A Prayer for the Weak and a Cheer for the Brave: What’s Left of Britain’s Afghan Policy

Joe Biden knew he was taking a political risk in withdrawing US forces quickly from Afghanistan. But it has turned into a full-blown political blunder in which Britain involuntarily, but fully, shares. After the G7 meeting, chaired by Boris Johnson, British policy in Afghanistan is reduced to little more than offering a prayer for the …

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The Strategic Consequences of Western Defeat in Afghanistan

Amid the anger and emotion of the Afghan tragedy that so rapidly unfolded in August, it is easy to lose sight of the strategic issues at stake. The palpable humiliation of the United States and its allies in seeing the Taliban sweep into Kabul, and the chaotic scenes at its international airport, will remain sharp …

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Afghanistan: time for more fighting before any more talking

The withdrawal of western forces from Afghanistan is having all the worst effects on the country that were widely anticipated. Allied forces are exiting smoothly and safely but leaving behind a political mess that will certainly get worse before it gets any better. Michael Clarke considers the immediate prospects. The withdrawal of US and NATO …

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High-tech, low cunning: moving towards the sharp end of the Integrated Review

Now we see the defence part of the Integrated Review. It reveals a series of big ambitions based on a faith in British science and technology and not a little low cunning to make it all work. Michael Clarke offers an update on the way the Armed Forces will be expected to fit into the …

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The Integrated Review: Does Boris Have the Courage to be Boring?

‘National Strategy’ is about making big decisions and the Prime Minister is set to launch a series of them. We are promised they will be big decisions –‘eye-popping’ said one insider. Some observers are suspicious that there will be too much ‘Brexit ideology’ behind them; others argue that they are long-overdue. Michael Clarke begins a …

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Cromwell’s Ghost: Will the Integrated Review Give Britain a New Model Army?

When all the different parts of the Integrated Review are finally published, they will point towards the creation of a ‘New Model Army’ for Britain. But will it be a model in the ‘exemplar’ sense; or more like the ‘Airfix’ sense?  Michael Clarke describes the challenge. Cromwell’s New Model Army only lasted 15 years, from …

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