Iraq: A lost cause?

A US Marine in Anbar, conducting a security patrol around combat outpost Viking, Iraq, in 2009

As Hegel famously observed: “The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.” Perhaps anyone involved in Western foreign policy in the Middle East should recite this every morning before they go to work, because right now we are sleepwalking into the mistakes of the past. On 16 March, the… Continue Reading ➤

What next for Nigeria?

The Marina on Lagos Island in Nigeria's capital: the developed façade of a society undergoing profound change

Radios across Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous city with a staggering 21 million people, are alive with fiery political debate, catchy political jingles and celebrity endorsements. Election fever has hit the city, and the entire country; albeit over a longer period than first imagined. The election was actually due to take place under the auspices of… Continue Reading ➤

Lone-operator Terrorism: Tackling a Growing Threat

terrorism, Breivik

For 17 years, the USA lived in fear of the “Unabomber”, Theodore Kacynski, who sent package bombs to unsuspecting victims. Over the course of these 17 years, the FBI acquired and analysed 82 million records, 9,000 event photographs and 12,000 event documents, but was unable to bring Kacynski to justice. It was eventually his brother… Continue Reading ➤

Fawning over the Saudis is weak. But a working relationship is necessary

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Saudi King Abdullah in January 2014 [Source: US Department of State]

When King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia died of pneumonia last week at a ripe 90, the Western response was ridiculously gushing. Barack Obama cut short a visit to India of enormous geopolitical significance (especially for a President who has made pivoting towards the Asia-Pacific region – and away from the Middle East – the supposed… Continue Reading ➤