Browsing All Posts published on »May, 2011«

A brief word on the 2015 withdrawal

May 31, 2011


How much of a political liability is David Cameron’s decision to withdraw the United Kingdom from Afghanistan by 2015? Pete Hoskin of The Spectator believes that if the country is still plagued by war by the time of the next general election, then Labour will ‘make play’ with the ‘prematurity’ of his decision. If they […]

Afghanistan and the Great (Blame) Game

May 26, 2011


The former UK representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, has written a new book about his time in the region. I’m usually sceptical of contemporary political memoirs, but I thought I’d take a chance with this one, and it arrived this morning. His views about the conflict have been trailed in The Guardian […]

Where is the Special Relationship going?

May 24, 2011


President Obama begins his state visit to the United Kingdom today, so, understandably, there has been a lot of focus on the Special Relationship; much of it typically pessimistic. I haven’t helped with my latest piece for Egremont criticising the new US-UK National Security Board (NSB). The board is supposed to keep officials on each […]

Israel and its inability to think strategically (still)

May 23, 2011


Last summer, when perennial concern about Iran’s nuclear programme grew hysterical, Ron Tira, a noted Israeli strategic thinker, wrote that the importance of an attack on the country was not the operation itself but manipulating international reaction. ‘It is necessary to examine Israel’s response to different events, for example, the Turkish flotilla to the Gaza […]

The onward march of T-BAGging

May 22, 2011


Last November, I wrote it was time for the ‘blogification’ of our academic giants, (T-BAG for short), as punditry was stifling foreign policy debate. We had to persuade the great and the good to come out of their academic obscurity and engage in new media, however ghastly it is, so that we may cast down […]

Afghanistan, David Cameron and British grand strategy

May 17, 2011


Yesterday, the Daily Telegraph reported that David Cameron has told the military to draw up plans for an early exit from Afghanistan. American commanders are alarmed by this and they are putting pressure on their British counterparts, as it might hasten an early US withdrawal. The story also ties into concerns the United States supposedly […]

Three books

May 11, 2011


Dan Drezner, the commentator realists go to now Stephen Walt is crazy, posed a tough challenge to foreign policy bloggers a couple of weeks ago. We had to choose three books which would help our politicians better understand international relations, but which wouldn’t require a graduate course to understand. Here are my picks: Alfred Duff […]