Posted at July 1, 2016, by Raleigh Addington, Comments Off on Robin Niblett, European affairs expert, believes the West has lost its self confidence
Robin Niblett, Director of Chatham house and European affairs expert discusses the uncertainty over leadership in the US, the fragility of the EU and the UK in the wake of last week’s referendum and what’s next for the European Union’s Leaders.
Robin believes that the West’s loss of self-confidence could be a crucial factor in the fall out from Brexit as the EU looks to recover following the UK’s controversial decision to leave the union. In the interview above Niblett explains his rational in more detail.
One of the dilemmas we will now face, Robin explains, is is that the place which the EU now needs to organise its self around is Eurozone governance, however to do so would be likely to expose the loss of sovereign credibility. This will lead to a delicate balancing act by the French and the Germans, who are likely to focus attention away from more divisive issues such as migration and the eurozone crisis and towards people’s insecurities such as security, defence and terrorism rather than trying to create a grand new plan together. It begs the question – how will the West gain back its confidence?
For more information, or to book Robin for an event, please get in touch with his agent Gus Allen.
Posted at March 24, 2016, by Raleigh Addington, Comments Off on Andrew MacLeod, expert on global security, calls for calm in the wake of the Brussels attacks
Writing for the Independent today, leading global security expert Andrew MacLeod calls for a measured response in the wake of the Brussels bombings. He issues a strong warning against condemning all Muslims, most of whom are moderate and law-abiding. ‘We want to defeat those who attacked us – but who is the “us”, and who is the “them”? Is it the moderates of all religions against the radicals of all religions? Or is it the West against all Muslims?’.
Andrew cites the similarities across Christian, Jewish and Muslim beliefs – all of whose mainstream interpretations reject violence – by pointing out that Muslims rank Jesus as one of their most important prophets, second only to Mohammed. He argues that if we can accept the recent terror attacks in Brussels do not represent Christian or Jewish beliefs – and by extension Muslim beliefs too – then why do we find it so hard to accept that most Muslims also reject violence?
Andrew argues that we find ourselves at a crossroads in the fight against extremism. How we respond to these attacks could determine whether our enemy will consist of a relatively small group of extremists, or the whole of Islam. His view is that ‘alienating Islam as a system of beliefs would make an enemy of 1.6 billion people – most of whom condemn the terrorists’.
Since many times more Muslims than Westerners are dying at the radicals’ hands, Andrew asks us to reconsider our stance. ‘Should “they” join “our” war, or should we be joining theirs?’ If we alienate all Islam, all we are doing is pushing the moderates into the welcoming arms of the radicals.
Posted at July 16, 2015, by Raleigh Addington, Comments Off on Bobo Lo on Russia and the New World Disorder
Bobo Lo, a brilliant speaker on Russia vs. China, global energy supply and the shifting global order, launched his latest book at Chatham House earlier this month. Click here to hear him speak on “Russian and the New World Disorder” (Brookings, 2015).
Posted at August 19, 2014, by Raleigh Addington, Comments Off on Robin Niblett, a leading foreign affairs commentator, discusses the need and opportunity to strengthen NATO
Writing in The World Today, a bi-monthly magazine presenting authoritative analysis and commentary on current topics,Director of Chatham HouseRobin Niblettargues that in a world of flashpoints and European defence cuts NATO needs strengthening, and now is the chance to do so.
In early September, a NATO summit in Wales is expected to offer a decisive response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, while preparing to confront a more dangerous and unstable world from the Middle East to the South China Sea. NATO members must also ensure that they have the resources and the public support to make a reassertion of their alliance’s strategic purpose meaningful. Robin believes that “drawing these threads together will be difficult” due to these expanding threats and NATO’s own identity crisis.
That being said, Robin argues there are at least three ways in which NATO members could use the summit to strengthen their security outlook:
“Adopt the idea of ‘framework nations’ which take the lead within NATO for coordinating smaller numbers of NATO partners to respond to specific challenges. Under this concept, Germany and Poland could help neighbours enhance their capabilities for collective defence, for example, while the UK and France could bring together NATO members’ expeditionary capabilities.”
“NATO leaders could further develop the partnerships built with non-members during recent operations in Afghanistan and Libya. The UN Security Council is likely to be increasingly paralysed and ad hoc coalitions, sometimes operating under a UN mandate and sometimes not, may become more common.”
“NATO could agree a new plan on how to deal with ‘hybrid’ types of threat that are likely to be far more common in the future. Russia’s actions in Crimea have revealed how tactically effective the use of special forces and intelligence operatives, the mobilisation of proxies, cyber-attacks, mass disinformation campaigns and economic coercion can be.”
Posted at June 4, 2014, by Raleigh Addington, Comments Off on Ambassador Nick Burns: Expert speaker on geopolitics
It was good to catch up with Nick Burns in London this morning. Nick, an expert speaker on geopolitics, was passing through, en route to the 70th anniversary celebrations of the Normandy Landings.
He has been speaking a lot lately on the lessons we can learn from the crisis in Ukraine, and Russia’s attempts to mask its decline as a power with eye catching manoeuvres abroad. In the next few months he will be in China and India. Nick is upbeat about Narendra Modi’s potential to re-invigorate India’s economy.
He was less impressed by Barack Obama’s recent foreign policy set-piece at West Point; there is now a cross-party consensus in the US that Obama’s retreat from Bush era foreign adventures has gone too far, and begun to damage America’s credibility as the world’s leading power.
Posted at April 15, 2014, by Raleigh Addington, Comments Off on “The West’s utopians damned Ukraine to Russian dominance” – John Hulsman
In his latest posting as Senior Columnist for London’s City A.M. newspaper, John Hulsman wrote on how we got to where we are in Ukraine (read: mistakes the West made with regards to the on-going crisis), and how to best Putin in the end.
John argues that the West’s world-view betrayed a total ignorance of the realities of geopolitics; Ukraine is not a primary Western interest, whereas Putin was prepared to risk a lot to achieve an end state wherein Kiev remained within the Russian sphere of influence. John adds that to “see the crisis as it is means accepting the notion that interests primarily guide a state’s foreign policy.” Crucially, Western utopian policymakers were unable to do this.
That Ukraine will remain within the Russian sphere of influence is undoubted, however there is a way to win this contest in the long run. John points out that Russia needs the price of oil to be roughly $110 a barrel to balance its budget; it is already falling south of that, with long-term futures markets pointing to prices heading to well under $100. He goes on to say that the West needs ensure that this happens through “lifting the ban on the export of American oil…[and] encouraging the Poles and British to open up the shale industry.”