Boris Johnson’s Thatcher Moment?

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (source: The Telegraph)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is embroiled in a “Partygate” which might provoke the end of his premiership. For all we know and depending on the circumstances and the conclusions of the Sue Gray report, he might be living his last days at 10 Downing Street. Professor Tim Bale of Queen Mary University of London is one of the best specialists on the Conservative Party. Despite a busy schedule, he kindly accepted to answer a few questions for this blog.

Professor Bale, considering Mr. Johnson’s persona and past, do you think the organization of parties at 10 Downing Street while the rest of the UK was in lockdown was predictable?

Johnson has never considered rules as something that should constrain him, so it’s all too easy to believe that those parties took place and that he didn’t care.

Continue reading “Boris Johnson’s Thatcher Moment?”

Vladimir Poutine est un pur produit de l’histoire de la Russie

Si je vous demandais de me dire quel dirigeant russe a prononcé les paroles suivantes: « Pour défendre mes frontières, je n’ai d’autre choix que de les étendre », il y a fort à parier que vous penseriez qu’il s’agit de Vladimir Poutine. Après tout, ne lui impute-t-on pas actuellement – et peut-être à bon droit – des desseins guerriers en Ukraine? Mais cette citation provient de Catherine II, dite la Grande (1729-1796), celle-là même qui « […] prit le sud de l’Ukraine et annexa à la Russie la dépendance ottomane de Crimée en 1783, ce qui aura des répercussions historiques jusqu’au XXIe siècle. » Qui a dit que l’histoire ne se répète pas?

Extraites de la Brève histoire de la Russie : Comment le plus grand pays du monde s’est inventé de l’historien britannique Mark Galeotti, ces citations permettent de comprendre les principaux ressorts de l’histoire politique de ce pays aussi captivant que mystérieux.

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The bookworm, the martyr, and Xi’s longtime friend

War adapts itself and evolves. While some may take comfort in the fact that conventional battles are most likely a phenomenon of the past, the wisdom that guided those who won them is crucial to inform us about how to efficiently carry the fight from now on.

I recently reviewed the insightful novel 2034 by Admiral James Stavridis about a potential future war between China and the United States, during which China’s People’s Liberation Army takes advantage of technology to defeat the US Navy. Anyone watching the news can grasp that the rivalry between Beijing and Washington could lead to a hot war in the future, even if the author of the novel – a man who forgot more about polemology than any of us will ever learn – evaluates that the risks are feeble, the need to be prepared is nevertheless crucial.

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“Overall, 2021 has been a difficult year for the Biden team” – Admiral James Stavridis

Admiral James Stavridis USN (Ret.) (source: US Naval Institute)

Before the Holidays, Admiral James Stavridis USN (Ret.), one of my favorite authors, granted me an end of year interview about issues related to his amazing novel 2034 about a war between China and the United States. These geopolitical issues are unlikely to disappear from the radar in the coming months and years. The Admiral’s insights are therefore not only very informative, but also crucial to grasp the state of the world.

Admiral Stavridis, I’ve read and reviewed 2034: A Novel of the Next World War (Penguin Random House) with tremendous interest. Before we head into more serious stuff, a question burns my tongue. Since there are lots of mention of the delicious M&Ms throughout the novel, I was wondering if you are a fan of that candy yourself and if that’s the reason why it is mentioned in the book?

While I am not personally a fan of M&M candies, I have known many sea-going naval officers who are. I liked the idea of Lin Bao [one of the main characters of 2034] enjoying an American candy, essentially a nod to the duality of his upbringing.

Continue reading ““Overall, 2021 has been a difficult year for the Biden team” – Admiral James Stavridis”