Military/Defence

Good News From Afghanistan? (Commentary Magazine, July/August 2014)

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Good News From Afghanistan? (Commentary Magazine, July/August 2014)

On the Unheralded Transformation of Kabul  “Everybody knows the war is over./ Everybody knows the good guys lost.” -Leonard Cohen Everyone knows that there has been no progress and no development in Afghanistan, that the West’s efforts there since the overthrow of the Taliban have been a gigantic waste of blood and treasure. Everyone knows that the [Read more…]

Labour's Defence Opportunity (Demos Quarterly, April 2014)

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The Coalition’s mishandling of Britain’s defences presents the opposition with a political opportunity, argues Jonathan Foreman. The Conservatives were once seen as the party especially supportive of defence priorities; this should no longer be the case. The Cameron Coalition’s apparent indifference to such priorities and its willingness to diminish the armed forces capabilities and capacity offer Labour [Read more…]

A GI Bill for the UK (Demos Quarterly January 2014)

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The British welfare system is normally considered superior to the US’s, but in one respect – the treatment of those who have served in the armed forces – America leaves us way behind. Jonathan Foreman argues that the shoddy treatment of veterans is a political opportunity for Labour. When US veterans come back from the war in Afghanistan [Read more…]

America cares for its veterans; we betray ours (The Sunday Times Nov.11, 2013)

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The lack of support for retired soldiers shames us and must change Only fools, the desperate and the supremely dutiful may be drawn to join Britain’s armed forces in the near future. This is partly because the government’s cuts will render them too small and feeble to be used in anything but a symbolic defence of [Read more…]

"A Sandhurst in the Sand" (Full Version) Spectator Nov 2, 2013

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A strange hybrid beast is rising from the dust in the mountains West of Kabul. The foreigners in Kabul call it the Sandhurst in the Sand. Those who work at the new British-led military school that welcomed its first cadets last week prefer the more cumbersome “ANA-OA” short for Afghan National Army Officers Academy (though the [Read more…]

One Good Thing We Are Leaving In Afghanistan (The Spectator Nov.2 2013)

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One Good Thing We Are Leaving In Afghanistan (The Spectator Nov.2 2013)

 (full length version to come)  Kabul A strange new institution is rising from the dust in the mountains west of Kabul. The foreigners here call it the Sandhurst in the Sand. Those who work at the new British-led military school, which welcomed its first cadets last week, prefer the more cumbersome ‘ANA-OA’, short for Afghan National [Read more…]

Review of 'Eight Lives Down' by Chris Hunter, (Daily Mail, November 2007)

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Defusing the Iraqi conflict Few Britons have any idea of what our troops actually do in Iraq. The media’s coverage is generally limited to casualty reports, abuse claims and the odd, ill-informed screed about soldiers having the wrong equipment. In four years no British media organisation, including the BBC, has bothered to establish a bureau in [Read more…]

Battle at Sea - Diving with Wounded Warriors (Sunday Times Magazine Nov. 13 2011)

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Battle at Sea - Diving with Wounded Warriors (Sunday Times Magazine Nov. 13 2011)

British servicemen seriously wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq are on the mend in a pioneering underwater healing programme in Florida Twelve divers are suspended in a semi-circle over pale sand, a few yards from the ribs of a wrecked sailing ship. Six of them are younger than the others. The one next to me is the [Read more…]

The WikiLeaks War on America (Commentary Jan 2011)

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The indefinable international organization known as WikiLeaks was relatively unknown between its setting up in 2006 and the April 2010 premiere it staged at the National Press Club in Washington of the “Collateral Murder” video—a selection of stolen and decrypted gun-camera footage that purportedly shows the unlawful killing of Iraqi civilians and two Reuters journalists by [Read more…]

Returning to Baghdad, where he was embedded in 2003, the author finds the “Hellraisers” of the Third Infantry facing the challenge of training Iraq’s new army I first saw Baghdad on April 8, 2003, two days before the city fell, while embedded with the army’s Third Infantry Division. What is now the Green Zone was recently [Read more…]