Alastair Crooke

Former British diplomat, founder and director of the Beirut-based Conflicts Forum.

all articles

May 20, 2019
Iran Messages to Trump’s Pressures: Pain Can Be Reciprocal

Iran’s calculus implicit in its messaging is that Trump does not want a war, and Iran does not want war either; but to avoid ‘war’, Trump needs to respect Iran’s ‘red lines’. In short, he must react ‘rationally’, and distance himself from Bolton.

May 13, 2019
Iran: Preparing the ‘Battle Space’

Mostly, Trump acts in foreign policy as a New York real-estate mogul, with care only for ‘the deal’ and his image, and with zero emotional or moral engagement. But is this so for Iran?

May 6, 2019
Is There a Path Out of Ratcheting Mid-East and Geo-Strategic Tensions?

Has Trump convinced himself that the Administration’s wider bluster is actually winning: Making America Great Again? On this question, hangs our joint futures.

April 29, 2019
Waivers Over – Bolton Gets His Way

Iran will not necessarily look for escalation: to wriggle through will be to win a major symbolic victory. But if it is pushed to the limit, Iran likely will first respond by pushing back in the region and in Afghanistan against US interests.

April 22, 2019
When the Non-Rational Trumps the Rational – And Fuels Our March Towards War

Trump’s instincts still remain that a channel with Mr Putin is essential. But the demonization of Russia will not be stilled with the publication of the Mueller investigation. It will just swap to a new narrative.

April 15, 2019
Why the Gulf States Are So Edgy

The Gulf grandees have a right to be edgy, Alastair Crooke writes. They can see that Trump’s ‘war hawks’ are intent on cornering, pressurising and provoking Iran.

April 8, 2019
The Looking Glass Splinters

Is not the stand-off taking place within the EU somehow a re-run of the struggles that were precisely opposed to the notion of an European Empire imposing its rigid ‘Lex Europa’ over diverse peoples, by a centralized and aloof, authority?

April 2, 2019
Western Wishful Thinking – ‘Excluding Everything That Makes China What It Is’

‘The West’ is no longer the West. There is the belligerent ‘West’ of Trump, Pence, Bolton and Pompeo – and this is the ‘West’ that is incrementally losing traction across the Middle East, and beyond.

March 25, 2019
An Iran-Syria ‘Belt & Road’: A Far-Reaching Geopolitical Strategy Unfolds

Wherever Pompeo travels on his journeys through the region, he cannot fail but to notice that US policies – and the constancy of such policies – are not trusted.

March 18, 2019
The EU ‘Reichstaat’ in Systemic Disarray: A ‘Long War’ Portends

The deep sense of growing inequalities is matched only by popular fears of community ‘safety-nets’ that have been dismantled, and of the insecurity of living perpetually at the cusp of economic extinction.