Middle East

(Photo: Getty)

Western weakness presents Putin with an opportunity in Syria

20 November 2015 17:54

The West has failed in its principal, post 9/11 objective: to deny terrorists sanctuary. Islamic State is a terrorist enclave…

French supporters at the England vs France match at Wembley (Photo: Clive Rose/Getty)

Why I didn’t sing La Marseillaise last night

18 November 2015 12:10

When Patrice Evra and the French national football team lined up at Wembley last night, it was a moment of…

islamic state

Our policy towards Islamic State makes no sense

6 November 2015 13:24

If Islamic State is a threat to Britain that requires a military response, then surely we should be attacking it…

Saudi King Salman (Photo: Getty)

Don’t believe rumours of an ‘imminent’ Saudi coup

28 October 2015 16:16

During the past month, news about domestic Saudi Arabian politics has been dominated by frenzied speculation over an imminent coup…


Whatever happened to critical thinking in foreign policy?

21 September 2015 17:16

Now that the Middle East is basically moving to Europe after Germany did the national equivalent of advertising a house…

The empty seat of Syria is seen during an Arab League meeting on August 5, 2015. (MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)

Now we know where the celebrated ‘Ummah’ is

12 September 2015 17:24

Earlier this week I asked where the celebrated ‘Ummah’ is when it comes to Muslim refugees. I think we now…

The empty seat of Syria is seen during an Arab League meeting on August 5, 2015. (MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)

Where is the ‘Ummah’ now?

7 September 2015 17:29

I have just returned from a trip abroad to find Britain and Europe in a state of madness. I will…

Refugees from the Syrian town of Kobani (Photo: Gokhan Sahin/Getty)

The plight of Syria’s refugees deserves more than your good intentions and virtue signalling

6 September 2015 14:26

I suppose it should not be a surprise that the virtue signalling over the appalling plight of Syrian refugees displaced by that…

General Sisi at the opening ceremony of the new Suez Canal expansion (Photo: David Degner/Getty)

Why is Michael Fallon cosying up to General al-Sisi?

9 August 2015 9:59

Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, was in Egypt this week for the opening of the ‘New Suez Canal’ (in fact an extension…

Yemeni supporters of the Shiite Huthi movement attend a rally in the capital Sanaa on July 24, 2015, protesting against air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition in the country. (Photo: AFP/Mohammed Huwais)

Why Yemen is quickly becoming the new Syria

4 August 2015 12:45

Though it hasn’t been hitting the headlines recently, the situation in Yemen has been rapidly deteriorating and looks set to grow…

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (Photo: Joe Klamar/Getty)

An historic day for Iran and a horrifying one for Israel

14 July 2015 16:48

When the Shah of Iran gave the order to create the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) in 1974 it…

Tony Blair poses for a photograph following a Bloomberg Television interview on the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 21, 2015.

Tony Blair’s new job shows how self-important and detached he has become

4 June 2015 17:49

A spectre is haunting the world: the spectre of Tony Blair’s ego. Mr Blair has wasted eight years pretending to…

US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman (Photo: Valentin Flauraud/Getty)

Military inspections must be a non-negotiable part of Iran’s nuclear deal

29 May 2015 16:00

It is probably safe to say that the negotiations with Iran aren’t going very well. As the 30 June deadline for…

A symbol of peace? (Photo: Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty)

Tony Blair has long been an irrelevance in the Middle East peace process

28 May 2015 11:52

Following months of speculation, Tony Blair has finally announced he is standing down as the Quartet Representative to the Middle East…

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a press conference in Tehran on April 3, 2015 (Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty)

The Iran deal heralds a new era for US policy across the Middle East

8 April 2015 11:12

What is it about a nuclear deal with Iran that induces hysteria in certain quarters of the West?  In recent…

Demonstrators in Taez, Yemen. Image: Getty

The last thing Yemen needs is more war. But that is what it’s getting

1 April 2015 17:36

After years of hearing how terrible Western interventions are in the Middle East (Exhibits A, B and C the fiascos…

Roland Jahn New Stasi Archives Head

Yes, torture can be justified. Here’s why

10 December 2014 16:44

Torture is repulsive. Even on the scaffold or in front of a firing squad, a man can meet death with…

Image: Getty

How the US shale gas industry has changed the global economy

1 December 2014 11:44

The year 2014 will be remembered for an unprecedented juxtaposition of events. Two oil-producing countries in the Middle East were…

(Photo: JM Lopez/AFP/Getty)

The US steps up its involvement in the war for Iraq

8 November 2014 17:40

If you want to know how serious the situation in Iraq with Islamic State is, just look at what the…

Tunisians queue outside a polling station on October 26 in the Tunis suburb of Ariana (Photo: AFP/Getty)

Postcard from Tunisa – voters reject Islamists, embrace sanity in cradle of Arab Spring

28 October 2014 15:06

Tunis A bloody two-day siege at a house in the outskirts of the capital last week didn’t augur well for…

Two Syrian Kurds looking out from Mursitpinar, Turkey, across the border to Syria  (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Fear, loathing and an Ottoman shrine in the cold war between Isis and Turkey

27 October 2014 16:04

Turkey and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) are engaged in a cold war. Although they despise each…


Iraq and Syria are lost causes: Western intervention can’t help – or can it?

24 October 2014 18:05

Iraq and Syria are lost causes: Western intervention can’t help. Well, at least that was the motion put forward on…

Iraqi boys playing in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah on January 10, 2013 (Photo: AFP/Getty)

Winter is coming – the other terror stalking Iraqi Kurds

19 October 2014 11:51

The heroic Kurdish resistance in Kobane rightly commands headlines. A larger disaster, however, looms in Iraqi Kurdistan where – absent…


ISIS are a scourge on humanity; the UK must play its part in confronting this horror

26 September 2014 12:01

Doing nothing is always an option. Sometimes it can even be a sensible policy. There is much to be said…


Four-wheel-drives are to ISIS what longbows were to the English at Agincourt

12 September 2014 14:37

What exactly, I found myself wondering, would jihadists do without modern four-wheel-drives? Car ads are customarily shot on the French…