You might, very reasonably, expect the UK's Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to speak the language of the countries their policy affects. Or that when they brief politicians on crucial issues, that they have "immersed" themselves deep within foreign populations to understand fully the impact any new measures might have. Or that FCO security measures are strict enough to keep officials safe – but not so strict that they strangle any meaningful contact outside the embassies.
The UK Foreign Office is flying blind
- 30 March 2015
- Alastair Sloan
Saudi airstrikes on Yemen: a strategy set for failure?
- 30 March 2015
- Diana Alghoul
On Monday, the Saudi ambassador to Washington Adel al-Jubeir told reporters that a 10-country coalition had joined a military campaign launching airstrikes over Yemen to fight the Houthi rebels. Saudi and allied warplanes struck rebels in Yemen on Thursday; a death toll of 39 was reported. This abrupt decision has many strategic flaws and poses a long term risk to the national security of Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf. The past two decades have proven that the tactic of striking another country to get rid of one terrorist group is an unsuccessful tactic that only invites more political instabilities.
The Salman Principle
- 28 March 2015
- Jamal Khashogji
Weeks ago I wrote an article entitled "Each era has its state, its men and its foreign policy". Today, and in the aftermath of the "Storm of Decisiveness", time will prove to be more generous given us more than just that. It is the "Salman Principle". To tell the truth, the word "principle" does not explain the notion in full. The origin of this word is the English word "Doctrine", which means "a policy based on moral principles and commitments". The most prominent "principle" that acquired fame in the modern age has been "the Eisenhower Doctrine". He was the only US President who served the Arabs with justice when he "ordered" the Israelis, the British and the French to withdraw from Egypt following the tripartite aggression in 1956. However, his doctrine was famous even before then. It was built upon a U.S. Commitment to side by any country that is endangered or threatened by another country and to provide it with financial and military aid.
The Lebanese people and Iran's nuclear deal
- 28 March 2015
- Qassem Qaseer
Political circles in Lebanon are following the turn of events in Switzerland featuring Iran, the US and European powers with great interest, as they discuss the Iranian nuclear file. This concerns the future of Lebanon greatly, so much so that everywhere you go in Beirut the first questions people ask are, what do you think of the Iranian nuclear programme talks? Will Iran and the great powers reach an agreement? What impact will these talks have on Lebanon and other countries within the region, regardless of whether they succeed or fail?
Has Iran over reached itself in Yemen?
- 26 March 2015
- David Hearst
When the Saudi ambassador in Washington announced the launching of airstrikes and a military intervention in Yemen on Wednesday night, the kingdom surprised everyone - not least Iran.