Opinion / Negotiation Technique

Crawford on Delingpole

Back from our USA summer holiday. While I was away my podcast discussion with turbo-polemicist James Delingpole appeared. Here it is. Or via iTunes. James is good at being beyond provocative. Here is his book Watermelons (Green on the outside, Red on the inside haha) attacking all sorts of different […]

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President Trump: New World (Dis)Order

Well. As soon as my back is turned in The Hague it all happens. Here is the piece I wrote for PunditWire on the eve of the US presidential elections: Maybe as a former ambassador myself I am over-sensitive when it comes to what our political leaders say when standing […]

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Bad Leaders

My latest piece for DIPLOMAT mulls over the problems the world faces in dealing with Bad Leaders. Some of them contain their Badness within their own borders, thrashing their own people because they can. Others spread their badness and create havoc for others. Thus: The last century gave the world […]

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UK Foreign Policy – Gnawing Prometheus

Here is my piece in the Telegraph (newspaper and website hurrah) on the glum state of the UK’s foreign policy machinery: What does it mean for a nation to exert “influence”? Partly it’s about attitude: the confidence and determination to push hard and long for national objectives. But it’s also […]

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How (Not) to Blackmail Batman

Question. You somehow stumble on Batman’s secret identity. You conclude that you’d like to profit from this situation. How best to get a good result for yourself? How might this work from the point of view of negotiation technique? Here is one approach. It does not end well. The text of […]

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Putin and Syria: Who’s Committed?

The parable of the chicken and the pig: Question In a bacon-and-egg breakfast, what’s the difference between the Chicken and the Pig? Answer The Chicken is involved. The Pig is committed. Thus Syria. The West in general and Europe in particular is somewhere between ‘implicated’ and ‘involved’, if only by being […]

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To Tajikistan and Back Again

Back again from my sundry peregrinations of recent weeks, from Vienna to Gdansk to Warsaw to Prague to Dushanbe to Abu Dhabi to Zvolen (Slovakia), with odd groggy moments at home in between. This has been the longest gap in postings here since the blog started. But somehow I just […]

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Peak Craig Murray in Uzbekistan

Former UK ambassador Craig Murray too has a sharp new website look. He goes from strength to strength despite some sad family news, and credit is definitely due: We seem to be hitting peak Craig Murray. Before the hiatus of the last month or so, 40,000 people were regularly reading […]

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Corbyn and NATO: Clueless Negotiator

Watch Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn refuse to say whether he would abide by one of the UK’s (and one the world’s) key treaty relationships, namely the North Atlantic Treaty that created NATO: The generally understood key idea of the North Atlantic Treaty is that ‘an attack on one is an […]

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Negotiating with Islamic State

The UK’s Labour leadership between Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith contest threw up this interesting exchange. Should involve anyone from so-called Islamic State be involved in Middle East peace negotiations? Yes? Or no? A classic ‘closed question’ that leaves almost no room for waffling. Or so you might think. But look carefully […]

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