Middle East

RAF Typhoons begin their operations in Syria (Photo: Getty)

The ground forces problem

8 December 2015 18:33

As the row over David Cameron saying that the Joint Intelligence Committee estimate there to be 70,000 potential anti-Islamic State…

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Western weakness presents Putin with an opportunity in Syria

20 November 2015 17:54

The West has failed in its principal, post 9/11 objective: to deny terrorists sanctuary. Islamic State is a terrorist enclave…

French supporters at the England vs France match at Wembley (Photo: Clive Rose/Getty)

Why I didn’t sing La Marseillaise last night

18 November 2015 12:10

When Patrice Evra and the French national football team lined up at Wembley last night, it was a moment of…

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Our policy towards Islamic State makes no sense

6 November 2015 13:24

If Islamic State is a threat to Britain that requires a military response, then surely we should be attacking it…

Saudi King Salman (Photo: Getty)

Don’t believe rumours of an ‘imminent’ Saudi coup

28 October 2015 16:16

During the past month, news about domestic Saudi Arabian politics has been dominated by frenzied speculation over an imminent coup…

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Whatever happened to critical thinking in foreign policy?

21 September 2015 17:16

Now that the Middle East is basically moving to Europe after Germany did the national equivalent of advertising a house…

The empty seat of Syria is seen during an Arab League meeting on August 5, 2015. (MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)

Now we know where the celebrated ‘Ummah’ is

12 September 2015 17:24

Earlier this week I asked where the celebrated ‘Ummah’ is when it comes to Muslim refugees. I think we now…

The empty seat of Syria is seen during an Arab League meeting on August 5, 2015. (MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)

Where is the ‘Ummah’ now?

7 September 2015 17:29

I have just returned from a trip abroad to find Britain and Europe in a state of madness. I will…

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

The plight of Syria’s refugees deserves more than your good intentions and virtue signalling

6 September 2015 14:26

I suppose it should not be a surprise that the virtue signalling over the appalling plight of Syrian refugees displaced by that…

General Sisi at the opening ceremony of the new Suez Canal expansion (Photo: David Degner/Getty)

Why is Michael Fallon cosying up to General al-Sisi?

9 August 2015 9:59

Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, was in Egypt this week for the opening of the ‘New Suez Canal’ (in fact an extension…

Yemeni supporters of the Shiite Huthi movement attend a rally in the capital Sanaa on July 24, 2015, protesting against air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition in the country. (Photo: AFP/Mohammed Huwais)

Why Yemen is quickly becoming the new Syria

4 August 2015 12:45

Though it hasn’t been hitting the headlines recently, the situation in Yemen has been rapidly deteriorating and looks set to grow…

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (Photo: Joe Klamar/Getty)

An historic day for Iran and a horrifying one for Israel

14 July 2015 16:48

When the Shah of Iran gave the order to create the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) in 1974 it…

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Tony Blair’s new job shows how self-important and detached he has become

4 June 2015 17:49

A spectre is haunting the world: the spectre of Tony Blair’s ego. Mr Blair has wasted eight years pretending to…

US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman (Photo: Valentin Flauraud/Getty)

Military inspections must be a non-negotiable part of Iran’s nuclear deal

29 May 2015 16:00

It is probably safe to say that the negotiations with Iran aren’t going very well. As the 30 June deadline for…

A symbol of peace? (Photo: Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty)

Tony Blair has long been an irrelevance in the Middle East peace process

28 May 2015 11:52

Following months of speculation, Tony Blair has finally announced he is standing down as the Quartet Representative to the Middle East…

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a press conference in Tehran on April 3, 2015 (Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty)

The Iran deal heralds a new era for US policy across the Middle East

8 April 2015 11:12

What is it about a nuclear deal with Iran that induces hysteria in certain quarters of the West?  In recent…

Demonstrators in Taez, Yemen. Image: Getty

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

1 April 2015 17:36

After years of hearing how terrible Western interventions are in the Middle East (Exhibits A, B and C the fiascos…

Roland Jahn New Stasi Archives Head

Yes, torture can be justified. Here’s why

10 December 2014 16:44

Torture is repulsive. Even on the scaffold or in front of a firing squad, a man can meet death with…

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How the US shale gas industry has changed the global economy

1 December 2014 11:44

The year 2014 will be remembered for an unprecedented juxtaposition of events. Two oil-producing countries in the Middle East were…

(Photo: JM Lopez/AFP/Getty)

The US steps up its involvement in the war for Iraq

8 November 2014 17:40

If you want to know how serious the situation in Iraq with Islamic State is, just look at what the…

Tunisians queue outside a polling station on October 26 in the Tunis suburb of Ariana (Photo: AFP/Getty)

Postcard from Tunisa – voters reject Islamists, embrace sanity in cradle of Arab Spring

28 October 2014 15:06

Tunis A bloody two-day siege at a house in the outskirts of the capital last week didn’t augur well for…

Two Syrian Kurds looking out from Mursitpinar, Turkey, across the border to Syria  (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Fear, loathing and an Ottoman shrine in the cold war between Isis and Turkey

27 October 2014 16:04

Turkey and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) are engaged in a cold war. Although they despise each…

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Iraq and Syria are lost causes: Western intervention can’t help – or can it?

24 October 2014 18:05

Iraq and Syria are lost causes: Western intervention can’t help. Well, at least that was the motion put forward on…

Iraqi boys playing in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah on January 10, 2013 (Photo: AFP/Getty)

Winter is coming – the other terror stalking Iraqi Kurds

19 October 2014 11:51

The heroic Kurdish resistance in Kobane rightly commands headlines. A larger disaster, however, looms in Iraqi Kurdistan where – absent…

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ISIS are a scourge on humanity; the UK must play its part in confronting this horror

26 September 2014 12:01

Doing nothing is always an option. Sometimes it can even be a sensible policy. There is much to be said…