When Scotland Leaves the UK: a Wikistrat simulation

16 Sep

Earlier this year, Wikistrat ran a three-week long crowdsourced simulation to map the opportunities available to an independent Scotland, risks it might face and the likely trajectories it could take as a new state. Cat was the supporting lead analyst for this project.

With Responsibility to Protect Size Does Not Matter

13 Sep

UK_Russia

There will be few people reading this blog that will not have heard the expression ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’. A truism perhaps in a family setting but not a maxim that international diplomats necessarily subscribe to. Therefore, there was some irritation when at the G20 meeting […]

SYRIA – PARLIAMENT – DEMOCRACY – MILITARY ACTION – TRUST – STRATEGY

6 Sep

Parliament debate

On Thursday 29th August 2013 at around 2230 hours the British Prime Minister (PM) lost a vote in the British parliament. Not for the first or last time to be sure but in this case the government motion being debated concerned the PM’s ability to conduct foreign policy – for the United Kingdom to join […]

From the Israeli MFA – AWOL

13 Aug

israeli mfa email

There’s no real logical reason why, but the thought of diplomats on strike just seems a bit incongruous..The ongoing dispute between the Israeli MFA and Treasury seem to continue, with farcical results (US NIC officials being booted out of office meeting rooms, Kerry’s retinue not having sufficient visas for visit).

MILITARY INTERVENTION – MORALITY ETHICS AND LEGALITY

2 Aug

Military intervention

Dave Tisdale here provides an assessment of the UK’s military interventions. The British House of Commons Defence Select Committee has recently called for evidence in respect of UK intervention operations, asking questions such as: does the UK still have a role in intervention operations; if so, why, where, when and how? Dave explores how, in […]

European Foreign Policy Scorecard 2013: the UK and EU foreign policy

20 May

UK ‘International Defence Engagement Strategy’

9 Feb

“The implementation of this strategy will ensure closer working between MOD and FCO, and across government, and ensure the allocation of non-operational defence assets and activities takes proper account of wider government objectives. This will be secured through the joint FCO-MOD governance mechanism. “This strategy implements the goals of the National Security Strategy and Strategic […]

Out of 10: Scoring the objectives of the head of the FCO

5 Feb

The Cabinet Office recently published the objectives of the Permanent Secretaries of all the main UK departments for the first time.  They made for interesting reading, in particular those of the FCO’s Permanent Under Secretary, Simon Fraser.   It didn’t provoke in this ‘arm-chair auditor’ a desire to measure the PUS’ performance against his objectives.  It […]