French secular values may not be shared by all of the country's citizens (Photo: Jean-Sebastien/Getty)

French secularism is starting to feel the strain

23 January 2015 12:28

France is to institute something called a National Secularity Day, which will happen on 9th December every year, when French schools will remind pupils how to sing the national anthem,… Continue reading

Troops enter Ansongo, a town south of the northern Malian city of Gao. Picture: Getty

David Cameron visits Algeria for talks on ‘generational struggle’

30 January 2013 8:55

The Prime Minister is visiting Algeria today to pay his respects to the victims of the hostage crisis. He will also hold talks with Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, and… Continue reading

Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, speaking during the recent hostage crisis. Image: Getty

There is nothing new about Islamism in Africa

22 January 2013 13:12

The Algerian hostage crisis is over and the Prime Minister has warned that the focus of the al-Qaeda’s franchise has shifted westwards. In his statement on the situation, he was… Continue reading

David Cameron giving his statement on Algeria in the Commons today.

David Cameron redoubles his commitment to interventionism

21 January 2013 16:27

David Cameron’s Commons statement on Algeria just now was the most interventionist speech he has made since the one he delivered at the Foreign Policy Centre during his 2005 leadership… Continue reading

William Hague

Hague fleshes out Britain’s role in the decades-long response to terrorism

21 January 2013 8:57

The Prime Minister’s two statements on the Algerian hostage crisis on Friday and Sunday set some tongues wagging about what sort of a role he saw Britain playing in the… Continue reading

David Cameron speaking this morning.

David Cameron: Terrorism in North Africa requires global response

20 January 2013 10:22

In his latest statement on the Algerian hostage crisis this morning, the Prime Minister built on the interventionist language that James spotted in his Commons address on Friday. Cameron said:… Continue reading

David Cameron leaves Downing Street for the Commons this morning to give his statement on the Algeria hostage crisis. Picture: Getty

David Cameron seems more and more committed to interventionism

18 January 2013 12:55

A visibly tired David Cameron has just completed his statement to the House of Commons on the hostage situation in Algeria. What was striking about it was the starkness of… Continue reading

Prime Minister David Cameron Meets Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen

David Cameron to give Commons statement on Algeria

18 January 2013 9:09

David Cameron had no choice but to postpone today’s speech: while it would have been a relief to get the darned thing over and done with, a navel-gazing address on… Continue reading


Picking sides in Syria, the Algerian experience

14 November 2012 16:24

Some thirty-five years ago, in 1977 to be exact, I first published A Savage War of Peace, a definitive history of France’s war in Algeria. The war dragged on from… Continue reading


The hypocrisy of Cameron’s Saudi trip

13 January 2012 17:25

A year ago, Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled Tunisia for Saudi Arabia, thus ushering in the Salafi Spring. No doubt now bored out of his mind, this… Continue reading


Person of the year: The Islamist?

29 December 2011 17:57

Last week, Time Magazine named ‘The Protestor’ as its Person of the Year. Myself, I’d be tempted to bestow the honorific upon ‘The Islamist’. For, in the spirit of the… Continue reading


What didn’t happen in 2011

27 December 2011 15:29

In the run-up to every New Year, newspapers and the blogosphere are full of articles about what happened in the year just gone. 2011 was a particularly eventful year so… Continue reading