JDB paper on Arab Spring published by the Global Policy Institute

I am pleased to report that the respected Global Policy Institute has published my piece on the ongoing developments in the Middle East and North Africa entitled, “The United States and the Arab Spring: In a Policy Void, Events Become Philosophical Hostages.”

As the title suggests, the piece examines the role of the  United States in the evolving situation and questions the philosophical impact that Obama has had on the chain of events in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. It suggests that the president has a little over a year to put his stamp on foreign affairs before someone else gets the chance to do so.

Take a read at http://www.gpilondon.com/index.php?id=315

 

JDB on London’s LBC 97.3 fm Tonight at 21:20 GMT

I will be returning to the airwaves for the second time today to be in discussion with Kevin Maguire, sitting in for Iain Dale on LBC 97.3 fm.

Not surprisingly perhaps I will be addressing the international reaction to the events that have transpired in Libya, and the expected American reaction in particular. With allegations of having ‘led from behind’ how will the White House react now that the ‘Mad Dog’ has been overthrown?

Given the historic role that the United States has played with regard to Libya what will the direction of policy be under the new regime? Will President Obama seek to exploit this event in the presidential election of 2012, coupled with his administration’s success in killing Osama bin Laden?

What will the reaction be of the European powers who were at the forefront of efforts to remove Gaddafi from power? Where will this leave the relationships between Cameron and Hague, between Downing Street and the FCO? And spare a thought for Liam Fox, forced to resign before a potential hour of glory.

These issues and more will be addressed in what will no doubt be a fascinating interview. Tune in online at: http://www.lbc.co.uk/listen-live-3578

JDB on BBC Three Counties Radio Today

I will be returning to the airwaves today in discussion with Ronnie Barbour’s The Other One Show on BBC Three Counties’ Radio. We will be addressing the degree to which American citizens have a greater access to the presidency than their British counterparts do to become prime minister.

I will be considering the history of the American presidency in an attempt to place this long held believe to the test. Can Americans really go from a log cabin to the White House in the twenty-first century? Was this ever really the case? What impact do structures, party unity and union powers have in the process?
These issues and more will be addressed in what will no doubt be a fascinating interview. Tune in online at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p001d7nr

Of Ambassadors and the enforcement of Free Speech

So I’m here in southern California and I can’t lie, it’s fabulous. The weather is perfect. This morning was almost too perfect. I drove down from a meeting at Pepperdine University in Malibu, former residence of the witch-finder general, Judge Kenneth Starr, taking in the fantastic views from the Pacific Coast Highway, through LA, Santa Monica, Long Beach and other such places that I had long heard off from one classic rock track or another, but never gave much thought to ever driving through…

So I arrived in Irvine about an hour south of LA. I’m here for the International Studies Association regional conference addressing security issues. I’m delving a paper in the morning on the development of the UK national security council and the parallel rise of the transatlantic body set up by Obama and Cameron in the summer.

This evening I was invited to a reception with former US Ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill, something I anticipated very much. I was expected an evening of fascinating personal insight drawn from his career in the service of his country overseas in some of the most vital postings available.

Disappointed doesn’t cover it…

Instead of what could have been an erudite performance, we were treated to a bland, colourless and limp discourse on the state of the world today. No attempt was made to address his own insight, based on his experiences or engagements with the great and the good, or with the truly rotten.

The real low point however, came when he stated that the situation in Iraq was essentially the fault of, guess who, the British, since we had created the ethnic conditions that allowed for Saddam to be in power! How easy it is to have the Brits to kick whenever necessary. How easy it is to forget America’s own woeful tale in Iraq, or their sending of Donald Rumsfeld as President Reagan’s emissary in the early 1980s, or the curious case of arming both sides when circumstances suited in the eight year Iran/Iraq War. Shocking doesn’t come close to covering it!

To compound matters the ambassador was late arriving, not realising apparently that traffic in LA tends to get somewhat congested in rush hour. One wonders how long he has been in his diplomatic bubble?

Late,bland, boring. Other than that it was a great experience!

Needless to say the sycophants were running around congratulating him on a magnificent job. The tell-tale sign was the mass exodus of students from the well guarded auditorium. That’s right, the auditorium was being patrolled by a uniformed member of university security, looking for all the world like a police officer. I cannot confirm whether he was armed with a firearm not. The students left, deciding that they had less important things to do, leaving us under the watchful glare of the failed police officer, there apparently to ensure freedom of speech! Past experiences had apparently led to protests that had prevented speakers from talking, thereby denying them their first amendment rights.

Can you see the contradiction here? We have apparently reached a point whereby security is being employed on university campuses to ensure the enforcement of first amendment rights for invited guests, whilst denying them to attendees. Does this strike anyone as odd?

Land of the free and the home of the brave.

Right.

JDB returns to California

Update from the flight deck: I’m returning to California for meetings at Pepperdine University, USC and a conference in Irvine. I’ll be attending a talk with US Ambassador Chris Hill and delivering my latest paper, this one on the development of National and Transatlantic Security Councils. I will also be taking the political pulse of California ahead of the forthcoming election season, which should add depth and colour to my upcoming media appearances. See you on my return!

JDB Addresses ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Movement on Talk Radio Europe

Ahead of my departure for Los Angeles I have recorded an interview with Lisa Grant of Talk Radio Europe addressing the growing unrest across the United States that is occurring under the banner of Occupy Wall Street.

With reports of unrest and disturbances on both sides how will this ply out in light of the forthcoming presidential election? Will the protestors get their way or will their very efforts undermine their aspirations for change and contribute instead to a backlash akin to the Silent Majority of the late 1960s?

Tune in on October 12 at 20:20 GMT to hear my thoughts on this.

http://www.talkradioeurope.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1676&Itemid=125

You may also be interested in this piece by Tim Stanley in the Telegraph.

Austrian Radio Interview and Hitting 5,000

Firstly, I’d like to thank those of you who have taken the time to visit this website in the past year. As of today that figure has reached 5,000. It is very gratifying that so many of you have taken the trouble to read my work and follow my career.  Here’s to the next 5,000!

Secondly, I am in Austria and have just conducted an interview with Joanna Bostock for her show Reality Check. Here it is in glorious stereo:

JDB addressing Salzburg Global Seminar

I am in glorious Salzburg this week for the annual Global Seminar on American Studies. I will be one of a small number of keynote speakers at this year’s event, which is headlined by William Leuchtenburg.

The Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA) was founded in 2003 to build upon the positive momentum stemming from thirty-two sessions organized by the American Studies Center between 1994 and 2002. The purpose of SSASA is to provide a forum for anyone working in the field of American Studies to interact with experts in the field by meeting annually at Schloss Leopoldskron to attend symposia devoted to broad American Studies themes. The annual symposia are attended by distinguished professionals from a wide number of countries around the world. Through such American Studies symposia, the Salzburg Global Seminar continues to make a vital contribution to the promotion of open, international dialogue.

The 2011 symposium is entitled “Continuity and Change in US Presidential Foreign Policy; Plans, Policies and Doctrines” and will take place at Schloss Leopoldskron from October 6-10, 2011. The program will focus on comparative developments, continuity and changes in the international role and policies of the United States of post-war presidential administrations, with a special emphasis on the Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations.

Those of you familiar with my work will recognise how central these themes are to my ongoing research which is being showcased this autumn at a series of conferences in Europe and the United States.