Basra

Blog

In the Spectator: 'The Aid Delusion'

Blog Comments Off on In the Spectator: ‘The Aid Delusion’

I have the cover story in the January 5th Spectator (“The Aid Delusion”) along with Justin Shaw whose piece The Greening Challenge is vital for UK aid watchers.

Modern War; Modern Media #1

Blog Comments Off on Modern War; Modern Media #1

Alastair Horne, author of “Savage War of Peace” has an interesting blog piece in today’s Spectator in praise of the late “Stormin Norman Schwarzkopf. In it he touches on a subject dear to my heart: the strategic challenges presented to military leaders by the modern 24 hour media: I asked Schwarzkopf what had been his biggest [Read more…]

"Aiding and Abetting" is published today

Blog Comments Off on “Aiding and Abetting” is published today

My new book Aiding and Abetting, Foreign Aid Follies and the 0.7% Deception is published today by Civitas. The press release is here. One of the book’s suggestions: that some of the UK’s bloated foreign aid budget be transferred to the UK military for “dual-use” heavy lift capacity, as well as its general criticism of UK [Read more…]

'The Indian Quarterly': Finally out; getting some attention

Blog Comments Off on ‘The Indian Quarterly’: Finally out; getting some attention
'The Indian Quarterly': Finally out; getting some attention

For the last two years I have spent about half my time in Mumbai working on a new Indian publishing project.The Indian Quarterly (IQ),  the product of that work, finally hit the shelves of India’s bookstores in November. The magazine was designed to be an Indian combination of Granta, Intelligent Life and the New Yorker… with [Read more…]

The Filkins Version and the Real War

Blog Comments Off on The Filkins Version and the Real War
The Filkins Version and the Real War

A review in the New Yorker of Tom Rick’s new book about General Petraeus reveals its author, Dexter Filkins of the NYTimes as well, an unreliable source, to put it kindly. He glibly claims of the early Iraq War: “When the real invasion got under way, in March, 2003, American soldiers came under attack from a [Read more…]

My latest pieces for India's Verve Magazine

Blog Comments Off on My latest pieces for India’s Verve Magazine

One of the pleasure of being partially based here in Mumbai while setting up the forthcoming Indian Quarterly magazine is writing light essays and features on a regular basis for Verve magazine, a publication I first wrote for in 2009 the aftermath of the 26/11 terror attacks (‘3 days in Mumbai’). My subjects have included India’s [Read more…]

Why India wins so few medals at the Olympics

Blog Comments Off on Why India wins so few medals at the Olympics

Last night the London-based Indian steel-magnate Lakshmi Mittal gave a lavish bash at his Kensington palace for India’s Olympic team. It was in effect a celebration of a larger investment that the billionaire has made in Indian athletics. Since 2005, he has been funding the $10 million Mittal Champions Trust to support 10 Indian athletes with [Read more…]

Films and film criticism seem to bring out the prejudices of British journalists, in particular a low-level animus against things American. You can see this in the often over the top carping about Hollywood bad guys with British accents (a phenomenon I wrote about here) and simultaneous failure notice the way that Brit actors who can [Read more…]