Saturday, 08 August 2020
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nickwattsIMG 20170907 0924504"It's a good time to be a policy analyst, not so good to be a policy maker"; so said Professor Michael Clarke, just before he ended his tenure as Director General of the Royal United Services Institute in 2015. With this book he and his co-author Helen Ramscar, have taken a deep dive into the whirlpool of contemporary British policy making and come up with a real pearl, says Nick Watts, an analyst himself, on the next page.


nickwattsIMG 20170907 0924504White Flag? – An examination of the UK's defence capability. Michael Ashcroft & Isabel Oakeshott from Biteback Publishing.

This is a very timely book, says reviewer Nick Watts. Whitehall is in the midst of the latest iteration of a recurring debate: How big a military does the UK need, and what is it for? This book delves into this question. In 1962 Dean Acheson, former US Secretary of State in the Truman era, remarked that Britain had lost an empire and not yet found a role. The resolution of this continuing dilemma affects the UK's armed forces, and the roles they might be expected to undertake, as Global Britain seeks to redefine itself.


Review of Carleton, G. Russia: The Story of War. London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 2017 by Professor Andrew Monaghan,

In Russia: The Story of War, Gregory Carleton, Professor of Russian studies and Chair of the Department of International Literary and Cultural Studies at Tufts University, presents what he calls Russia's war myth, illuminating the common stock of assumptions and consistent vocabulary that underpin it. This is myth as sacred tale, central to Russian national identity and a frame of reference based on archetypal sets of causality, character types, scenarios and outcomes on which Russia's past is structured. In so doing, he depicts the duality of Russia's image: to many outsiders, it is an insatiably aggressive country, but to many Russians it is a country that is a defender, protector, even saviour, fighting one invader after the next. The distance between these different interpretations is unbridgeable, he suggests, even though they come from the same events and actions.


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