The brain dead alliances

“French president Emmanuel Macron has,” an article in the Financial Post says, “opened a rift with Germany and other Nato allies weeks ahead of a vital summit after he warned that the transatlantic security alliance was suffering “brain death”. German chancellor Angela Merkel rejected Mr Macron’s “sweeping blow” against the alliance, in which he stronglyContinue reading “The brain dead alliances”

Cold War 2.0 (2)

A few days ago I quoted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore who, in his opening address to the Shangri-la 2019 Dialogue,* which is (self) described by the International Institute of Strategic Studies as “Asia’s premier defence summit … [which] … has built confidence and fostered practical security cooperation, by facilitating easy communication andContinue reading “Cold War 2.0 (2)”

Will President Trump provoke a descent back into hell?

Robert Kagan, the realist, or as he prefers to call himself, the liberal-interventionist historian, who is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, has written a rather frightening essay in Foreign Affairs which is headlined: “The New German Question ~ What Happens When Europe Comes Apart?“ Dr Kagan reminds us that “The German question produced theContinue reading “Will President Trump provoke a descent back into hell?”

The American Empire

Two things caught my eye the other day. First was this post on social media from the respected American diplomat and commentator Richard Haas: My ‘world’ was, mostly, defined by those decades when US policy was, I thought, defined by the Truman Doctrine which endured, albeit often largely ignored, from the late 1940s until, IContinue reading “The American Empire”

Greatness

Many, many years ago, when I was a young student one rather iconoclastic teacher suggested to us that we needed to reconsider who were the “greatest” British monarchs … it was not, he said, Alfred the Great, nor Henry V nor even ‘Gloriana’ (Elizabeth I). The monarchs who did the most to make England EnglishContinue reading “Greatness”

Grand Strategy in the 21st Century

There is an excellent article in the January/February 2017 issue of Foreign Affairs by the distinguished American scholar Dr Joseph S Nye Jr, the author of Soft Power, headlined “Will the Liberal Order Survive? The History of an Idea.” It begins, in fact, with a very brief history of American grand strategy from the foundingContinue reading “Grand Strategy in the 21st Century”

Grand Strategy (again): some more history

There is an excellent article in Foreign Affairs, from the 1987 edition, about the origins of containment (conceived by American diplomat George Kennan) and the so called Truman Doctrine, which served America, and the whole of the emerging, US led, West for another decade (until 1960 in the USA) and even more in the case ofContinue reading “Grand Strategy (again): some more history”