liberal interventionism

‘You eagles fly and stars shine’

Denis Hoti  |  9 August 2016

It is a little over 17 years since NATO brought the war in Kosovo to an end. The conflict saw thousands dead and almost ninety per cent of Kosovan Albanians displaced – many never to be found. In 2008, Kosovo declared its independence and the British Labour government, following the leading role it had played in pushing …

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The world goes on despite Scotland

John McTernan  |  12 September 2014

Brutal conflict. Borders in dispute. Break-up. History. Sovereignty. It’s all happening. Now, I don’t mean Scotland. I’m thinking of Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and the Middle East. Yes, the world goes on despite the sudden total preoccupation with Scotland. (It is serious, I know, but it will be all right. A fifth of registered electors have …

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Addressing the roots of radicalisation

Erin Marie Saltman  |  8 September 2014

As western powers discuss to what extent their military capacity should be used against Islamic State they are also having to face the reality of radicalisation processes taking place in their own countries. Estimates of foreign fighters leaving Europe, North America and Australia remain staggeringly high compared with previous conflicts like the Afghan War. Rough …

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Time to live up to our responsibilities

Robert Philpot  |  14 August 2014

In July, when asked how he would deal with the situation in Syria if he becomes prime minister, Ed Miliband echoed his first speech as Labour leader and responded: ‘One of the ways the party has changed since I became leader is that war is now always a last resort.’ The notion that war might …

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A new reality now exists in Iraq

Gary Kent  |  25 June 2014

In Erbil this week senior Kurdish leaders told me that they warned Baghdad about the intentions of Isis based on their intelligence. But even they were astonished that a force of a few thousand fighters was able to take on six divisions of the federal army. It is likely that Isis did not expect such …

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How to handle the Isis crisis

James Denselow  |  19 June 2014

To the outside world, until a week ago, Iraq was a problem best filed away in the ‘to ignore’ category. The toxic legacy of the original intervention still haunts those once proponents and the public have grown weary of stories of the country’s chronic instability and its ‘Game of Thrones-esque’ domestic political machinations. Only rarely …

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Iraq: The perils of playing ‘the western blame game’

Gary Kent  |  18 June 2014

The future of Iraq is in the balance, millions of people are fearful for their futures and yet the focus for too many here is how to blame Tony Blair as if the 2003 invasion is the primary cause of the current problems of Iraq. It is very bad history and completely neglects the responsibilities …

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Looking away only leads to greater danger

Hopi Sen  |  23 April 2014

One of Tony Blair’s chief complaints about the west’s debate on Islamic extremism is an almost wilful refusal to engage with it as a clear and present danger. Instead of considering the issue of extremism directly, he argues that the commentary classes of the west prefer to debate almost anything else. In this light, fevered …

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The intervention dilemma

Kirsty McNeill and Andrew Small  |  17 July 2013

‘We know why we were left to die. Because there are no resources in Rwanda. Only Rwandans.’ The speaker was a Rwandan politician we visited in 2006. A progressive approach to humanitarian intervention must begin with the desire to prove her wrong. If the left’s ideals of equality are to mean anything at all then …

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Syria: how did we reach this point?

Stephen Bush  |  18 June 2013

There exists a dangerous tendency on the left which believes that government is a place where everything is beautiful, and nothing hurts. This week has been a reminder that government is frequently a place where nothing is beautiful and everything hurts. The 2012 case for intervention in Syria gets stronger and stronger every day, the …

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