Libya

Migrants try to enter the Eurotunnel site to attempt to reach Britain (Photo: Philippe Huguen/Getty)

The Calais crisis needs a better response than fences and dogs, Prime Minister

7 August 2015 10:20

David Cameron should be in real trouble over Calais. It goes to the heart of two of the central issues by which British voters judge governments: are you competent and… Continue reading

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Yet another tragedy in the Mediterranean. Here’s an actual rescue plan

6 August 2015 8:21

Another week, another appalling boat disaster in the Mediterranean, another round of the same tired row on migration. Yesterday a boat carrying 600 people sank off the coast of Libya; 400 people… Continue reading

28 Comments
Syrian schoolgirls on their way to school (Photo: Zein Al-Rifal/Getty)

We’ve always messed up the Middle East. Let’s stay out, for once

21 July 2015 17:55

I suppose I should cease carping. We got a Blue Labour budget (except for the ludicrous stuff on inheritance tax), and far better than anything we would have got under… Continue reading

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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

63 Comments
A Libyan coastguard boat carrying around 500 mostly African migrants arrive at the port in the city of Misrata on May 3, 2015, after the coastguard intercepted five boats carrying people trying to reach Europe (Photo: Mahmud Turkia/Getty)

Europe cannot allow an ungoverned space to exist on its doorstep

22 May 2015 16:11

Last month, 700 migrants attempting to sneak into Europe drowned when their rickety vessel capsized in the Mediterranean. This week, the European Union announced a naval initiative to crack down on… Continue reading

127 Comments
(Photo: Adrian Dennis/Getty)

Miliband’s position on Libya is deeply hypocritical

26 April 2015 11:10

What Ed Miliband lacks in charisma, he is attempting to make up for in polemic. Tragically for the UK’s future, this represents an ‘Americanization‘ of British electoral politics. In all likelihood, its… Continue reading

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Refugees from the Syrian town of Kobani (Photo: Gokhan Sahin/Getty)

Ed Miliband should be careful when discussing foreign policy errors

24 April 2015 18:01

If someone accuses you of doing something that you haven’t done, there’s a really easy way of convincing them that you are not in fact guilty. The first thing you can… Continue reading

72 Comments
British Prime Minister David Cameron And French President Nicolas Sarkozy Visit Libya

Ed Miliband thinks Libya’s failure is so obvious he’s barely mentioned it until now

24 April 2015 10:24

With less than two weeks until polling day, it’s nice to see that Ed Miliband has discovered foreign policy as an important issue worth discussing. The Labour leader will attack… Continue reading

144 Comments
Ed Miliband Unveils Labour's NHS Rescue Plan

Campaign kick-off: 13 days to go

24 April 2015 9:26

For the first time in this campaign, foreign affairs are not only being discussed but also dominating today’s agenda. Ed Miliband is set to criticise the coalition’s record on foreign… Continue reading

48 Comments
Hairspray Premiere - Arrivals

Don’t get angry at Katie Hopkins if you don’t support policies that could save migrants

20 April 2015 11:29

The latest issue of The Spectator carries an interesting piece by James Bartholomew on ‘virtue signalling’, the bane of social media and political debate; that is, people expressing how ruddy… Continue reading

143 Comments
Nigel Farage on the Sunday Politics today. Photo: BBC.

Nigel Farage: David Cameron’s ‘fanaticism’ is to blame for Libya migrant crisis

19 April 2015 13:25

Nigel Farage tends to stick to one line on foreign affairs: no more foreign wars. On the Sunday Politics today, the Ukip leader claimed that the migrant crisis and tragedies in the… Continue reading

165 Comments
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The EU’s asylum policy is to blame for the tragedy unfolding in the Mediterranean

19 April 2015 13:23

As the leading article in The Spectator this week pointed out, thousands of people are fleeing war and anarchy in Africa and setting sail across the Mediterranean bound for Europe.… Continue reading

254 Comments
A Coptic clergyman shows a picture of one of the men murdered by Islamic State (Photo: Mohamed El-Shahed/Getty)

Islamic State will flourish if the West picks sides in Libya

18 February 2015 10:34

Conventional wisdom suggests that Islamic State and its affiliates have mastered social media. Yet the group’s real talent lies in dominating the traditional media cycle and using sensational violence to goad its enemies… Continue reading

114 Comments
(Video: the RSA/YouTube)

Jonathan Powell interview: middle-man to the terrorists says ‘secret talks are necessary’

11 October 2014 19:50

Jonathan Powell is a British diplomat who served as Tony Blair’s chief of staff from 1997 to 2007. During this period, he was also Britain’s chief negotiator for Northern Ireland.… Continue reading

29 Comments
Aid arrives in the Kurdish city of Erbil. Image: Getty

It’s time we contemplated the possibility of a post-conflict Kurdistan

21 August 2014 15:56

There’s a  curious aspect to the debate – or what passes for it – about Britain getting involved in military action against the Islamic State. Isabel Hardman put her finger… Continue reading

29 Comments
Smoke billows near Tripoli's international airport (Photo: Getty)

Libya is imploding. Why doesn’t Cameron care?

27 July 2014 4:23

The US has said it has temporarily evacuated its staff from the Libyan capital Tripoli over security concerns. Earlier this year Mary Wakefield discussed in The Spectator how David Cameron… Continue reading

103 Comments
Libya has been rocked by weeks of unrest. But is the country really in danger of falling into civil war? (ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP/Getty Images)

Does Libya need a lesson in devolved government?

24 November 2013 11:00

Recent news from Libya has not inspired confidence. Terrorism, riots, murder, a temporarily kidnapped prime minster, oil stuck at export terminals – it’s a dispiriting litany of apparently unconnected events.… Continue reading

17 Comments
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Libya’s PM, Ali Zeidan, has been kidnapped

10 October 2013 6:49

A few weeks ago the Prime Minister of the liberated Libya, Ali Zeidan was sitting in 10 Downing St talking to David Cameron. A few hours ago he was kidnapped,… Continue reading

20 Comments
Policemen walk away from the cockpit of

Lockerbie Novel: It Was Iran, Not Libya - Spectator Blogs

5 February 2013 12:32

From a very entertaining New York Times profile of Gerard de Villiers, the French novelist who, though little known in this country, is seemingly better connected in the spy world… Continue reading

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Tony Blair meets with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi on May 29, 2007. Contrary to what Ethan Chorin argues in a new book, western engagement hastened Gaddafi's downfall. Image: Getty

Engagement in Libya was and remains the right answer

31 January 2013 9:00

In 2008, I packed my bags to head off to Tripoli, where I began my current vocation of advocating for Western diplomatic, economic, cultural, and humanitarian engagement in Libya. Ethan Chorin was… Continue reading

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Tongolese troops being deployed to Mali Image: Getty

Mali could be the gamble that defines Hollande’s presidency

17 January 2013 18:16

The crisis in Mali is yet another unintended consequence of the Arab Spring. Specifically, they are a result of the revolution in Libya, where Tuareg rebels who supported Gaddafi were forced… Continue reading

43 Comments
The hopeful phrase 'Arab Spring' cannot mask the march of intolerance across the Middle East or the fact that power rests with armed gangs. Image: Getty

‘Arab Spring’ is a misnomer

12 October 2012 16:58

What do you do when confronted with a prejudice so strong it takes your breath away? In my case, I did what was immediately necessary. I took a deep breath… Continue reading

123 Comments
The Muslim-majority world rocks to 1,000 conspiracy theories about the power of the US government. Washington should not fulfil the stereotype. Image: Getty.

General Dempsey’s disastrous intervention

13 September 2012 16:35

When the Danish Cartoons affair broke in 2005-6 there was considerable pressure on the Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, to issue a condemnation and apology. Demonstrating considerable statesmanship he… Continue reading

12 Comments
The Roman amphitheatre of Sabratha, some 67 kms west of the Libyan capital.

Why a rough guide is better than none

16 August 2012 14:40

Like the most desperate of priests, and the most marginal of activists, Nick Cohen wants us all to be like him. He’s an angry journalist who can’t imagine why everyone… Continue reading

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When spring doesn’t turn into summer

29 May 2012 10:07

A high-ranking member of Hosni Mubarak’s disgraced government, or someone from the Muslim Brotherhood? It’s hardly an enviable choice — but that is the choice facing Egypt in next month’s… Continue reading

29 Comments