Here’s an interesting story about US efforts to aid the Syrian rebels. Especially this bit: A centerpiece of the effort this year focused on getting Iraq to close its airspace to Iran-to-Syria flights that U.S. intelligence concluded were carrying arms for Assad loyalists—contrary to flight manifests saying they held cut flowers… One example of the…Read More O RLY?
Tom Watson runs for the gap, specifically yet another ugly little employment law story at the Sun. Readers will know that they’re like that among themselves and there’s something of a press tradition of not mentioning the names. On this occasion it’s Our Boys Go In Editor “Tom” “Newton” “Dunn” vs. their Whitehall editor Clodagh…Read More A slight return to 2004. Wasn’t that fun.
Con “WMD” Coughlin’s piece in the Torygraph is worthy of close reading. You’ll note that this: Whitehall was caught off guard by the seriousness of the situation in Helmand province, where British troops were deployed in Nato’s reconstruction programme. Most Labour ministers supported the view of John Reid, the defence secretary at the time, that…Read More fighting the real enemy
OK, so “Not All That” Foxy Liam Fox is in trouble. “He is an odd bloke,” said one fellow minister. “He has fingers in so many pies that you kind of think one of them will land him in trouble somewhere along the line.” Another Tory MP said Fox’s tendency to name-drop and brag about…Read More Liam Fox: Not Fit For Purpose
I have recently been reading David McKittrick (et al)’s Making Sense of the Troubles. An interesting point, which I wasn’t aware of before, is their contention that the late 70s and Roy Mason’s tenure as Northern Ireland secretary was an important turning point. In fact, you could make an interesting comparison with Iraq in 2007-2008.…Read More Callaghan-era surge
This post brings several things to mind. Apparently, eastern Libya was a hugely overrepresented area among the international jihadis who went to Iraq and there exploded. Clearly, this means that you can’t assume that they’re fighting for democracy, whiskey, sexy. However, it’s also very likely that this represented a deliberate policy on the part of…Read More status: it’s complicated
Really excellent piece on the Al-Qa’Qaa munitions complex, its looting during the US invasion of Iraq, and the role of the estimated 40,000 tonnes of assorted explosives that went missing in the Iraqi insurgency and the civil war. Also, strategic geography – that area was on the demographic frontier between Sunni and Shia, on the…Read More earth-shattering kaboom
Well, this looks pretty ugly. I have a question. We know that unofficial, non-doctrinal training material was being circulated around the joint services intelligence centre in Chicksands in 2003-2005 – there’s an interesting quote about it in the Guardian piece here: Any public inquiry into the activities of the JFIT would be expected to examine…Read More I didn’t think I’d still be blogging this six years later
I don’t quite know what to make of this: Q What other sites, remember any particular internet sites you looked at? A When I was doing research about MPs, I looked at one called theyworkforyou.com and I think another one was called publicwhips [publicwhip.org.uk]. Q So, have you carried out any research to … about…Read More Sometimes, FaxYourMP Just Isn’t Enough
Weird news from Iraq – apparently one of Sadr’s conditions for returning to Iraqi politics is that Allawi and the SIIC are included. There’s a turn-up for you. It does sound like the Iranians are the main actors here, and the point of including Allawi is to get minimal consent from the Sunni. Some day…Read More brief Iraq post