Brexit and the democratic will (or won’t) Part 2/3

Part 2 of a series of blogs looking at the Brexit vote, what it means and the issues it raises for the United Kingdom and its place in the world. From Part 1: In the wake of a result contrary to their wishes, parts of the Remain campaign have asserted that the vote lacks legitimacy,…

Truth will out? Really?

In a long article (at over 10,000 words) in the London Review of Books to be published next week (but available prematurely online here), veteran American journalist Seymour Hersch challenges the official story on the circumstances surrounding the death – or, as Hersch tells it, the ‘assassination’ – of Osama bin Laden in 2011. Central to Hersch’s…

Understanding risk: separating fact from fiction

Recently prepared for a speech to the upcoming ICSA conference “It is difficult to make predictions,” the saying goes, “especially about the future.” Originating, apparently, with a Danish politician named Karl Steincke in the 1920s, the aphorism has been attributed variously to Mark Twain, Niels Bohr, Yogi Berra, Samuel Goldwyn, even Confucius. Which only goes…

Thinking geo-strategically again

  My post-graduate degree was in international politics, specifically focused on both strategy and domestic formulation of foreign policy; it is those topics that, deep in my heart, form my principal intellectual interests. Nowhere is there better food for thought than STRATFOR. If you do not have a subscription, or at least regularly read George Friedman…

Double, double, toil and trouble . . .

Fire burn and cauldron bubble (and that’s not all that’s bubbling) A version of this article appears in Risk & Compliance magazine, January – March 2014 It is 500 years last year since the Florentine diplomat Niccolo Machiavelli first distributed The Prince (as it later became known).  While many (most of whom appear not to…