|Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.
The New York Times
After the F-22
We were pleased to see the House join the Senate in voting to end the F-22 jet fighter program. The votes were important victories in President Obama's effort to ensure that the Pentagon spends precious tax dollars on essential equipment — not glitzy, self-indulgent toys.
Why Won't Obama Talk to Israel?
In his global tours and TV appearances, President Obama has spoken to Arabs, Muslims, Iranians, Western Europeans, Eastern Europeans, Russians and Africans. His words have stirred emotions and been well received everywhere.
The 44th president of the United States was elected amid hopes that he would roll back his country's global dominance. Today, he is commander-in-chief of an unprecedented network of military bases that is still expanding.
There's Still a War In Iraq. It Isn't Ours
The Iraq war is over -- for us. That doesn't mean that the United States won or achieved all of its aims or that fighting among Iraqis will stop. It doesn't mean that Iraq is stable, democratic and relatively free of corruption.
Tough on Israel
One of the more striking results of the Obama administration's first six months is that only one country has worse relations with the United States than it did in January: Israel.
Britain's own Guantánamo
Piece by piece, the truth is finally coming out about Britain's own Guantánamo Bay – Diego Garcia. Today the human rights lawyers group Reprieve began a legal case on behalf of Saad Iqbal Madni, who they say was transited through the UK-controlled Indian Ocean island as part of the CIA's secret rendition programme.
The defeat siren is sounding for Blair's vainglorious jihad in Afghanistan
Fact is at last fighting fantasy in Afghanistan. Fact is that Tony Blair's vainglorious jihad against the Pashtun insurgency is not succeeding, and British commanders, diplomats and politicians know it. After three years of "inkspots", hearts-and-minds and take-hold-and-build, that battle-weary siren of defeat, talking to the enemy, is back onstage.
Afghanistan: Mission accomplished?
It was not quite as crass as George Bush declaring an end to major combat operations in Iraq in May 2003 in front of a banner that read "mission accomplished", but it could prove to be just as premature. Gordon Brown yesterday declared that a hard-fought five-week battle to reclaim Helmand province was "over" and that British forces had started to break a chain of terror that linked the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan to the streets of Britain.
Wall Street Journal
What's Different About the Obama Foreign Policy?
President Barack Obama has put some miles on Air Force One. He and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have made major foreign policy speeches. The national security team is in place. It's time to make a preliminary judgment about Mr. Obama and the world. Just how different is this administration's foreign policy from its predecessor? And will such departures where they exist make much difference?
It's Crunch Time for Israel on Iran
Legions of senior American officials have descended on Jerusalem recently, but the most important of them has been Defense Secretary Robert Gates. His central objective was to dissuade Israel from carrying out military strikes against Iran's nuclear weapons facilities. Under the guise of counseling "patience," Mr. Gates again conveyed President Barack Obama's emphatic thumbs down on military force.
Miliband's failure as Foreign Secretary
Is David Miliband the most lightweight Foreign Secretary since the War? Admittedly there's strong competition for the post. From Jack Straw backwards, the history of British post-war politics has been peppered with foreign secretaries who've loved the travel and prancing about at summits but lacked the grasp of foreign circumstances and British interests to do an effective job.
Had we listened to Harry Patch, we would not still be in Helmand
Harry Patch was a soldier who dared to doubt. His death, at 111, severed the link with the Western Front and stilled the last authentic voice of horror. Mr Patch, who had watched his friends and enemies blown away, mourned both in even-handed measure. War, he said, was "organised murder and nothing else".