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The School Runners (Commentary April 2016)

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Review of “The Last Thousand” by Jeffrey E. Stern A 2015 exposé on the Buzzfeed website created a stir by savaging the notion that the massive expansion of education in Afghanistan has been one of the triumphs of the international military effort. It was titled “Ghost Students, Ghost Teachers, Ghost Schools.” “As the American mission faltered, [Read more…]

Jeremy Corbyn and the End of the West (Commentary Magazine December 2015)

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The Portents of Labour’s Extreme New Leader In October 2015, the American novelist Jonathan Franzen gave a talk in London in which he expressed pleasure that Jeremy Corbyn had just been elected leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party. To his evident surprise, Franzen’s endorsement was met with only scattered applause and then an embarrassed silence.  Most [Read more…]

Does US Foreign Aid Really Do Good (Washington Examiner Magazine 09/27/15)

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Does US Foreign Aid Really Do Good (Washington Examiner Magazine 09/27/15)

About a decade ago, a five-car convoy of Toyota Land Cruisers pulled up in a cloud of dust at a remote village on the edge of a South Asian mountain range. The passengers, all of them Westerners apart from an interpreter, walked over to where a canopy had been set up by an advance team the [Read more…]

The Timothy Hunt Witch Hunt (Commentary Sept. 2015)

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What Really Happened in the Tim Hunt Affair and Why It Matters In 1983, the British biochemist Timothy Hunt discovered cyclins, a family of proteins that help regulate the life of cells. Eighteen years later, in 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. Between June 8 and June 10 of this year, [Read more…]

Rwanda, Britain, and the Strange Case of General Karake (Politico Aug. 19, 2015)

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Rwanda, Britain, and the Strange Case of General Karake (Politico Aug. 19, 2015)

Why Does Europe Hound Rwanda – A self-reliant, tough, no-nonsense country is hard to patronize, perhaps? Supporters of Rwandan General Karenzi Karake celebrate after he was granted bail | Getty Travelers queuing at London’s Heathrow airport two months ago witnessed something peculiar: the very public arrest of Rwanda’s intelligence chief, Lt. Gen. Karenzi Karake, as he was [Read more…]

Reparations for the Raj? Mr Tharoor, you must be joking! (Politico Aug 3, 2015)

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Reparations for the Raj? Mr Tharoor, you must be joking! (Politico Aug 3, 2015)

The controversial Indian politician Shashi Tharoor sparks a polemical debate at the Oxford Union LONDON — An Oxford Union debate in which a senior Indian legislator, Shashi Tharoor, made a very funny speech last week calling for Britain to make reparations to India for the sins of the Raj, ignited a social media firestorm that culminated [Read more…]

Aid is no substitute for defence - as Michael Fallon knows (Spectator Coffee House 30 June 2015)

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Aid is no substitute for defence - as Michael Fallon knows (Spectator Coffee House 30 June 2015)

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 rapidly shrinking defence capabilities and the prospect of yet more defence cuts. David Cameron also dislikes being reminded that he lectured other Nato leaders about meeting the alliance’s [Read more…]

Why the UK's "Prevent" strategy Isn't working (Spectator Blog June 18, 2015)

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Telling young men that ISIS is ‘dangerous’ will only encourage them to go “The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had’ When we were both sixteen, my then-best friend Dave carved the above lyric on his school desk. It was from the song ‘Mad World’ by the band Tears for Fears and [Read more…]

It's Crazy to Cut Defence and then Boost Foreign Aid (Daily Express June 5, 2015)

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It's Crazy to Cut Defence and then Boost Foreign Aid (Daily Express June 5, 2015)

BOTH David Cameron and George Osborne have stated at various times that the defence of the realm is the first duty of any government. Despite this and despite the PM’s urging fellow Nato leaders to spend the required minimum of two per cent GDP on defence, the Government has announced that the UK’s fast-shrinking and demoralised Armed Forces [Read more…]

In Defense of Tony Blair, Peace Envoy (Politico.eu May 28, 2015)

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The former prime minister worked hard on the Middle East. But it was an impossible job. LONDON — You don’t have to be a devoted fan of Tony Blair to see that the mockery he has received concerning his resignation as Middle East peace envoy is unfair. Much of the criticism he received during his eight [Read more…]