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Coffee Houserss

Carry on waffling about Europe, Dave – but do the EastEnders approve?

4 November 2014 15:42
(Photo: Getty)

Having perused the replies for my call to caption Ed Miliband and Mary Creagh, Mr S is sorry to say that there is no ‘winner’, nor even a ‘favourite.’ There… 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


Ottawans to jihadists: our city is stronger than ever

24 October 2014 13:29
Flowers left in front of the Canadian Parliament in honour of Cpl Nathan Cirillo of the Canadian Army Reserves, who was killed while guarding the National War Memorial (Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

I was born in Ottawa. I grew up in Ottawa. I studied in Ottawa. I work in Ottawa. Ottawa is in my DNA, as it is for more than a… Continue reading


A brief history of biker gangs at war – Islamofascist Iraq edition

15 October 2014 8:21

America and Britain are still fumbling for policies to deal with nationals joining the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. In Holland, meanwhile, authorities faced a more cheering task: sorting… Continue reading


Philip Hammond: No plans to engage in airstrikes

18 August 2014 14:52
Philip Hammond. Image: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images

So Britain’s long-term fight against Isis isn’t, at the moment, going to involve this country doing any fighting. The Prime Minister this morning insisted that there would be no ‘boots… Continue reading


Inaction is easy; action is harder but needed now

14 August 2014 13:16
Refugees Fleeing ISIS Offensive Pour Into Kurdistan

It’s easier to oppose than propose war. The conflict between Israel and Hamas inspired #NotInMyName on Twitter, and opposition to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was spearheaded by the… Continue reading


The three golden rules of intervention

8 August 2014 9:05

Barack Obama has authorised the use of targeted airstrikes in Iraq against forces of the Islamic State, which are hell-bent on massacring Yazidi and Christian minorities, and threatening American assets… Continue reading


Would the word ‘NATO’ make Vladimir Putin think twice?

17 April 2014 9:05

Russia, Ukraine, the European Union and the United States will meet in Geneva later today in order to find a solution to the confrontation in eastern Ukraine. There is not… Continue reading


Crimea, Russia and the power of ‘provokatsiya’

28 February 2014 14:14
Unidentified armed men patrol outside of the Simferopol airport. (GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)

What to make of the appearance at two airports in Crimea of armed men wearing uniforms without insignia? The airports are strategically placed – Belbek near Sevastopol, and the main airport outside Simferopol, the… Continue reading


America won’t be Europe’s policeman any more – but that’s good for Britain

25 February 2014 14:32
US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel. Image: Getty

The US Army’s cuts are good for Britain. They will force our European allies to think about their own defence and re-evaluate their policies. This will highlight the benefits of… Continue reading


What can the international community do to restore law and order in the Philippines?

12 November 2013 7:52

Britain is to deploy one warship, the Type 45 destroyer HMS Daring, which is currently on station near Singapore, and RAF support aircraft, including one Boeing C17 transporter, to the… Continue reading


What did President Eisenhower say about the ‘military industrial complex’?

9 August 2013 9:03
HMS Illustrious is on its way to Gibraltar.

The ‘routine’ deployment of HMS Illustrious and two bustling frigates to Gibraltar, en route to the Gulf of Aden, has excited the morning papers. And the evacuation of the American… Continue reading


Gibraltar – 200 years of history in the Spectator

6 August 2013 10:13
A general view of the 18th green on the Alcadeisa Golf Club

The most dramatic part of Lothar-Günther Buchheim’s unmatched submarine novel, Das Boot, takes place beneath the Straits of Gibraltar, when Buchheim’s U-boat is ordered from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. ‘How… Continue reading


Women on the frontline isn’t simply a matter of equality

25 January 2013 17:48
Is having women on the front line really a good idea? Image: Getty

It won’t take long for the US decision to allow women in combat roles to travel here according to The Times today, on the basis of, it must be said,… 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


Philip Hammond’s Iranian justification for keeping Trident

11 November 2012 16:10
Philip Hammond was made defence secretary because of his ability to balance the books. Picture: Getty.

The Sunday shows have been dominated today by the aftermath of George Entwistle’s resignation. But Phillip Hammond gave a significant and combative interview on the Sunday Politics. Pressed by Andrew… Continue reading


The Syrian tragedy continues

27 May 2012 14:30

Last Friday, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, produced a gloomy 13-page report about the situation in Syria. ‘The overall level of violence in the country remains… Continue reading


Chinese whispers

21 March 2012 11:43

China’s rumour mill, hyperactive even in the calmest of times, has been in overdrive in the past two days. Monday evening and early Tuesday in Beijing, the country’s Twitter-like microblogs… Continue reading


Stopping Assad

7 February 2012 18:52

The situation in Syria grows worse by the minute. President Assad seems to have taken the UN Security Council’s deadlock as carte blanche to launch an all-out attack on Homs.… Continue reading


The MoD wastes another opportunity

1 February 2012 18:59

Today’s White Paper on defence procurement makes disappointing reading for the UK defence industry — and for anyone who believes that one of the lessons of the last few years… Continue reading


The politics hovering over the Falklands

1 February 2012 18:33

With HMS Dauntless and now Prince William gliding across the Atlantic to reinforce Britain’s claim on the Falklands, there’s no denying that tensions with Argentina have been raised. But let’s… Continue reading


Libya still hasn’t found peace

4 January 2012 19:23

Guns blazing, Libya’s various militias are showing little sign of laying down their arms and giving authority to the Libyan state. Even Mustafa Abdul Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional… Continue reading


Will Israel bomb a near-nuclear Iran in 2012?

30 December 2011 14:51

An Israeli strike on Iran has to be the most over-predicted event of recent years. It was meant to happen last year. And the year before that. But now there… Continue reading


Stopping Maliki’s coup

26 December 2011 11:20

The year is ending not with a successful US withdrawal from Iraq — as President Barack Obama claims — but with what amounts to a coup d’etat by the country’s… Continue reading


From the archives: The Christmas truce

24 December 2011 15:49

Christmas is but a day away, and with it a chance to remember when British and German troops clambered out of the trenches to declare impromptu ceasefires in December 1914.… Continue reading