The Litvinenko Inquiry – Enemy at the gates

Days 9 to 17 – up to February 27th On Day 15 of the Inquiry, Evgheniy Limarev, a former member of the SVR (Russia’s overseas intelligence agency, formed on the demise of the KGB), was providing evidence. Mr Emmerson, counsel for the Litvinenko family, asked “so, basically, the high-ranking members of the SVR  that you…

Kicking the ring

When I was at Sandhurst, the British Army’s officer training establishment, Wednesday afternoons were given over to ‘Academy Sport’. This was an opportunity for us bright, young hopefuls to pursue whichever physical activity was our personal favourite.  Almost every sport imaginable was on offer, providing myriad opportunities to get sweaty.  Also available was golf.  Not being…

Words as weapons

Actress Shirley MacLaine has caused outrage with comments in her memoir suggesting holocaust victims were “balancing their karma from ages before” (see here). The book includes in the sub-title ‘A lifetime of questions, speculations…’ and so on, leaving a lot of caveated wriggle-room.  So this might be nothing more than a ham-fisted example of the old…

Goodbye to all that

The British government recently announced that a national service of commemoration will take place on March 13th to mark the end of combat operations in Afghanistan (link here). Bookended by the campaigns in Iraq (the latest of which continued to be busy last weekend, see here) the last decade or so of fighting has seen the purpose and…

The Litvinenko Inquiry – Deeper issues, deeper questions.

Days 5 to 8 – up to February 10th  “In relation to any given subject, the conversation would develop into something quite far-reaching and quite complex that was really difficult to grasp…it would change from one topic to another, [leading to] deeper issues, deeper questions, deeper answers.” So said a witness to the Inquiry on…

Back to the future

 Update in light of the House of Commons Report This post first went up on January 22nd. I update it now as Britain’s House of Commons Defence Select Committee has released a report today criticising Britain’s limited military involvement in the fight against Da’ish (also known as Islamic State). Reinforcing the concerns I raised in the…