Commentary

Hasan Rouhani sqIran and the US: the Politics of Détente The Iranian President’s recent charm offensive in New York could be regarded as the start of a diplomatic revolution. Received well in the US and in Iran itself, it will disturb regional neighbours long accustomed to being estranged from Iran.
7 Oct 2013

National Crime Agency [thumbnail]Out of the Shadows: Five Challenges facing the National Crime Agency Billed by the media as the UK’s answer to the FBI, the National Crime Agency is launched today. The agency faces the herculean challenge of reducing organised crime in the UK and overseas with inadequate intelligence, a limited budget and a public who remains largely ignorant of the true scale of the threat.
7 Oct 2013

Al-Shabaab FighterThe Westgate Nairobi Attack: A Sign of the Diversified Threat from Al-Qa’ida The locus of countering Al-Qa’ida style terrorism has now shifted overseas, with Western governments facing a new and complex set of issues that have been brought into particular focus by recent events at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.
4 Oct 2013

British ArmyGreat Power Expectations Vs. Little Britain Following the British parliamentary vote on intervention in Syria, the government and the Prime Minister have defended Britain’s international relevance. However, polling data suggest there’s a creeping gap between willing and self-image in British attitudes to the world.
3 Oct 2013

Chemical Weapons Inspectors IraqSyrian Chemical Weapon Disposal: Confronting the Challenges This week, a UN inspection team begins the onerous task of monitoring and dismantling Syria’s chemical weapons stock. A former UN weapons inspector charged with the destruction of Iraq’s stockpiles highlights the challenges ahead.
3 Oct 2013

European UnionGerman Joint Venture Signals Big Changes in European Defence Industrial Base Last week, the German automobile parts and military equip­ment manufacturer Rheinmetall announced a joint venture with German industrial services provider Ferrostaal. The arrangement sheds light on how the European defence industrial base is significantly diversifying.
2 Oct 2013

Hasan Rouhani sqRouhani, Obama, and US-Iran Diplomacy: A Nuclear Thaw or a False Start? With the first signs of a US-Iran thaw, there are great hopes – and great cynicism. Yet while the optimists may be overstating the scope of any deal, the cynics are wrong to dismiss Hasan Rouhani's rhetoric.
1 Oct 2013

CyberUK Cyber Response: Getting it Right Matters There currently exists an alphabet soup of organisations tasked with upholding the the UK’s cyber-defences. Proposals for a national UK Cyber Response Team will therefore need to have clear responsibilities, differentiating from other cyber-response initiatives
30 Sep 2013

British ProcurementThe UK’s Defence Growth Partnership: Refocusing the Relationship Between the Private Sector and Government The first report of the UK government’s ‘Defence Growth Partnership’ is aimed at addressing barriers to growth for the defence industry. With on going austerity measures in UK defence, the focus will have to be on export opportunities abroad.
30 Sep 2013

Persian GulfThe New East of Suez Question: Damage Limitation after Failure Over Syria The UK can do little to affect the Syrian civil war. But it is shoring up its interests on the periphery of the conflagration, reinforcing the UK’s military reorientation East of Suez. The question is whether, in light of Parliament’s vote last month, the Government now wants to say so.
18 Sep 2013

Crisis of Brilliance - Paul Nash The Void Photo courtesy of MBAC, Tate LondonReview: David Boyd Haycock’s A Crisis of Brilliance 1908 -1922 An exhibition of six British Post-modernists depict the impact of the Great War 1914-18 on our society and culture. It provides a perfect entry point for the visual dimension of the 2014 programme marking the centenary.
18 Sep 2013

2013 03 NB Hellyer thumbnailRendering Unto the State: What Role do Egyptians Want for Religion? While polling suggests that Egypt’s otherwise religiously conservative population are ambivalent towards religion-based political parties, support for restrictions on the ousted Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party has yet to be tested.
18 Sep 2013

Barack Obama Putin G8How Effective is the US-Russia Deal on Syria? The deal between Russia and the United States over Syria is more an agreement to disagree rather than a pact between two powers which see eye to eye. But its impact could be profound for Barack Obama's foreign policy legacy.
16 Sep 2013

Putin 2012 thumbnailControlling Syria's Chemical Weapons: Why the US Should Call Putin's Bluff Critics accuse President Obama of walking into a Russian trap. But even partial implementation of the disarmament plan reduces the likelihood that chemical weapons are used, without foreclosing any American options.
12 Sep 2013

Obama NSS ConferenceSyria and Obama's 'Credibility Spiral' With no clear strategy or set of political objectives, President Obama had set red lines for chemical weapons use in Syria. This has locked him into credibility spiral which was difficult for him to free from, even after a resolution to the chemical weapons question.
10 Sep 2013

Erdogan and AssadAnkara Embraces Regime Change: Zero Problems and the Syrian Crisis Turkey's recent foreign policy goal of being at peace with her neighbours is now in tatters as it lobbies for full-scale military intervention in Syria. Unlike the United States, Turkey's strategy now involves regime change, not just punitive military strikes.
10 Sep 2013

Antimicrobial ResistanceThe UK Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2013-2018 The new UK Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy is published today. Its cross-government approach reflects growing international interest in Antimicrobial Resistance as an economic as well as health concern.
21 Aug 2013

UN Security CouncilThe Use of Chemical Weapons: The Legal Case for Intervention in Syria Any intervention in Syria must be legally sound and must be aimed at a more long-term solution rather than a short term punitive exercise.
4 Sep 2013

Angela Merkel and Vladimir PutinGermany's Syria Policy: The Art of the Possible Unlike France, Germany is the other major European power that has stopped short of military intervention in Syria. Nevertheless, the country has adopted a tough diplomatic posture towards Syria and could deploy militarily if there is an international mandate.
3 Sep 2013

Ruby Loftus Screwing a Breech Ring painting by Laura KnightReview: The Second World War as Seen Through the Laura Knight Portraits A major exhibition features more than forty of Laura Knight's portraits and sketches including several which confirm her as an important commentator on the 1939-45 war.
3 Sep 2013

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