Afghanistan

America is Talking to the Taliban

19 February 2011 3:16

This is likely to shake things up. Steve Coll, who tends to be pretty impeccably sourced, reports in the New…

That Petraeus story

16 February 2011 16:53

Rumours abound that General David Petraeus will leave his post as commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan. Early editions of…

Coffee House interview: Mark Sedwill

15 February 2011 11:24

Diplomats are often seen as stuffy characters from a different century, men who often appear lost in today’s chaotic world.…

A legion of attacks

9 February 2011 10:33

Some attacks hurt more than others. And the attack launched by Chris Simpkins, the director-general of the Royal British Legion,…

As the oldest parliament yawned, the oldest civilisation erupted

2 February 2011 15:14

One yawn every minute. That’s how PMQs felt today. Foreign affairs dominated the session as Ed Miliband and the Prime…

Consensus reigns over PMQs

2 February 2011 13:14

A very different PMQs this week: six questions on foreign affairs and almost total consensus between Cameron and Miliband. Miliband’s…

Coffee House interview: Paul Wolfowitz

30 January 2011 18:04

Nobody is as associated with George W Bush’s drive to promote freedom and democracy in the Middle East as former…

Coffee House interview: Ursula Brennan

28 January 2011 17:57

Few government jobs are as demanding as that of Permanent Under-Secretary, or PUS, in the Ministry of Defence. With Liam…

Sherard v The Generals

14 January 2011 14:03

As wars begin to end, arguments about their conduct begin. Such is the case with the British campaign in Helmand.…

Decentralisation key to Afghan pullout, says David Miliband

14 January 2011 12:22

It is fashionable to ridicule David Miliband’s search for a post-political career. But in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph the former Foreign…

Theatre to mark Western decline

11 January 2011 12:12

USO is not what it once was. The days of Bob Hope’s wisecracking have receded into the past, and ogled…

A handful of predictions

31 December 2010 18:46

Here we go. Spurred on by Pete earlier, it’s time for that essential, although often regrettable, end-of-year ritual. Not the…

Help for Helmand

31 December 2010 12:05

With 2011 promising to be another difficult year in Afghanistan, my friend Alex Strick van Linschoten – a noted scholar of the region – has decided…

What is the MoD for?

17 December 2010 14:00

Yesterday, Liam Fox vowed to install a tougher procurement system in the Ministry of Defence and appointed the bureaucracy-busting Bernard…

Richard Holbrooke: Last of the Big Beasts?

14 December 2010 14:30

In a sense, Richard Holbrooke is one of the few American foreign policy hands of recent years whom one can…

Holbrooke’s war ends

14 December 2010 11:10

He was known as brash and abrasive. A gale force wind. The “bulldozer” some called him based on his time…

Time for jaw-jaw

11 December 2010 10:57

Today I joined number of leading Afghan experts, from Ahmed Rashid to Gilles Dorronsoro, in calling on President Obama to…

Time for an Afghan Inquiry

8 December 2010 18:02

The Iraq Inquiry had been conspicuously silent, but now John Chilcot’s team has called Tony Blair to give evidence again.…

Some perspective on the Helmand Wikileaks

3 December 2010 11:12

Today’s Wikileaks will make uncomfortable reading for all parts of the British defence establishment – ministers, both old and new,…

Pakistan’s double game comes under the spotlight once again

1 December 2010 9:31

The leak that keeps on leaking has one or two embarrassing titbits about our domestic policymakers this morning. Yet far…