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Bronwen Maddox: expert speaker on Afghanistan

Bronwen MaddoxBronwen Maddox is Editor of Prospect, the brilliant British current affairs magazine, and formerly Foreign Editor of The Times. Her commentary on global affairs is first class: streetwise, well travelled, sceptical. And as a former banker she knows how the markets work, and the interface between the global economy and its political schisms and anxieties. She’s written a fine piece in the September edition of Prospect on the UK’s failure in Afghanistan (so far 444 UK personnel have died, and 2,146 have been wounded), and posed 5 questions which she think ought to be asked by a parliamentary inquiry:

1 Did the Iraq war doom the Afghan conflict?

2 Why did the UK take on the role of quelling the narcotics trade

3 Why did the UK take on Helmand?

4 What has the conflict cost the UK?

5 What have we achieved in Afghanistan?

To read more click here:

PS: Prospect’s website well worth a visit – full of interesting things.


John Hulsman gives his expert opinion on the US and the Taliban..

John Hulsman, the leading expert on the politics of the EU, US and Middle East was one of three guests on DW broadcasters’ current affairs talk show ‘Agenda’ last month.

With the subtitle ‘Afghanistan and the Taliban – Is the US sending the wrong signals?’ John was invited to commentate on Washington’s plan to invite the Taliban to the negotiating table as the US prepares to withdraw their military from Afghanistan.

He begins by pointing out that the US’s focus now is on nation-building at home and that Obama is “winding down excesses” in order to leave the country. Talking to the enemy is a strategic move in order to get out of Afghanistan on the best terms possible.

When asked why, back in 2001, the US didn’t talk rather than going into war, John says that many, including himself warned it wouldn’t work. He reminds that since Alexander the Great people have invaded Afghanistan and that each time the country is unified but reverts back to a tribal structure when invaders leave.

The full episode is worth watching not only for John’s expert political opinion but also his input to discussion on the Brazil protests and German prostitution laws.

Click here to watch the episode online.

James Fergusson: author, journalist and expert speaker on Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and the geo-political consequences of water scarcity

I recently had lunch with James Fergusson, best-selling author and journalist and an expert commentator on AQ and terrorist networks from Afghanistan to Africa, and the geo-political consequences threat of water scarcity. James recently published The World’s Most Dangerous Place (2013), and has been advising companies and governments on their Somalia and sub Saharan African strategies. James is now writing a book on the growing pressure on the world’s water resources.

For more information on how to book James Fergusson as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Alex Hickman at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8004.

Giles Duley’s Channel 4 film on Afghanistan amputees

While he was embedded with the US army in Afghanistan, British humanitarian photographer Giles Duley stepped on an IED (improvised explosive device). The explosion left him with horrific injuries and, ultimately, as a triple amputee. A year and a half after sustaining injuries that left him hovering between life and death for months, he kept the promise he made to himself on the day of the incident: to return to Afghanistan to complete his work documenting the impact of the invasion on civilians, and now focusing on the wounded who have sustained injuries similar to his.

This film documents Giles’s courageous return to Afghanistan as he undertakes his first major photographic assignment since the explosion, in the country where he very nearly lost his life.

You can watch the film here [UK only].

To find out more about Giles Duley, or to book him as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Photographer and Motivational Speaker Giles Duley returns to Afghanistan

In 2011, whilst on patrol with 75th Cavalry Regiment, United States Army in Afghanistan, Giles Duley – an embedded photographer -stepped on an improvised explosive device. Giles was severely injured, losing both legs and an arm. He has made a remarkable and inspiring recovery, and is now back working and recently made a film of his return to Afghanistan. Watch the trailer here.

To find out more about Giles Duley, or to book him as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Joseph Stiglitz: “The Real Cost of America’s Wars”

Joseph Stiglitz speaker - "The Real Cost of America's Wars"After nearly 12 years, the US is readying itself for withdrawal from Afghanistan. However, Joseph Stiglitz believes that “there will be little in the way of a peace dividend for the US economy once the fighting stops”, as he discusses the real cost of America’s wars.

The US has already borrowed $2tn to finance the Afghanistan and Iraq wars – a major component of the $9tn debt the country has amassed since 2001, along with those arising from the financial crisis and the tax cuts implemented by President George W. Bush. However, withdrawal will not have a rejuvenative effect on America’s continuingly embattled economy.

“It could have been hoped that the ending of the wars would provide a large peace dividend, such as the one resulting from the end of the cold war that helped us to invest more in butter and less in guns,” Stiglitz says. “Instead, the legacy of poor decision-making from the expensive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will live on in a continued drain on the US economy – long after the last troop returns to American soil.” In Stiglitz’ lastest must-see piece, he sets out exactly why a positive and/or a basic reduction in spending should not be anticipated.

You can read it here.

For more information on how to book Joseph Stiglitz as a speaker, please contact Alex Hickman at or call +44 (0) 20 7792 8004.

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