Hew Strachan. I had a breakthrough with my work on Afghanistan and the Conservative Party thanks again to his essay, ‘The Strategic Gap in British Defence Policy’. Since November, I have been struggling to write about the emphasis on the national interest in Conservative foreign […]

A peace to end all peace

January 3, 2011


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 […]