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A Lesson in Alternative History from Tony Blair

A Lesson in Alternative History from Tony Blair

Although Tony Blair has “long since given up trying to persuade people [that the Iraq War] was the right decision,” he has found a convenient new way to justify it in time for the 10th anniversary of the invasion. According to …

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Is the Domestic Use Question Hijacking the Drone Debate?

Is the Domestic Use Question Hijacking the Drone Debate?

Up until recently, the debate over drone policy has largely been the territory of a small group of vocal critics — a persistent if not particularly high-profile media issue, but not one that particularly troubled the U.S. public. Polls indicated broad popular support for the use of drone strikes abroad, …

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Reassessing the IDF’s ‘Defensive Pillar’ Social Media Campaign

Reassessing the IDF’s ‘Defensive Pillar’ Social Media Campaign

With the uneasy ceasefire in Gaza holding (for now), there is opportunity to reflect on the controversial and closely scrutinized Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) social media campaign which accompanied Operation Pillar of Defense. The IDF has used Twitter prolifically in the days since November 14th, when an Israeli airstrike killed …

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The Morality and Effectiveness of U.S. Drone Policy

The Morality and Effectiveness of U.S. Drone Policy

Bradley Strawser, an assistant professor of philosophy at the Naval Postgraduate School, recently (and somewhat predictably) took some flak after the Guardian published a piece in which he appeared to make a …

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The Resurgence of the Syrian National Council

The Resurgence of the Syrian National Council

A few weeks ago the Syrian National Council (SNC) appeared to be losing traction in its efforts to gain recognition as the legitimate political representative of the Syrian people. Dogged by a few high-profile resignations and accusations that it was undemocratic and unrepresentative, critics …

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Mitt Romney and U.S. Afghanistan Policy: Why We Shouldn’t “Ask the Generals”

Mitt Romney and U.S. Afghanistan Policy: Why We Shouldn’t “Ask the Generals”

When speaking about US foreign policy during the Republican Primary debates, Mitt Romney often returns to a familiar theme: his belief that troop levels in Afghanistan should be determined through close consultation with the commanding generals on the ground. It is both a criticism of President Obama’s June 2011 decision …

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SCAF Continues Assault on Egyptian Civil Society

SCAF Continues Assault on Egyptian Civil Society

Things have gone from bad to worse for Egyptian civil society since I last blogged about the bleak short term outlook for the sector back in October. This week, the government shut down the Cairo offices of seventeen international human rights and pro-democracy NGOs, which the Supreme Council …

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Bleak Short Term Outlook for Egyptian Philanthropic and NGO Sectors

Bleak Short Term Outlook for Egyptian Philanthropic and NGO Sectors

Back in mid-February, amid the optimism of the immediate post-Mubarak era, I wrote a blog post exploring the future of philanthropy and the NGO sector in Egypt, noting that the field had been developing quite rapidly despite a restrictive operating environment. I speculated that …

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Between Isolation and Intervention: Charting an Achievable Development Strategy

Between Isolation and Intervention: Charting an Achievable Development Strategy

“[In the decade since 9/11] I think we have learned a lot about limits. But I don’t think the lesson is: We can do nothing to shape better outcomes in the world; we only make things worse. I would say that the …

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MSF President Sparks Debate Over the Limits of Humanitarian Aid

MSF President Sparks Debate Over the Limits of Humanitarian Aid

Over the weekend, Médecins Sans Frontières president Dr. Unni Karunakara created a stir by chastising charities for creating an unrealistic expectation of what humanitarian aid was capable of achieving in Somalia. According to Karunakara:
There …

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About the Author

Nick Scott
Nick Scott

Nick Scott has a MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He lived in East Jerusalem before moving to New York City where he spent more than a year at the Foundation Center and currently works for Independent Diplomat, a nonprofit diplomatic advisory group.

Follow Nick on Twitter at @Nick_Scott85

Areas of Focus: Politics and Civil Society in the Middle East, Diplomacy, International Development

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