What does Putin want in Syria?

Putin Syria article photo

The United Nations Security Council ushered in the new year by unanimously passing a resolution on a nationwide ceasefire in Syria, welcoming a Russian and Turkish initiative announced just six days after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces regained control of Aleppo on 22 December 2016. Having spent much of 2016 riding a diplomatic rollercoaster after Turkey’s November 2015 downing of a Russian… Continue Reading ➤

Interview: Sir Jeremy Greenstock

Photo: Wikipedia

Sir Jeremy Greenstock is one of Britain’s most distinguished diplomats. He has spent much of his career occupied with the Middle East and US/Western European relations.  His diplomatic career culminated as the UK Special Envoy for Iraq from September 2003 to March 2004 following five years between 1998 and 2003 as the UK Permanent Representative… Continue Reading ➤

The BDS Movement: A Help or Hindrance?

Checkpoint_near_Abu_Dis

‘Israel has no foreign policy; only domestic policy’ – Henry Kissinger. In antecedent years Kissinger’s famous aphorism has become conventional wisdom in discussing Israeli politics, a quick-witted remark made in reference to the frantic “shuttle diplomacy” of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Whilst on close examination the comment is incontestably platitudinous – every nation’s foreign… Continue Reading ➤

Western Sahara: An unreported imperialist outrage

Sahrawi refugees try to reconstruct their camp in Algeria after floods in 2006. Their was of life is on many levels destroyed

We are all familiar with the concept of self-determination: the idea that a group of people should be able to govern their own futures. Many cases of it being denied and subjugated are reported daily in the Western media. But the case of Western Sahara is not. Morocco’s illegal occupation of Western Sahara began in… Continue Reading ➤

Days of Dawn and Torment: Iran’s slow revolution

The President of Iran Hassan Rouhani at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January 2014

“The Ten Days of Dawn” or “Daheh-ye Fajr” is a phrase used throughout Iran to describe and celebrate the brief period between Ayatollah Khomeini’s return to Iran and the official date of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Some Iranians, however, have referred to the period as “Daheh-ye Zajr” or “The Ten Days of Torment”.  Two phrases that… Continue Reading ➤

The Egregious Folly of Western Intervention

A Kurdish march to raise awareness of the situation in Kobane in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 2 October 2014

Only fools rush in: this maxim – beautifully lyricized by Elvis Presley among others – is as relevant to the field of foreign policy as it is to love, of which there is, unfortunately, no better proof than Ingram Davidson’s piece ‘Why We Should Intervene in the Middle East’. Davidson argues that Britain should become… Continue Reading ➤

Why We Must Intervene in the Middle East

The pro-Kobane protest in Trafalgar Square, 1 November. The town has been the focus of much of the recent fighting (Source: Garry Knight)

It was late one August evening and Parliament had voted to declare war on its own integrity. In refusing to come to the aid of the Syrian people, Britain became a nation of apathy, isolationism and cowardice, unwilling to stand for the principles of international law, the cries of Arabic suffering unintelligible to English ears…. 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 ➤