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Could the Taliban become a useful ally against Islamic State?

22 July 2015 10:05
In the fight against Islamic State, could the Taliban become a useful ally? (Photo: Saeed Khan/Getty)

For the better part of a decade, Nato forces fought a bitter war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, which claimed the lives of thousands of troops – including 453 members… Continue reading


When will George Osborne commission a war memorial for soldiers?

5 July 2015 15:58
Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 15.22.15

We learn today that George Osborne will say in his Budget that he’s using the fines he’s collected from bankers to build a memorial to terror victims. I find this… Continue reading


Aid is no substitute for defence, and Michael Fallon knows it

30 June 2015 10:20

It’s been obvious for a while that the Prime Minister is exasperated by the way American and other allied officials – including President Obama himself – keep expressing concern about Britain’s… Continue reading


The last thing Yemen needs is more war. But that is what it’s getting

1 April 2015 17:36
Demonstrators in Taez, Yemen. Image: Getty

After years of hearing how terrible Western interventions are in the Middle East (Exhibits A, B and C the fiascos of Iraq, Afghanistan and post-Gaddafi Libya), it will be interesting… Continue reading


This is how you can fight the Taleban

17 December 2014 18:26
(Photo: A Majeed/Getty)

The murder of over a hundred children by the Taleban in Peshawar left people furious but also frustrated. What can we do to stop the Taleban? Troops are leaving Afghanistan, combat mission… Continue reading


Ministers plan informal review of lessons learned from Afghanistan

10 December 2014 16:10
Lance Corporal Corey Hilton from US Mari

British troops have now left Afghanistan, but the debate about the conflict itself and what happens next rumbles on. There have been a number of calls for a review of… Continue reading


MPs to discuss legacy of Afghan conflict this week

25 November 2014 14:37
British Prime Minister David Cameron mee

Yesterday the final UK personnel left Kandahar airfield, with just a few hundred British defence workers left in Afghanistan to help train the country’s future officers. MPs have been assured… Continue reading


Farewell to Afghanistan (for now)

26 October 2014 22:01
An Afghan soldier mans the machine gun on a helicopter ferrying troops from Camp Bastion in Helmand province to Kandahar military base. October 12, 2009. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Britain has ended combat operations in Afghanistan. The war did topple the Taleban, but it hasn’t got rid of them. It has improved some things in Afghanistan – better roads,… Continue reading


Baroness Warsi was over-promoted, incapable and incompetent

5 August 2014 11:57
Cameron and Warsi

Farewell then Sayeeda, Baroness Warsi. The most over-promoted, incapable and incompetent minister of recent times has finally done the nation one service and resigned. This morning she announced on Twitter that… Continue reading


Thanks to Syria, global jihad is experiencing a revival

20 January 2014 12:30
Islamic Jihad is experiencing a revival (Photo: SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty)

The arrest of two men last week on terrorism charges relating to Syria reveals just how serious the issue of foreign fighters has become. Estimates suggest that up to 366… Continue reading


David Cameron rebrands failure in Afghanistan as victory

16 December 2013 20:35
David Cameron says that it's 'mission accomplished' in Afghanistan, but which mission? (LEFTERIS PITARAKIS/AFP/Getty Images)

If you can’t win then you have to redefine what winning means. That is what David Cameron has tried to do with his statement about Afghanistan: ‘mission accomplished’. As Isabel… Continue reading


‘Mission accomplished’ in Afghanistan?

16 December 2013 16:55
David Cameron meeting troops in Camp Bastion. Picture: Getty

If a Prime Minister uses a phrase as historically loaded as ‘mission accomplished’ to describe the situation in a country, it suggests that he’s pretty confident that things are –… Continue reading


The Malala phenomenon – as seen from Pakistan

23 November 2013 9:30
David Cameron meets Saudi Arabia's Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, who is no liberal. (FAHAD SHADEED/AFP/Getty Images)

Mixed emotions stirred here in Pakistan when Malala Yousafzai came within kissing distance of the Nobel Prize. The reaction was reminiscent of how we felt when Sharmeen Chinoy’s Saving Face was up… Continue reading


General Kayani leaves a gulf at the head of the Pakistan army – and Pakistan

13 November 2013 11:16

Pakistan’s Army chief general, Ashfaq Kayani, has announced that he will retire on 29 November. In doing so, he put an end to the rumours running from D.C. to Delhi… Continue reading


Cutting and running from Afghanistan

10 April 2013 12:29
Spectator Cover Art

MPs on the Defence Select Committee made a similar warning this morning about the UK’s withdrawal from Afghanistan as Con Coughlin made in The Spectator last month. He wrote that… Continue reading


The View from 22 — Leaving Afghanistan and Fraser Nelson vs. John Rentoul

14 March 2013 9:01
Spectator Cover Art

Is the British Army enjoying a straightforward and safe withdrawal from Afghanistan? No, according to this week’s Spectator. The Daily Telegraph’s Con Coughlin writes the withdrawal is one of the… Continue reading


William Hague: Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan is where the threat to the British homeland is coming from

3 February 2013 12:29
William Hague led this afternoon's Commons debate on Europe. Picture: Getty

On the Sunday Politics, William Hague confirmed that the greatest terrorist threat to the British homeland come from Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. But he argued that without intervention, the Sahel… Continue reading


Mali is a British concern because it is a European concern

24 January 2013 12:11
A woman on a cart passes a sugar cane field burning in preparation for the sugar cane harvest near Niono, Mali. Picture: Getty

Aaron Ellis makes a good point: the comparison between Mali and Afghanistan is flawed. But I disagree with him as to why. Afghanistan was a failed state long before al-Qaeda… Continue reading


Mali is not another Afghanistan

24 January 2013 11:52
Malian soldiers patrol in a street of Diabaly. Picture: Getty

Why should we worry if jihadists control a poor, landlocked country thousands of miles away? As the French push on with the ‘reconquest’ of Mali, there’s a feeling here that… Continue reading


Lord Ashdown: Get out of Afghanistan quickly

16 November 2012 9:56
Afghanistan is not worth another life, says Lord Ashdown, except if that life is sacrificed in securing withdrawal.

The headline on Lord Ashdown’s piece on Afghanistan in today’s Times (£) will please Lib Dem strategists. ‘This awful mistake mustn’t claim more lives.’ It allows the Lib Dems to… Continue reading


David Petraeus quits as CIA director over affair

10 November 2012 8:45
Photo: Getty Images.

Few people have been more important in America’s recent wars than David Petraeus. Petraeus led the surge of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and redefined the US approach to… Continue reading


George Osborne’s Afghan letter from America

13 October 2012 10:50
Image: Getty

George Osborne is a keen observer of American politics, so perhaps it is little surprise to read in the Telegraph that the chancellor is arguing for faster withdrawal from Afghanistan.… Continue reading


How should we mark the Great War’s centenary?

11 October 2012 11:34
Image: Getty

It seems strange now to recall that, it was not so many years ago, around the time of the millennium, that some in Whitehall were talking about how to scale… Continue reading


Afghanistan’s triumph: the return of cricket and other ‘frivolities’

21 September 2012 21:43
Afghan batsman Gulbodin Naib plays a shot during the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup match between England and Afghanistan. Picture: Getty.

England have just beaten Afghanistan in the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup currently being held in Sri Lanka. In the end, it was a comprehensive victory for Stuart Broad’s men but… Continue reading


Philip Hammond’s tarnished relations with military top brass fly into the open

18 September 2012 17:55
Philip Hammond was made defence secretary because of his ability to balance the books. Picture: Getty.

Talking to diplomatic sources this evening, there’s a depressed recognition that the Taliban and its allies have scored a major victory in forcing Nato to scale back joint patrols with… Continue reading