Kazakhstan, the newest member of the UN Security Council, faces a difficult test. It must balance relations with its two powerful neighbours – Russia and China – while maintaining sovereignty and also engaging with several partners.
Bob Ainsworth, the Defence Secretary, has announced deep cuts in military personnel and equipment to fund a £900 million boost for the Afghanistan campaign. However the figures may not stack up. Something is going to give and in a big way. Defence is living through a slow motion road accident while it waits for the political wheel to turn and give it some strategic direction.
Recent reports of Indian intentions to purchase an aircraft carrier from Britain would not substantially add to India's ambitions to be a global power. However, the rumours are symbolic of India's delicate strategic balancing act as it shifts its focus to China.
British success in Malaya appeared to show how an insurgency could be defeated by Western-led forces. The campaign was plundered for ‘lessons’ – for Vietnam in particular. The latter’s failure, however, led critics to argue that Malaya was a special case which did not offer transferable ‘lessons’. An analysis of the general principles underlying British success in Malaya can nevertheless still...