United Kingdom

  • European Ambassadors Defend Iran Nuclear Deal

    European ambassadors to the United States on September 25 defended the nuclear deal with Iran, saying it is working, while warning that reopening negotiations would be a nonstarter and walking away from the deal would have serious consequences.

    This joint defense comes as US President Donald J. Trump, who has to certify to the US Congress by October 15 that Iran is complying with the terms of the agreement, has reiterated his displeasure with the deal.

    Germany’s ambassador to the United States, Peter Wittig, said the onus is on those who seek to renegotiate the deal to prove that first, renegotiation is possible, and second, it will deliver better results. “We don’t think it will be possible to renegotiate it and we believe there is no practical, peaceful alternative to this deal,” Wittig said.

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  • LeBaron in the Foreign Service Journal: A New Citizen of London Shines on the Other Side of the Thames


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  • An EU Navy Is Impossible; Fortunately, It’s Not Necessary.

    To rebuild robust naval forces, Europeans should think less like Americans, and more like Russians.

    As I noted yesterday, Brexit has opened all sorts of talk about the future of British and European military activities. To continue the argument today, let’s tack towards naval matters. In “All the Queen's Ships” (Proceedings of the US Naval Institute, January 2017), James C. Bennett of the Economic Policy Centre in London recommended formation of a Union Navy, loosely composed of the Royal, Royal Canadian, Royal Australian, and Royal New Zealand Navies, under their single sovereign. As one might expect in his argument, “the four main Westminster democracies” could afford greater military capabilities together than separately. To an American, this might seem another brilliant idea that our allies will never get on with. But if practically speaking, discussing this is a waste of oxygen, then just how silly is talking about forming a single European Navy from the polyglot members of the European Union? To the contrary, Europeans can get on with rebuilding robust naval forces as a continent of equals—just by thinking less like Americans, and more like Russians.

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  • How Will Brexit Impact Intelligence Sharing?

    As the United Kingdom (UK) proceeds with negotiations to leave the European Union (EU), it must account for mounting security concerns regarding the potential drop-off in shared intelligence with EU countries.

    A recent report published by the UK’s House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee concluded there will be a “barrier” to security if data transfers between EU nations and the UK are obstructed after Brexit, which would negatively impact the national security and counter terrorism efforts of not only the UK, but EU member states as well.  

    In recent years, especially after the attacks in Brussels, Paris, Nice, and Berlin, there has been more cooperation within the EU to keep European citizens safe, highlighting both the growing importance and validity of intelligence sharing. The most recent attack in Barcelona on August 17, when a vehicle driven through crowds of pedestrians killed twelve and injured eighty, only underscores the growing need for collaboration in counterterrorism efforts throughout Europe. As a result, the UK needs to make the reconciliation between its security system and that of the EU a priority in the Brexit negotiations, working hard to secure the best UK-EU intelligence-sharing arrangement possible.

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  • Ullman in UPI: Where Have All the Leaders Gone?


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  • Hellyer in The National: Britain Must Deal with the Shadows of the Iraq War


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  • First Signs of Second Thoughts on Brexit

    British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government began substantive negotiations to leave the European Union (EU) in Brussels this week, although nobody in Britain is yet clear about what outcome the country is actually seeking. With May’s government in disarray, and her Cabinet wracked with infighting and confusion over Brexit, there is even a growing belief in some quarters that the country could, and perhaps should, end up staying inside the EU.

    Until very recently, even mentioning such a possibility was politically and socially taboo. Supporters of the Leave campaign, which won the June 2016 EU referendum by 52 percent to 48 percent, had intimidated most of the rest of the country into believing that the “will of the people” must be obeyed, and that no dissent or deviation would be tolerated.

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  • An American in Paris

    A friendship blossoms between Trump and Macron

    Press coverage of the first meeting between US President Donald J. Trump and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, at the NATO summit in Brussels in May focused on the spirited handshake Macron gave Trump.  But too much emphasis on the symbolism of Macron’s machismo overlooked the fact that while Trump did not enjoy being upstaged, he also respects Macron as a strong leader. This has played an important role in the developing bonds between the two leaders.

    The foundation for this new friendship, that has also been overlooked by many analysts, has been carefully laid by both leaders since their first meeting in phone calls and discussions between them and their advisors, and especially by Macron’s courting of Trump and comments from US officials that emphasized France’s importance militarily within Europe and NATO.

    Macron’s invitation to Trump to celebrate Bastille Day in Paris, which one would normally expect a French leader to extend to their German counterpart, helped further cement their budding ties and has created the potential for what is likely to be one of the key relationships in international affairs.

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  • Britain Needs to Reassess its Counterterrorism Strategy

    British Prime Minister Theresa May called for a re-evaluation of the United Kingdom’s counterterrorism strategy in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London.  This must be a top priority.

    The UK’s current counterterrorism strategy—CONTEST—is organized around four “work streams” also known as the four Ps: Pursue (to stop terrorist attacks), Prevent (to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist activities), Protect (to strengthen protection against a terrorist attack), and Prepare (to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack).

    Of these, Prevent has been the most controversial in part because of the government’s unwillingness to release information on its evaluation of this program and pushback from Muslim communities.

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  • The UK: In the Midst of a Train Crash

    Not even the most United Kingdom-sceptic European could have imagined that just a year after the Brexit referendum Britain would appear to be teetering on the brink of disorder. Indeed, over the past year the group behind this scenario planning / train crash project analysed the various possibilities of danger to both the British state and the union of the United Kingdom; but even four months ago the dangers seemed no more than potentials, each contingent on quite a number of other causalities. These have largely been swept away, for three core reasons.

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