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Volume 1: 2011-12

The Middle East

The Ardingly College Journal of History & International Relations
Featuring articles by Major General P. Cordingley, Dr H. Kissinger and Professor J. Ralph

The Ardingly College Journal of History & International Relations Volume 1: The Middle East
11th Century Cottoniana or Anglo-Saxon Map of the Middle East

Staff Editor: Mr M. Jennings Student Editor: Charles Ward (U6th) Copy Editor: Bethany Reyniers (L6th) Ardingly Student Contributors: Jenny Elwin, Axel Fithen, Gustav Fithen, Thomas Gibbens, John Gibson, Amy Haines, Anastasia Harrington, Thomas O’Dell, Abidine Sakande, Kaan Tuncell, Charles Ward and Johannes Wullenweber Other Contributors are: Mr R. Alston, former Chair of Governors, Ardingly College & former UK Ambassador to the Oman Major General P. Cordingley, former commander of 7th Armoured Brigade during 1st Gulf War Tobias Chesser (Student of Hawthorns Prep School) Mr M. Jennings, Head of History, Ardingly College Mr A. Kendry, Theologian Mr D. Maclean, Head of Divinity, Ardingly College Professor J. Ralph, Professor of International Relations at Leeds University And Dr H. Kissinger, former US Secretary of State

Images from the front cover are of Jerusalem, a NATO airstrike on Gadaffi’s forces near Benghazi, Sultan Mehmet II and Colonel Gadaffi.

EDitORiAlS Staff – Mr M. Jennings, Head of Department Student – Charles Ward (U6th) HiStORy ARtiClES Tel Megiddo and the Politics of the Middle East, by Mr D. McLean Holy, Holy, Holy: A theological history of Jerusalem in 3 Faiths by Mr A. Kendry The 1st Crusade and the Capture of Jerusalem, 1099 by Axel Fithen Was the ability of Jerusalem’s rulers the main reason for the survival of the estates during the twelfth century? By Anastasia Harrington 1187, The Battle of Hattin and The Capture of Jerusalem by John Gibson Profile of Saladin by Charles Ward Profile of Richard ‘the Lionheart’ by Tobias Chesser The Great Siege of Constantinople in 1453 by Mr M. Jennings The First Three Afghan Wars by Mr R. Alston CMG, QSO, DL The Arab Revolt 1916-18 by Gustav Fithen

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Photomontage of civil strife in Syria by Thomas Gibbens What does Turkey’s relationship with Syria mean to the region, the West and to itself? By Kaan Tuncel Where to now Israel? Israel’s foreign policy challenges by Mr M. Jennings Photomontage of recent events in Iran by Thomas Gibbens American Foreign Policy towards the Middle East 2011 by Professor J. Ralph, Leeds University Defining a U.S. role in the Arab Spring by Dr H. Kissinger tHE lASt WORD

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Reflections on the First Gulf War by Major General P. Cordingley DSO, DSc, FRGS Page 31 intERnAtiOnAl RElAtiOnS ARtiClES Map & commentary of Dictatorial Leaders in the Middle East of 2011 by Abidine Sakande & Johannes Wullenweber Photomontage of the Tunisian Revolution by Thomas Gibbens Tunisia, the first of the Arab Spring revolutions by Thomas O’Dell Photomontage of the Egyptian Revolution by Thomas Gibbens 1001 Egyptian Knights: A Drama in Three Acts – Egypt and the on-going revolution by Amy Haines The Libyan Revolution by Jenny Elwin

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Welcome to the first issue of Timeline, the Ardingly College Journal of History and International Relations. Timeline combines these two important and popular subjects into one publication so that current and historical themes can be explored and their significance over time more fully understood. That explains why the Journal is called Timeline. So why choose the Middle East as Timeline’s first theme? Well, since work on this began back in the summer of 2011 and this journal’s purpose is to examine the relationship between the past and the present, I could think of no more appropriate and relevant case study to our time than the Middle East. Over the last 18 months, the attention of the world has been captivated by civil wars in Libya and Syria and by revolutions and other popular protests in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere. Consequently, a number of the articles by Ardingly students in the second half of the journal reflect this. However, last year the West took more than just an interest in the Middle East. In the case of Libya, NATO’s military intervention raised the paradigm of the often stormy relationship between the West and the Middle East. Professor Ralph’s article explores how the West’s method of legitimising its use of force may cause it further problems with other countries on the UN security council as well as the Middle East in the future should the need for intervention arise again. With the conflict in Syria unresolved that situation is more than just a possibility. With the grim spectre of the West’s lengthy and costly involvement in Afghanistan, Dr Henry Kissinger’s article explores how one western country, the U.S. is reaching for a new role during this prolonged Arab Spring. He explains what challenges and choices the U.S. government is facing. These themes and tough choices are echoed throughout the West. Israel too has had to seriously rethink its foreign relations not just with its former allies but also Iran and Palestine. Much of the future of the region (and potentially the world) hangs upon how successfully Israel is in maintaining peace with these two volatile neighbours. Furthermore, the problem of determining foreign policy towards the Middle East is not new. Over the last few millennia, the West’s relationship with the Middle East has been plagued with ambitious power struggles that have erupted into war. Timeline’s first few articles explore these in relation to the strategically significant locations of Megiddo, Jerusalem and Constantinople. They have formed the backdrop for much of the history of the region and it is not hard to see why. Articles from Mr Mclean, Mr Kendry and myself, illustrate that at different times, these places have been centres and cross roads of civilisation, culture, economic strength and religious zeal. Altogether, ownership of them has brought prestige and power; thus explaining why they have been so regularly contested. Indeed, so has much of the Middle East at one time or another. Timeline charts a number of these conflicts from the Crusades right the way through to the First Gulf War of 1991. In particular, articles by Mr Alston and Major General Cordingley explore many of the interesting and indeed controversial aspects of these conflicts including the reasons for Britain’s involvement in them. Both authors have considerable experience of working in the Middle East in their respective diplomatic and military roles and we are very fortunate to be able to view these conflicts through their experienced eyes. But what of the architects of these wars, the warrior kings, sultans and generals? Articles by Tobias Chesser, Charles Ward and Gustav Fithen, explore the significance of the role of the individual in shaping the outcomes of major historical change. This issue examines two of the Middle Ages’ most iconic leaders, Richard the Lionheart and Saladin, and how their destinies and the fate of the Middle East became inextricably linked. Similarly, a further article explores the Arab Revolt and the important part played by T. E. Lawrence. After all, the study of History should also be about significant people as well as events and themes. On that subject, I want to thank my fellow editor and 6th form medieval history student, Charles Ward whose calm manner and conscientious dedication to this project made it happen. His persistence in pursuing articles from fellow students was invaluable. I also want to thank all the other contributors from their many different backgrounds. They are an eclectic lot and so are their submissions. Consequently, this journal is all the richer for them. To them, I am very grateful for their labours. Do please write in to respond to the views expressed in their articles or even to contribute an article yourself to our next issue. For more on how to do that please visit the inside back page. Mr M. Jennings, Summer 2012 Editor

As a student of Ardingly College, I feel especially proud and privileged to be able to say I have had the opportunity to contribute something of significant value to the College. Timeline is a brand new publication with a unique angle organised by the Head of History, Mr Jennings, and myself. The magazine successfully integrates the rich and fascinating world of History with current international affairs which so populate the news today. Our aim is to involve the students of Ardingly College in Timeline by encouraging them to contribute pieces about areas of history or current happenings which particularly interest them. We wish to nurture an interest in the broader subject of History which we hope will not only be passed on to the readers but also encourage them to think and explore further about the issues arising from their articles. I am pleased to report that within the up and coming pages, a plethora of eclectic contributions (modern and medieval alike) from around the world have been submitted. These range from the likes of the Siege of Jerusalem, to dynamic maps plotting the rise of the Arab Spring. Ladies and gentleman, I present to you, Ardingly College’s History and International Relations Journal, Timeline! Charles Ward (U6th)

“And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Harmaggedon.”
Tel Megiddo and the Politics of the Middle East
Mr D. Mclean

The third battle is surprisingly modern; Megiddo was the place at which the British Army, under General Edmund Allenby, defeated the Turkish Ottoman troops under the command of the German General Liman Von Sanders in September 1918. It was this battle that broke the stalemate that had emerged after the British capture of Jerusalem late in 1917. Yet again, though it had been uninhabited for over 2500 years, Megiddo played a pivotal role in the development of the Middle East. It contributed immensely to the downfall of the Ottoman Empire and affected the lives of millions of people. This significance continues to be recognised to the present day and Megiddo was the site of Pope Paul VI’s talks in 1964 with the Israeli President and Prime Minister. Though the Derekh ha-Yam fell into disuse as a trade route long ago, the strategic importance of a little hill a few miles south-west of Nazareth means that it is not hard to see why John the Evangelist, when writing the Book of Revelation, chose Megiddo as the site of his last battle in which the returned Christ would defeat the Devil. We might not all be expecting an impending apocalypse but we can certainly agree that a place so vitally important over many thousands of years of history could very possibly be so again in the future. Indeed, it might well be thought of as an unfortunate symbol of the unsettling and unresolved religious and political tensions of the Levant. Dan McLean is Head of Divinity and Philosophy at Ardingly College. Before arriving at Michaelmas 2011 he read Theology at Oriel College, Oxford and prior to that he served for five years as an officer in the Royal Navy.
Viscount Allenby of Megiddo Left: Egyptian War Chariot

The word ‘Armageddon’ conjures images of destruction, judgement and terror. Indeed, the quotation in the title is from the Book of Revelation, describing the last battle before God’s judgement. Yet the name appears to be the anglicisation of a quiet little hill in Israel – Har (or Tel) Megiddo. How has this quiet backwater of the Jezreel Valley come to be associated with the eschaton and with divine judgement? The answer lies in its strategic position. This has made it a very important staging post for approximately nine thousand years and may continue to symbolise the importance of the area to this day. Megiddo was first occupied in approximately 7000 BC for reasons that ensured its survival for several thousand years. The great civilisations of Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) needed a route to the Mediterranean in order to engage in trade. However, as the crow flies, they are divided from the sea by desert, making a short journey impossible. Therefore, in order to reach the ports they were compelled to travel northwest before turning south into the relatively lush lands of Israel and Judah; Megiddo stood at the head of this trade route, the strategically important ‘Derekh ha-Yam’, or ‘The Way of the Sea’. It is not surprising, therefore, that it has been the site of at least three decisive battles in history; it continues to play a symbolic role in the relationship between the east and west.

The first battle took place in April 1457 BC between Pharaoh Thutmose III of Egypt and the combined rebel forces of the Mitanni people of Kadesh, and the Canaanites of Megiddo. A decisive Egyptian victory on the battlefield led to a seven month siege of the city. Consequently the engagement led directly to the expansion of the Egyptian empire to its greatest ever extent, spreading north until it bordered on the lands of the Hittite empire (modern Turkey and Syria). Thankfully Thutmose did not destroy the city and it lived on, but it appears that the site has not been occupied since the Babylonian invasion of 586 BC. Even so, its importance continued. The second battle, approximately 850 years after the first, in 609 BC, was equally significant and indeed is recorded twice in the Bible; King Josiah of Judah refused Pharaoh Necho II of Egypt permission to travel through his country to fight the Babylonians further north in Syria. In response Necho attacked the assembled Judahite forces, his archers killing Josiah in the process. This was the beginning of the downfall of the independent state of Judah. It spelled the end of an independent Jewish state as on his return from Syria Necho also deposed Josiah’s son and imposed his own candidate as King. Megiddo thus again played an important part in the socio-political development of the ancient world.




A Theological History of Jerusalem in Three Faiths
Mr. A.D. Kendry

“Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion, city of our God; He whose word cannot be broken formed thee for His own abode; on the Rock of Ages founded, what can shake thy sure repose? With salvation’s walls surrounded, thou may’st smile at all thy foes.” John newton (1779)
Jerusalem seems to have existed from the very earliest times of human settlement in the Near East. The first references to it come from the second millennium BC when it might best be termed a small, independent city-state within a loose confederation of Caananite settlements. It was to grow in significance, both politically and religiously, until it can lay claim today to being the undisputed religious capital of the world: sacred to, and fought over by, the great religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This status brings with it a blessing and a curse for an historian. On the one hand we have a wealth of written and physical material – probably unparalleled for any other city – with which to help us reconstruct its past. On the other hand, perhaps equally unparalleled is the level of agenda that these sources demonstrate. No one is neutral about Jerusalem. The city rose to prominence in the tenth century BC. A relatively insignificant town prior to this, it was chosen by the first king of Israel, David, as his capital. The choice was an odd one. Jerusalem, although in possession of several natural springs, is not obviously well-provided for in terms of natural resources and is only moderately-defensible in terms of topography. Its chief recommendation seems to be that it was fairly central in terms of the territory controlled by the House of David. To support the innovation of monarchy and its new capital, David also relocated the Ark of the Covenant – the preeminent cult-object of Yahweh, the Israelite high god – to the city. This meant that Jerusalem was also to become the primary cultic centre in ancient Israel and created a powerful political link between the kingship and religious worship. The following centuries saw the gradual suppression of other religious sites and of the cults of rival gods, centralizing all power – sacred and profane – within the ‘Holy City’, whose fortunes were often directly equated with those of the Jewish people. Jerusalem, put simply, is where God dwelt among His people. Arguably the greatest calamity in Jerusalem’s history was the city’s destruction in AD 70. The four year revolt of the Roman province of Judaea culminated in a savage assault on the city that is described in unremittingly-horrific detail by Flavius Josephus in his Jewish War. Internal conflict and severe food shortages, with the consequent starvation and disease, led to the

city falling to the forces of Titus after an eight month siege. The final battle took place in the precincts of the Temple itself where the defenders expected the imminent intervention of the Messiah on their behalf and to save the Temple. His non-appearance led to the Temple and city being almost completely destroyed; its population crucified or enslaved. By this time, Jerusalem was the third largest city of the Roman Empire and the Temple – recently totally rebuilt by Herod the Great – was considered a wonder of the world. Judaea was an economically and politically significant province – the primary source of date and olive oil production in the Empire, with a military-strategic location bordering Rome’s only real rival for world domination. Its destruction sent ripples throughout the Empire: the city ruins were garrisoned and a large standing army remained for several decades as a desecrating presence on the Temple Mount. Following a second bloody revolt under Simeon bar Kochba in AD 132-135, who re-took Jerusalem as his messianic capital, the Roman’s razed the city and rebuilt it as a Roman town, Aelia Capitolina.

The Jews were banished from setting foot within its precincts on pain of death. The Temple Mount became a Temple to Jupiter Capitolinus. After the Peace of the Church in AD 313 and Constantine’s official favouring of Christianity, the fledgling Christian community increased in size but Jerusalem still remained a small Roman town, far from the trade routes with political – and Christian – influence in Judaea still concentrated on the Mediterranean ports to the west. It was the pilgrimage of the Emperor’s mother, Helena, to the city in AD 325 and her apparent rediscovery of the True Cross that inspired a renewed devotion to the city, this time amongst the Christian population of the Empire. Jerusalem was rebuilt with grand churches over the sites of the Lord’s life and Passion and the city thrived. The old Temple Mount remained abandoned as a deliberate sign of the supersession of the Jewish religion. However, Jerusalem still remained a fraction of its former self in terms of population and size. It had no political power and

evolution in international politics downplayed the significance of the frontier province. What the city had regained was its theological significance: even for the exiled Jews, the longing for a return to Jerusalem became codified in their liturgy which looked for an end to their exile from their spiritual home and the restoration of Temple worship. In the mid-seventh century, the rapid military successes of early Islam led to the capturing of the city in AD 638, only six years after the death of Muhammad. The city had, by now, regained some of its commercial and strategic significance. Nevertheless the capture of Jerusalem had, more importantly, a religious significance for the early Muslims for two reasons. Firstly, the Prophet explicitly saw his revelation as a continuation and fulfilment of the Jewish and Christian narrative and thus recognised Jerusalem as a city especially sacred to God. The ‘Rock’ on which the Holy of Holies of the Jerusalem Temple had stood was in Islam – as in Judaism – recognised as the foundation stone and centre of the world and the burial place of

Relief from the Arch of Titus

View of Jerusalem



remained barred from stepping Adam. Indeed, in the early years of The Crusaders, many inspired foot on the Temple Mount, where Muhammad’s movement the qibla with deep religious fervour and the Western Wall was all that devotion, succeeded in expelling – the direction of prayer – was not the Kaaba in Mecca but rather the Muslim occupiers in AD 1099 remained of the Second Temple of Jesus’ time. The Christian holy and proclaimed the Kingdom of the abandoned Temple Mount in sites were mostly administered by Jerusalem. A victory Mass was Jerusalem to the north. Despite a small community of Franciscan duly celebrated at the Church of the change within Muhammad’s friars, although fights – often the Holy Sepulchre and the Relic lifetime, one of the earliest acts of physical – broke out sporadically of the True Cross –which the the Muslim occupiers was to erect between the different Christian Crusaders had taken their symbol the Dome of the Rock on this communities remaining in the city. – venerated and triumphantly site. This was a conspicuous and ever-visible reminder to Christians processed around the city. The The modern period of Jerusalem Dome of the Rock and the other of the Islamic ownership of the is especially complex. After the mosques within the city limits Holy City – the Dome being in were converted into churches. This expiring of the British mandate direct line of site for Christians in 1948, it was intended that Crusader state lasted a century upon leaving the Church of the the city become an Holy Sepulchre after autonomous political Mass. The second entity. However, reason was the early “The Palestinian people … desire an identification of the independent Muslim state with East Jerusalem the plan was not implemented before site of the destination asits capital. The Jewish state of israel is the British withdrawal of the mysterious unwilling, both on religious and strategic and the war that ‘Night Journey’ of grounds, to countenance any division ensued after the the ‘Night of Power’ of the city.” Declaration of the of Muhammad with State of Israel led to the Temple Mount. the city being partitioned, with the According to this tradition alluded before a Muslim reconquest eastern half becoming Jordanian lost the lands of the Christians to in the Qur’an, the Prophet territory. During this period access – apparently conclusively. After had journeyed spiritually on a to Jewish and Christian sites was the sacking of the city by Saladin horse-like cryptid to ‘the farther severely curtailed to members of in 1187, most of the Christians sanctuary’, whence he had leaped those communities and many sites were expelled and Jews and up to heaven to commune with allegedly desecrated. Jordan joined Muslims encouraged to return. the company of former prophets. the Arab alliance against Israel The site of the former Temple thus The Dome of the Rock became a in the 1967 Six Day War, which mosque once more, though the became the third-holiest site of ended in an impressive Israeli Islam in its own right – an accolade Holy Sepulchre, whilst partially victory. East Jerusalem was captured demolished, remained a church. it retains today. and the united city declared the Over the following five centuries capital of greater Israel. To date, the city’s fortunes, size, and Unbroken Muslim occupation of only the USA has moved its political significance waxed and the Holy City lasted nearly five embassy from Tel Aviv to the city waned. By the beginning of the centuries until the First Crusade and the former is still recognised as twentieth century Jerusalem was when Pope Urban II’s call for the ‘official’ capital of the State of a small town forming part of the a recapturing of the Holy Sites Israel by the United Nations. This British mandate of Palestine. The associated with the life of Christ divisive situation remains one of population was predominantly met with a genuinely popular the major points of conflict in the Muslim, with small Jewish response across Europe. Israeli-Palestinian relationship. The and Christian minorities. Jews

Israeli Parade in 1968 after 6 day war

Palestinian and Israeli Protestors protest outside Hebrew University

of Mount Zion came to be believed of the State of Israel. For many of Palestinian people, the majority to be the place where God had laid its citizens, the religious claims to of whom are citizens of Israel, the foundations of the world, so to the city function as an annoyance desire an independent Muslim Jerusalem is the place where this and a barrier to a lasting political state with East Jerusalem as its story will reach fulfilment. Despite peace. Yet for the religious its capital. The Jewish state of Israel stones bear the footprints of priests, the fractured, bloody, and violent is unwilling, both on religious and history of the city it is Jerusalem prophets, and kings. For them, strategic grounds, to countenance that is looked to any division of the city. as an analogue Whilst access to the of Heaven itself. Western Wall is now “The most holy spot on earth is Syria; the The conclusion open to Jews, the Temple most holy spot in Syria is Palestine; the most of the Bible sees Mount remains a Muslim holy spot in Palestine is Jerusalem; the most the renewal of the holy place and any plans holy spot in Jerusalem is the Mountain; the world pouring forth by the Jewish orthodox most holy spot in Jerusalem is the place of from a transfigured to restore sacrificial worship, and the most holy spot in the place Zion, “prepared as worship on the site seems of worship is the Dome.” a bride, adorned for unlikely to be fulfilled her husband” (Rev. in any conceivable Thawr ibn yazid, c770AD 21: 2b). Amidst the future. The Christian religious strife of the presence, based around city, and the attempts to resolve it, Jerusalem is not any other city, different sites, remains stable but it is vital to recall that it is this New and never could be. The Mount of small and politically insignificant. Jerusalem that is being fought over. Olives, outside the old walled city, Since Bethlehem found itself in Palestinian-administrated territory, is covered with separate cemeteries belonging to the Jewish, Christian, Adam Kendry read Theology at its Christian population has Oxford University and has taught and Islamic faiths. The graves are decreased significantly and this orientated to the east, the direction at Ampleforth before becoming trend seems likely to continue. Head of Divinity and Philosophy from which the Messiah will enter at Ardingly College. He is an the City at the end of days. Today, Jerusalem lives in a tense Anglican theologian and Subpeace, a secular capital as well lieutenant (Rn) and about to For the three faiths for whom as a Holy City. It has grown join the Submarine Operations Jerusalem is sacred, its history is considerably in terms of size and and Strategy Branch. population since the establishment not yet complete. Just as the Rock



Axel Fithen This article tells the end of an incredible story and what was also an extraordinary journey. It all began in November 1095. Pope Urban II held a council of the Church at Clermont in France where he discussed ordinary papal matters such as corruption within the church as well as the consequences of the King of France’s adultery. However, on the last day, Urban addressed thousands in the fields outside the town, to make an extraordinary speech. It sparked one of the greatest conflicts of the entire medieval period which saw its conclusion in the city of Jerusalem. “A grave report has come ...that a race absolutely alien to God...has invaded the land of the Christians...They have either razed the churches of God to the ground or enslaved them to their own rites...They cut open the navels of those they choose to torment...drag them around and flog them before killing them as they lie on the ground with all their entrails out...What can I say of the appalling violation of women? On whom does the task lie of avenging this, if not on you?...Take the road to the Holy Sepulchre, rescue that land and ....Take this road for the remission of your sins, assured of the unfading glory of the kingdom of heaven.” When Pope Urban came to a close the crowd erupted into a religious frenzy chanting “Deus vult! Deus vult!” (“God wills it! God wills it!”) In this powerful speech, Pope Urban II launched what would become the First Crusade. Four years later having marched through Europe to Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine empire and then on through Anatolia into the holy land, fighting hard battles at Nicaea (May 1097,) Dorylaeum (June 1097,) Edessa (mid-1097 to early 1098) and Antioch (1097-98,) the crusader contingents of approximately 1,300 knights and 12,500 footmen, reached Jerusalem on 7th of June 1099. These men had travelled to the centre of their world under the Papal promise of remission for all their sins. They reached the sacred city, where Christ had been crucified, and indeed for many of these warrior pilgrims, it was a moment of extreme piety. Tancred, the nephew of the founder of the principality of Antioch, Bohemond, saw Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives and sank to his knees saying he would gladly sacrifice his life for the opportunity to kiss the church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site of Christ’s crucifixion. On nearing the city the Crusader force surrounded it, concentrating their forces on two main sections. Raymond of Saint-Gilles took a force to the southwestern corner, while the remaining force, under Godfrey of Bouillon and Tancred, laid siege to the north-western district of the city. Early attacks were unsuccessful, especially in the north-western district which was defended by a double wall of colossal height. An attack on the 13th June failed due to a shortage of wooden ladders to scale the city walls. However, just as the Crusaders’ journey appeared to have fatally stalled, deliverance was at hand, just as it had been so many times over the previous four years. Firstly, two Genoese ships arrived at the port of Jaffa supplying timber and other materials to build siege engines. Tancred himself is credited with solving the problem of the lack of other supplies. It seems while searching for a place to seek relief as a result of suffering from a case of terrible diarrhoea, he discovered a cave filled with timber. This was of course seen as divine intervention and a sign of God’s will that the city should fall to the Christians and the atrocities committed by the Muslims should be avenged.

Top: 1st Crusade Above top: siege of Jerusalem during the first crusade Bottom: 1st Crusaders - show the crusaders the way to the Jerusalem Above: 1099 Siege of Jerusalem



Meanwhile the Crusaders were becoming increasingly restless for a resolution to this siege. Hunger, exhaustion and more importantly, news had arrived that an army of muslim reinforcements had been sent to break the siege. The Crusaders desperately needed a swift conclusion to the siege and on the night of the 13th of July an answer was found. Under cover of darkness Duke Godfrey ordered his siege tower to be taken apart and reconstructed a mile to the east of its current position. Godfrey had discovered a less well defended section of the city’s walls with a flatter approach for the siege tower. It was perfect. At dawn the following morning Godfrey launched his attack. The crusaders managed to breach the wall, however they encountered fierce resistance from the besieged army who may have used Greek fire, a naptha based substance, which cannot be extinguished by water. Around midday the crusaders managed to force the Muslim defenders to flee and abandon their defensive positions on the wall immediately in front of the siege tower. At this moment Godfrey ordered his siege tower to lower its bridge onto the wall. As Crusaders poured into the city, Muslim resistance quickly collapsed. Thousands of Muslims, Jews, Christians, men, women and children were massacred. William of Tyre, writing around the 1180’s described the slaughter: ‘Everywhere lay fragments of human bodies, and the very ground was covered with the blood of the slain. Still more dreadful was it to gaze upon the victors themselves, dripping with blood from head to foot’ The Kingdom of Jerusalem was founded through this barbarity and it would stand for nearly a century until Saladin’s rise to power and political infighting among the Crusader kingdoms would see its fall to the Muslims in 1187. The events of that siege have lived long in the consciousness of Muslims and Christians ever since. But they have taken on a greater importance still. They have shaped more than just the heritage of those that continue to live there. They have become part of the complicated political tapestry that is Jerusalem, Israel and the Middle East.

Was the ability of Jerusalem’s rulers the main reason for the survival of the estates during the twelfth century?
Anastasia Harrington

It can be argued that the survival of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem during the twelfth century was due to the ability of its rulers; however there were other factors that enabled its survival. These included the relative disunity and weakness of real and potential enemies, the support from western powers, and the Crusaders’ military capabilities. In July 1099 Jerusalem was conquered by the Crusaders and established as a Crusader Kingdom. Between 1101 and 1110 the Crusader estates in the region were extended as the Principality of Antioch and the County of Tripoli; these extended the geographical area under Crusader control in to a continuous line along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean from south of Jerusalem. Even so, the Crusader states were a long way from potential western allies, with long and uncertain supply lines. This meant that the rulers had to be able administrators and diplomats to ensure that they could marshal limited resources and create alliances to counter these problems, as well as being effective military leaders to repel enemy attacks, expand and consolidate territorial gains. This required exceptional leadership and as fulcher of Chartres noted when Baldwin I was crowned, “the King would need energy to conquer the Muslims in battle, or...compel them to make peace.” The ability of Baldwin I shows how an effective ruler was able to ensure the survival of the Kingdom of Jerusalem during the early part of the twelfth century.


Map of Jerusalem from 1099

Route of the First Crusaders’

Two mighty siege towers were constructed by the crusaders, each about fifty feet tall and built on wheeled platforms complete with a mighty battering ram. During their construction, one man was said to have had a vision of the spiritual leader of the crusade, Adhemar of Le Puy, who had died at Antioch the previous year. In the vision Adhemar had advised the warriors of Christendom to stage a procession to the Mount of Olives, the place where Christ ascended into heaven. The leaders of the crusading contingents, fearful of disobeying God’s wishes, duely obliged. Barefoot, taking crosses and relics, thousands of crusaders ventured down the valley of Jehoshaphat praying and seeking God’s favour.

King Baldwin II

During his reign, Baldwin I (1100-1118) continued the process of consolidating territorial gains and securing supply routes across the Mediterranean Sea with the taking of coastal cities; with Acre falling to the Christians in 1104 and Beirut and Sidon were taken in 1110, (with help from a large force of Norwegian Crusaders under King Sigurd). The armies of the Kingdom of Jerusalem fought annual battles against the Egyptians in the South and the Damascenes,


when the Damascenes were not allied with the frankish Crusaders against the Muslims of Northern Syria, who were a common enemy. Additionally, Baldwin I’s reputation as a ruler was enhanced by his construction of Montreal Castle in Transjordan, and by extending Crusader command of the region east of the River Jordan and the Dead Sea, down to the Red Sea port of Eilat. This resulted in a valuable increase in revenue as traders between Damascus to Egypt had to pay taxes to traverse the area. As a monarch he held his nobles in close control for much of his reign until he died in April 1118. Such successful military action, with the resulting increase in revenue, the ability to establish a working relationship with new allies and an enemy against a common enemy required great skill. Together with establishing a more cohesive Kingdom and improving the supply routes to Jerusalem via the ports, may be why Baldwin I’s rule is regarded as successful. The reputation of strong Crusader leadership by the Kings of Jerusalem was reinforced by Baldwin II when he restored control and order in Antioch after the field of Blood 1119, although this reduced Crusader resources. This reputation for strong and successful military leadership may have inspired continued support from European powers and individuals to continue on a Crusade. Baldwin II also continued a policy of local alliances and diplomacy to reinforce regional support. This shows that the early Crusaders may have followed a pragmatic social practice that reinforced the ability of the Kingdom to survive. Although the franks dominated the regions they conquered, imposing hierarchies of power with themselves at the top, the societies they initiated depended on employing the local population. Lack of manpower and military resources in the early days did not make segregation or discrimination a practical decision, rather integration proved crucial to survival. frankish authorities tolerated racial and religious diversity in the ports of Acre, Tripoli and Tyre because the value of the indigenous population to the political economy was understood. Baldwin II’s marriage created

a union with the Armenian Church’s patriarchs. While Baldwin’s example may have been a diplomatic success and set an example to others, following the field of Blood, relations between the religious communities’ hardened and integrated marriages were banned. A church council at Nablus early in 1120 forbade sexual relations between Christians and Muslims, so undermining the example set by Baldwin II and potentially reducing the influence of future rulers. Such divisions in society probably robbed the Crusader states of a potential workforce, which in turn meant it was not economically self-sufficient and became dependent on external supplies. Within the Crusader States, the early leaders of each estate showed strong allegiance to the ruler of Jerusalem and support for new campaigns, so that they were able to make up for the shortage of manpower by acting as a unified force. for example, despite having conquered Jerusalem and Caesarea, a new Crusade was summoned to conquer Antioch, 300 miles away. Many deserters of the first Crusade, such as Stephen de Blois, came back on this Crusade, reaching its destination in 1102. This Crusade shows the importance that the rulers gave to keeping state to state communication secure and protect the physical route between Jerusalem and other Crusader states to allow swift movement between them. Nonetheless, this seems to have often been a local responsibility as each estate had its own defences to keep overland communication routes open with its neighbours and defend its borders. Successful, mutual support from the rulers of Jerusalem reinforced their reputation and may have strengthened the internal allegiances, so enabling more effective rule. The death of Baldwin II in August 1131 marked the end of the first generation of Crusader rulers and the initial passion that first drove the Crusaders. Without a male heir this gave rise to different factions jostling for power and increasing disunity within the Crusader states. To try to prevent this, Baldwin II named his successor, Count fulk V of Anjou, and his acceptance demonstrated the desire to maintain

Kerak Castle

a strong continuous line of leaders within the main kingdom itself and an ongoing loyalty to protect the Holy City from the ‘infidel’. Although early Muslim weakness and disunity meant that enemy threats were not too problematic, frequent skirmishes, and border raids meant that the Crusader kingdoms had to develop from a politically based society to a military one. Additionally, the Muslim enemy was becoming increasingly unified under the concept of jihad, so that by August 1st 1119 the forces of the first Crusade were defeated at the battle of Sarmada, in the ‘field of Blood’ by Turks under Tel-Danith. However, the Crusaders under Baldwin II were able to defeat the advancing Turks two weeks later thus indicating that the King’s leadership and tactics were still strong enough to fight off the enemy despite the previous losses against the other estate leaders. The defeat of Roger of Antioch and the wiping out of the frankish army at the field of Blood in 1119 forced the Crusader states to realise the necessity of developing stronger, more effective military defences against the Muslim fighters. As a counter to this threat, new military

orders were founded, under the radical new concept of warrior monks, and castles, built as strategic outposts, grew in importance throughout the twelfth century, paralleling the rise of Muslim threat. The warrior monks eased the drastic lack of manpower but did not solve the problem completely. These castles were primarily defensive and designed to strike fear and caution into the enemy, but due to the lack of manpower they were not of great military value. They were often built in remote areas and lack of manpower meant that commanders were faced with either abandoning the castles to fight the enemy or withdrawing into the castles and facing a less than promising siege. Muslim defences however were urban which made their cities difficult to breach. However, the castles did help to secure trade routes, provided centres of administration and a concentration of warriors that could launch raids or attacks when necessary. Jonathan Philips believed they had a significant advantage, “...key to holding onto territory was the control of castles and fortified sites...” This shows that the military order played another vital role alongside the previous one of links to the west, showing that there were other reasons for the survival of the kingdom of Jerusalem besides its rulers. Despite the support that the Crusaders were willing to give to the leaders in Jerusalem, the struggling kingdom was also dependent on vital western support from the beginning. This support was sometimes conditional upon achieving the objectives of other rulers and may have served to undermine the survival of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The 1108 campaign created a major development in the crusading idea of a Holy War against the supposed infidel and this weakened support from the Byzantines to the Crusaders. As the battle to overtake the Byzantines in Durazzo failed, Bohemond became an imperial vassal to Emperor Alexius. This crusade again demonstrates how help from the west was valued by the Kingdom of Jerusalem in upholding their Holy City; however it also demonstrates the uneven and distrustful relationship between some Crusaders and the Byzantines that undermined the effectiveness of the rulers of Jerusalem to make and enforce



robust alliances which could not be undone by western powers or other Crusaders following their own agendas. Support often came at a price that meant that some areas were outside the authority of the rulers of Jerusalem. for example, when Venetian fleets assisted with the capture of Sidon and Syrian coastal cities, the Venetians demanded as payment for their assistance to be the virtually autonomous owners of parts of the Holy Land and this was granted through the Pactum Warmundi. By having to surrender authority to a ‘foreign power’ within the state suggests that the Crusaders were dependent on external support to maintain and expand their territory and their limited options available may have forced them to part with valuable prizes to secure that support. The development of these coastal cities opened up trade routes, strengthening links to the West and the Byzantine Empire, establishing thriving markets dependent on the Italian city state trade, e.g. the Venetians owned one third of Tyre. Arguably, the success of these trade cities helped the survival of the Kingdom of Jerusalem by increasing economic activity, but by representing a ‘foreign power’ within its state, it may be argued that the kingdom was further fragmented and left the rulers of Jerusalem with another powerful group within its borders whose demands they had to consider. Having regional, individual authorities ruling areas within the Crusader states meant that the Crusaders were not always united. Consequently, the rulers of Jerusalem were often faced with dealing with internal issues as well as external threats. Indeed civil war threatened or broke out four times after 1130. This shows that the Crusader states were dependent on external supplies and support for their survival and it was not always within their power to control it. This also suggests that the

Crusaders were too small and fragmented a force to ensure the survival of the Kingdom. While economic success may have created trade links with Italian city states, there is no evidence that this wealth enabled the Crusader states to develop economic independence. However, the effective military leadership and ability to inspire further action seems to have ensured the early survival of the Kingdom. Although it is apparent that the leader of Jerusalem had a vital impact and contribution to the survival of the kingdom during the twelfth century it is also clear that the other factors such as the support from the west and initial weakness of the enemy played a vital part, suggesting that the leaders were not the only reason.

John Gibson

Just short of ninety years after the crusading force of Pope urban II’s iconic first crusade captured the Holy City of Jerusalem from the Islamic forces that occupied it, Saladin, the Islamic ‘Holy warrior’, was to re-take the city that was the centre of the medieval religious world. Saladin had previously attempted to attack the Kingdom of Jerusalem in the autumn of 1177, however due to the efforts of Baldwin IV, its famous Leper King, he had been defeated ignominiously at the battle of Mont Gisard. On this return attack ten years later, Saladin had with him over 42,000 men, described by a contemporary eyewitness as a pack of ‘old wolves [and] rending lions’. The opposition that Saladin faced was a broken and disjointed kingdom. With the death of the former king Baldwin IV in 1185 clear lines of leadership had broken down and the significantly weakened

state was rallied under the previous regent and newly crowned, Guy of Lusignan. Odds had shifted decidedly in favour of the Islamic forces. Saladin had only to defeat the crusader army and the Holy City was his. Or so it seemed…

kingdoms was to be delivered. Taking the fortress of Tiberias, Count Raymond of Tripoli’s personal fortress, on the 2nd of July Saladin had ‘laid his trap’ (Asbridge) for the crusaders, as Raymond’s wife was trapped at Tiberias at the time. Raymond remained, despite the potential

‘The devil seduced [Guy] into doing the opposite of what he had in mind and made to seem good to him what was not his real wish and intention. So he left the water and set out towards Tiberias… through pride and arrogance’.
The decisive battle in the re-capture of Jerusalem was not fought at, or particularly near to, the Holy City itself. Saladin instead drew out the Crusader army to Hattin where the final blow to the crusader for his loss, calm, and advised Guy to refrain from engaging the Islamic force claiming, it would break apart like so many before it. It was to be Reynald of Châtillon and the Templar master Gerard of Ridefort

Map of the Frankish states

Sources T. Asbridge, The Crusades: The War for the Holy Land, Simon & Schuster Ltd (2012) J. Phillips, A Modern History of the Crusades, Vintage (2010)



who offered up an opposing view. Reynald advised Guy to disregard the count’s advice and take the battle to Saladin. Asbridge suggests that despite the council of those around him it most likely Guy’s own experience four years earlier that informed his decision that night. Guy had been presented with a near identical decision in 1183 and had eschewed battle with Saladin, granting him only derision and demotion. The decision, however, to advance toward Tiberias was believed fatal by even Saladin, as he wrote in a letter immediately after the battle: ‘The devil seduced [Guy] into doing the opposite of what he had in mind and made to seem good to him what was not his real wish and intention. So he left the water and set out towards Tiberias… through pride and arrogance’. The Crusaders marched forth from Saffuriya on the morning of 3rd July and left behind them there a sure supply of water, which was to be the downfall of the army in the battle to come.

The army would have been a menacing sight in full march, as one eye witness states ‘they came, wave after wave… the air stank, the light was dimmed [and] the desert was stunned by their advance’. By noon the army had reached the small village of Turan, where they attempted to replenish their supplies of water. However the small village spring was not sufficient for the many thousands assembled and the army was forced to continue towards the sea of Galilee during the remaining heat of the day. At day’s end, Guy made the decision to make camp in an entirely waterless, indefensible position; a move that played directly into the hands of Saladin. On the following day, 4th of July, the Battle of Hattin took place. The Crusaders had been surrounded by the Islamic forces overnight and were at the mercy of Saladin. The Islamic Holy Warrior ordered his troops to set fire to the scrubs surrounding the crusaders, exacerbating the immense dehydration already

suffered by the Crusaders. This, of course, was not an issue for the well supplied Islamic troops. In the following hours, the Islamic archers and horsemen tore the Crusaders apart, culminating in Guy’s final heroic stand at the Horns of Hattin with the relic of the True Cross. Guy’s plan was to strike at the heart of the Islamic force, Saladin himself, with his heavier and more powerful force of knights. However, despite twice charging over the Horns of Hattin the crusaders were overrun by Islamic forces and day was won by Saladin. The army of the kingdom of Jerusalem was destroyed and the King and their main relic, the true cross, captured. Having crushed the accumulated crusader forces at the battle of Hattin very few were left to defend the Holy Land, one eyewitness claimed that only two knights and their retainers were left in defence of the Holy City when Saladin arrived. Almost immediately after the battle the citadel at Tiberius surrendered and a

week later the coastal city of Acre followed suit. Over the following weeks and months Saladin focused on claiming the remainder of Palestine’s coastal settlements. By September 1187 Saladin had only one intention, the capture of the Holy City itself. Saladin took the Holy City formally on 2nd of October, mirroring the actions of the Islamic prophet Mohamed. In contrast to the actions of the crusaders some ninety years previously Saladin allowed Christians to buy their freedom for up to a month after the capture of the city, ten dinars for a man, five for a woman and one for a child. After the month had ended the remainder of Christians were to be rounded up and enslaved, however this course of action seems charitable in contrast to the ‘bloodbath’ which the original crusaders brought to the city in 1099. And thus, in reality, ended the era of the Kingdom of Jerusalem although it’s King and his few remaining citadels would hold out for many years to come. Nonetheless, Christian domination and control of Jerusalem was at an end and this fateful year, 1187, witnessed the sudden collapse of Christian (and certainly catholic) power in the Middle East.

This double arm gold reliquary cross was made in 12th century Jerusalem. According to the inscription, it contains a splinter of the ‘True Cross.’ A larger part was carried in to battle by the Army of the Jerusalem butwas captured at the Battle of Hattin

Battle of Hattin

King Guy laying down his weapons before Saladin

The Army of Jerusalem from the film, Kingdom of Heaven

Sources T. Asbridge, The Crusades: The War for the Holy Land, Simon & Schuster Ltd (2012) J. Phillips, A Modern History of the Crusades, Vintage (2010)



Charles Ward


Arguably Saladin is the most famous medieval leader of the Muslim world. But who was he, where did he come from, and why is he so famous, especially here in the West? Saladin was the son of Shirkuh who had consolidated his grip on Egypt from 1169-74, and is responsible for uniting the previously fractured and disorganised peoples of Islam. In October 1174 Saladin took control of Damascus, proclaiming himself champion of the Sunni-Orthodox religious element, thereby strengthening Muslim confidence of a unified Muslim world. Saladin had, by that time, gained enough respectability so that the Caliph of Baghdad invested him with the governance of Egypt, Yemen and Syria. The only aspect missing was his lack of kinship to the previous ruler, Nur ad-Din. However this was soon rectified in 1175 when Saladin married Nur ad-Din’s widow. This helped him generate a spiritual link with the previous ruler. With that, Saladin could turn his attention to expansion. However, at the battle of Montisgard in 1177 Saladin’s confidence received a harsh blow. Whilst attempting to attack the kingdom a crusader army led by Baldwin IV surprised him and he only narrowly escaped. Strengthened by their recent successes, the crusaders decided to build a huge castle at a place called Jacob’s ford just 55 miles away from Damascus as a direct challenge to the Muslims. Saladin most certainly answers this call in 1179 with an attack on Jacob’s Ford, which subsequently falls in an astonishingly short period of just four days. From victory to consolidation, this is followed by a two-year peace deal, as Saladin did not yet have the required amount of strength to fight the crusaders and take back Jerusalem. This break, therefore, is an astute military move as during this time he makes a crucial alliance with the Byzantines from 1184-5.

slept in a wooden tower for protection. Saladin’s role also sat uneasily with the Seljuk Turks in Anatolia and with the Seljuk’s of Iran. Many saw him as a threat as he expanded outwards from his base in Egypt into Syria. His use of the Jihad was seen as a tool for political and military ends. For example the two-year truce with the crusaders was considered by his rivals to have been created as an opportunity for Saladin to deal with his co-religionist rivalries. Although the Third Crusade proved unsuccessful, Saladin still suffered blows to his reputation also due to the several small successes of King Richard I such as the Christian forces successfully securing the coastline from Jaffa to Tyre (excluding Ascalon.) Despite the two attempts made by the Christians to take Jerusalem, they were unsuccessful on both accounts. This was partly due to the logistics of taking Jerusalem and the fact that it would be impossible to hold and defend for long once taken. Furthermore, Saladin’s disruption to the crusader’s efforts was the last nail in the coffin for the Crusaders’ and especially Richard the Lionheart’s hopes of entering Jerusalem in triumph. Under Saladin, the forces of Islam had weathered the storm. So what made Saladin so successful? His personal and military skills were exceptional. However, the Jihad became a political and military tool, skilfully used by both Muslim leaders to create a semblance of unity at least in the holy land. Nur ad-Din achieved much, laying the foundations for Saladin to capitalise on, who used the Jihad and his vast resources to attack and to destroy the Crusader Kingdom when it was at its weakest in 1187. But this does not explain his fame. It is as the largely successful opponent of Richard that is why we in the West are familiar with Saladin. For many centuries afterwards, stories of their rivalry were told and legends abounded of their personal bravery and mutual respect as leaders and adversaries. This is not surprising, since it is as true then as it is now; being vanquished by a gallant and formidable foe lessens the pain of failure.

What follows next in the Saladin story is what catapults his fame in to the West’s consciousness; the highly significant battle of Hattin in July 1187 which resulted in a decisive victory for the Muslims. The army of the Kingdom of Jerusalem was all but destroyed and Saladin was left for a time with only small pockets of static opposition. He moved swiftly and as a result of this, Saladin continued his success taking all of the coastal towns with the exception of Tyre, Antioch and Tripoli. By October 1187, the Muslims had taken Jerusalem. However, as J. Philips has written, ‘Saladin’s rise to power was by no means an easy one and should be by no means disregarded.’ Gaining dominance over the Muslim world and gathering the resources needed to defeat the Franks proved difficult for Saladin, as he was not without his Muslim enemies. As guardian of the Sunni orthodoxy, he was the target of two assassination attempts by the Shia assassins in 1175 and from then on he only ever

Saladin’s army before Hattin from the film, Kingdom of Heaven

Bibliography • Crusades: 1095-1197 – Jonathan Phillips • The First Crusade and the Crusader States 1073-1130 –Toby Purser



‘He was a bad son, a bad husband and a bad king, but a gallant and splendid soldier.’
Is this a fair assessment of King Richard the Lionheart?
tobias Chesser

Richard I was the King of England, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Count of Nantes and overlord of Brittany at various times towards the end of the twelfth century. He lived from 1157-1199 and was Henry II’s third legitimate son. He did not expect to ascend to the throne but, as you can see, he ruled over a large kingdom. However, the question is begged, did he rule it well? Many have claimed Richard was a bad son. One of the reasons for this must be how in 1173-1174 he and his brothers decided to abandon their father and seek the refuge of Louis VII, the King of France. This rebellion ended up completely failing, although Henry, Richard’s father, forgave him after he apologized. However, when Richard became heir to the throne he carried on fighting with his father. Another claim about Richard is that he was a bad husband. He certainly had trouble finding a wife. His father tried to find him a good wife so as to make a strong alliance between England and another strong country. After much searching, Henry found him a suitable wife; Alys, the daughter of Louis VII.

Unfortunately, this betrothal ended sooner rather than later, and he ended up marrying Berengaria of Navarre, the first-born daughter of King Sancho VI of Navarre. Richard only had one child, Philip of Cognac, but he was illegitimate. Indeed, there have been many allegations that he had sexual relationships with local women in his campaigns. Another claim is that Richard was a bad King. If looking after your kingdom personally is the sort of thing that is thought to make a good King, it is right. Richard ended up only spending six months of his reign in England. He also wasn’t very tolerant; when Richard was officially crowned on 3rd September 1189, he barred all Jews and Women from the ceremony. However, when some Jewish leaders turned up with gifts for the new King, he stripped and flogged them. Having spent such little time in England, he used all of its resources (including the full treasury he inherited from his father,) to fund his crusades. As William Stubbs said, ‘He was a bad King… his ambition was that of a true soldier: he would fight for anything whatever, but he would sell everything that was worth fighting for. The glory he sought was of victory rather than conquest.’

This leads us on to the final point, namely that Richard ‘was a gallant and splendid soldier’. He spent a lot of his life fighting. He is perhaps most well known for his extraordinarily determined participation and eventual leadership of the third crusade. He never actually conquered Jerusalem, but he came close, and conquered many surrounding places that became Christian strongholds for a long time to come. He didn’t seem to have much compassion, just like a warrior, as on his crusade, he ordered that all 2700 of his Muslim prisoners at Acre should be executed. Richard spent most of his life fighting, as that is what he liked to do. Yet, while retaining his fame as a competent military leader and individual fighter, he soon acquired a different reputation, namely as a gallant and chivalrous Christian hero. Many share this view now. He was known as Richard the Lionheart even before he became king, because of his reputation as a great military leader and warrior. According to the military historian, Allen Brown, he also built, and some say he even designed one of the best castles in Europe at the time, Chateau Gaillard. He certainly spent a small fortune on it, twice as much (£15-20,000) as he spent on repairing all his other castles in England put together (£7000.) When Richard was hit in the neck by a crossbowman during a siege, his surgeon did a very bad job pulling out the arrow. The wound became infected and Richard died. However, before he died, he performed a final act of mercy, he forgave the boy who had shot him and sent him free with 100 shillings, £5 (a lot of money in those days.) This is showing the qualities of a kind and compassionate king. He may have been a pretty bad son to his father, but he was very loyal to his Mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine. When he rebelled against his father he stayed loyal to her. In fact, some historians even say that it was her who manipulated the sons to rebel. Richard died in her arms. Richard showed other qualities of being a good king when he was fighting. He was a very good military commander, and in those days, that was basically what a good king needed to be. He also never let England be invaded. After his death he was known as courageous and generous, a view shared by many now. But you could also say with good justification that he was not a good soldier because on his crusade (which he spent so much money on,) he authorised a massacre, he

never actually conquered Jerusalem and bankrupted England because of his constant warring leading to his successors’ future problems. Overall, I think that Richard was a bad son to one parent, but a good one to the other. He was a bad husband and while not a bad king he was not a good one either. Finally, he was a gallant and splendid soldier and that is probably what we remember him for.

Map of the 3rd Crusade

3rd Crusade massacre at Acre



Mr M. Jennings

Across the Middle East, many uprisings and even regime changes have taken place in 2011. The dates of these will live long in the memory and pass on into History. May 29th, 1453 is not a date many people will recognise today. At the time, news of the fate of Constantinople spread throughout Christendom and many thought it heralded the end of the world or at least the beginning of the end. Conversely, throughout the Muslim world, it became the date for feasting, on a par with the four holiest days. Seemingly, nothing now stood between Islam and a conquest of South-eastern Europe. Christendom lacked the leadership as well as the moral force to undertake a counterattack and within two generations, it would be plunged in to the religious and dynastic turmoil of the Reformation. Within a hundred years, all the remaining Christian territories of South-Eastern Europe would be under Ottoman control and central Europe itself would soon be fighting for its survival on land and at sea. The relations between the Greek and Turkish peoples would be forever marked by the events of that day. Yet, this date’s real significance is that the balance of power shifted eastwards from Europe to the Middle East.

But what had made Constantinople such an important city and its capture so vital to Ottoman progress? Moreover, how had such a strategically vital city become so vulnerable? Constantinople was the capital of the old, Eastern Roman Empire. Through its advantageous geographical position, it bridged Europe and Asia and had become the vital trading base for links to both continents. This had made it extraordinarily wealthy and attracted so many people that by 1100, it had become the largest city in the world with a population estimated at half a million inhabitants. In contrast, other contemporary cities were barely a fiftieth of its size. Under the leadership of great emperors such as Constantine and Justinian (4th and 6th centuries,) it had expanded and conquered its rivals, lasted a thousand years and consolidated an Orthodox branch of Christian worship that remains strong to this day. However, by 1453 Constantinople was a shadow of its former glorious self. Once, the epi-centre of the Byzantine Empire’s grandeur, of Greek and Roman civilisation, of sophistication and culture, it now held very few of its former many treasures. Decline through inept leadership, continual in-fighting

and court intrigues was hastened by catastrophic military defeats at the hands of the Muslim Seljuk Turks at Manzikert in 1071 and a Crusading force of catholic Europeans in 1204. The latter campaign saw the capture and sacking of Constantinople by Christian crusaders manipulated by a vengeful Venetian Doge, Enrico Dandolo! These defeats were inflicted by two military forces that had both cast envious eyes on the bustling and wealthy metropolis of Constantinople and its strategically valuable trading concessions throughout the Mediterranean Sea as well as the Balkans and Asia Minor. For the Ottomans, Constantinople had become an emblem of their previous military failures. Yet, due to a prophecy form the Prophet Mohammed, it was a symbol of future ambitions (the ‘Golden Apple’) to whichever ruler could capture it and above all, the best place for commerce and communication between its twin imperial spheres. For the Crusaders, Constantinople epitomised Greek duplicity and venality, which in the eyes of many in the West, had hindered rather than helped the crusading wars against the Infidel. Prejudice and greed were as strong motivating forces then as they are now.

Sultan Mehmet II

Despite a brief Byzantine resurgence of good fortune through the recapture of Constantinople in 1261, the city remained badly damaged by the effects of previous conquest and the brutal interim Latin governorship. Over the next two centuries, further catastrophes would follow with earthquakes, fires and yet more in-fighting. But the people suffered most from the disastrous Black Death epidemics of 1346-9 that also ravaged the rest of Europe; over half the population died and with them went many of the key trading concessions that had been so vital to Byzantine liquidity. By 1453, the city was exhausted, poor and in considerable disrepair. The great walls built in the 5th century by the Emperor Theodosius were unsound in a number of places although they had been repaired by former Emperor

John VIII. The empire had long since abandoned retaining a large fleet or army to defend itself and relied upon mercenaries. Even the great chain, which had to be dragged across the Golden Horn (a side tributary to the Bosporus itself ) to protect one side of the city’s unusual triangular shape, had been lost. Fortunately for the exceptionally superstitious inhabitants, it was rediscovered in time. The city also lacked influential and powerful friends. Constantine XI, the new and determined emperor, appealed to the West but mostly in vain. Even overtures of spiritual union between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches failed to induce a large military flotilla of Catholics to sail to Constantinople’s aid. While some significant contributions of military support did come from



North Italian city states, these were pitifully small compared to the hefty alliance of European and Middle Eastern mostly Muslim forces facing Constantinople. The City could count on but a few thousand committed followers and professional troops to defend it against the tens of thousands that would be hurled against it. So thin were their numbers that they could not even defend all the stretches of the 20km walls. Constantinople was more than weak: it was vulnerable. Muslim rulers had tried in the past to seize Constantinople. All had failed. Even in 1453, with so favourable a set of circumstances, many influential Ottoman leaders still doubted that the city could be captured. Much would depend upon the leadership of the Ottoman war machine. Its new Sultan, Mehmet II, had been reigning for only two years, but even in that short time this twenty one year old dour and despotic ruler had displayed a high level of military ability. The sea and land routes were systematically cut and new fortifications, like the castle of Rumeli Hisari, were constructed to encircle Constantinople. All dependencies of the Ottoman leader were ordered to provide troops, equipment and supplies. But capturing the city would be no easy task despite its weakened defences. Its sea wall was hard to access but more importantly, its hefty land walls had proved superior to all attacking forces for over a thousand years. Something new was needed. For Mehmet to imitate Joshua and bring down the walls of this Jericho, he would need the fifteenth century equivalent of the Old Testament’s trumpet

and the Ark. Mehmet found it, or rather who; a Hungarian engineer called Orban showed him the way. One wonders whether Constantinople’s refusal to employ Orban had anything to do with his offer to provide his services to Mehmet. This costly mistake would lead to the construction of wonder weapons, huge cannons, some as long as 27 feet capable of firing a 1200 lb (544 kg) cannon ball up to a mile! These weapons could and indeed did bring down the great walls in as little as two weeks. Constantinople’s Muslim enemies had never been stronger. More importantly, they had never been so well led. The fifty-three day siege was punctuated with numerous, bitterly contested battles on sea and land (see map.) Mehmet’s naval forces could not sweep away the small Byzantine defensive fleet and nor could it breach the sea wall. On the other side of the city it similarly failed to break through the great Chain blocking access to the Golden Horn. So, extraordinarily, Mehmet ordered his ships to be transported across land over many miles to enable an attack on the wall from the North. Meanwhile, his artillerymen blasted sections along the land wall only for the gaps to be filled in with earth by desperate defenders who also supported the rear section of the outer walls with more earthen ramparts. Cannons could blast stone walls but not earthen mounds. Mehmet even turned to the ancient craft of tunnelling and employed Serbians under Zaganos Pasha to burrow beneath the outer walls with the aim of firing them and bringing down a large enough section to make a practical breach.

Map of Constantinople

However, the Greeks, probably led by a Scotsman John Grant, counter-tunnelled beneath each of these Ottoman works and in these darkened confines beneath the Theodosian walls, vicious hand-to-hand fighting ensued. This claustrophobic, subterranean mining world of dirt and sweat would suddenly erupt with battle and occasionally by the terrifying use of Greek fire. As the weeks passed, no progress was made here either and so no easy routes under or round the walls could be found. The attackers would have to go over them and at great cost. Both sides had expected this with the bulk of their forces deployed along the northern land walls and especially along a vulnerable section called the Mesoteichion. Giovanni Giustiniani and his 700 well-armed and experienced Genoese volunteers formed the core of the Byzantine defence and were sent to this sector where Mehmet’s forces concentrated their attack. It was just as well for this Genoese commander was an expert in modern siege warfare and had to use every ounce of his military ingenuity to counter the Ottomans’ greater numbers. More significantly though, the arrival of these volunteers gave hope to the Greeks that Christendom would not

abandon them, and if the defenders could resist for a few weeks longer further reinforcements would surely arrive or some disaster might befall their enemies. While the first hope was quite optimistic, although a Venetian fleet did set sail in April, albeit too late, the latter was closer than they realised. Dissension in the Muslim high command grew with each unsuccessful assault and undermined their faith in Mehmet’s leadership. By continuing his assault on Constantinople, he was risking more than just his own soldiers’ lives. Failure could have been fatal for him too. The first assault on the Northern walls was launched at midnight on May 28th by poorly-equipped, mostly Christian auxiliary troops from Ottoman-controlled Europe. Their assault was not well conducted and in the crucial area of the breach, their greater numbers hindered rather than helped their attack. As their casualties mounted and their forward troops failed to break through the main outer wall, Greek hopes rose and Muslim spirits sank in to the moat. The second Ottoman assault was

initiated by Turkish Anatolians. They were better quality troops and thoroughly committed to defeating their Infidel opponents. They succeeded in forcing a breach through the walls but once inside the outer wall their forward troops were surrounded due to inner defences cleverly constructed and manned by Giustiniani and his skilful Genoese. The Anatolians could not advance any further due to further stubborn Greek resistance. Once again, sheer weight of numbers had failed to help the attackers. Despite prolonged fighting and very heavy casualties, Ottoman hopes of a victory were fading fast. Mehmet came under pressure to withdraw. His naval forces could not defeat the fewer but well-armed ships of the defenders who lurked close enough to their own walls to receive sufficient supporting fire to drive away the Ottoman vessels. The miners had failed to open up a new route for attack. The bulk of the Ottoman assaulting force had failed to take the Theodosian walls. At this point, not only was Mehmet not winning, he was running out of options fast.

Theodosian Walls of Constantinople



What he needed was an elite force to batter its way up the bloodied slopes of the mound and carry the day. To achieve that he desperately needed some luck. He got both. The third and final assault was led by the Janissaries, his elite household troops. The good fortune came in two phases. Firstly, a doorway through the Kerkoporta gate appears to have been left open or perhaps opened from the inside? During the thickest fighting, Ottoman flags were seen on its tower and nearby defenders, fearing being encircled and cut off from the city, withdrew in panic. Simultaneously, the heroic defender of the Mesoteichion, Giustiniani, was badly wounded and his Genoese forces pulled back to withdraw him and themselves from the fighting. The pressure from the front of the Janissaries eased and sensing an opportunity redoubled their efforts and swarmed over the defences. This was the moment that Constantinople fell. It was also a moment of great tragedy when the Byzantine Emperor, Constantine XI, seeing the flight of some of his forces rallied some and personally led a charge at the attacking Janissaries. It failed and he was never seen again. What followed was as bad as could be imagined. Bloodthirsty Ottoman forces burst in to the ancient city and looted, pillaged, burned, raped and murdered their way through it. From across the Golden Horn in the neutral township of Galata,

witnesses saw, heard and recorded in vivid and terrifying detail the sights of butchery and the screams of agony from the terrified inhabitants of Constantinople. Quickly, many parts of the city caught fire and this consumed large parts of it. Fleeing citizens took to the few remaining boats, some of which capsized, while others in vain tried to swim. Approximately ten thousand inhabitants of this former bastion of Christendom perished in the next few hours. For the rest, ignominy lay ahead as they were enslaved and taken away from their beloved city to be sold and shipped across the Mediterranean, their fates in the hands of their new masters. Some Greeks did reach safety and took with them the tales of the last few days and hours of the once mighty city. Significantly, it has been claimed that through their exodus, the fall of the Byzantine Empire contributed to the start of the Renaissance as ancient learning from the East was combined with a vibrant spirit of enquiry now emerging in Central Europe. There may be some truth to this. Nonetheless, it was also a vital stage in the Ottoman conquest of Southeastern Europe.

Mr R. Alston CMG, QSO, Dl
Fall of Constantinople

battles need to be won even if the other side can lose them. The Prophet Mohammed allegedly said “Constantinople will be conquered by a blessed man and a blessed army.” Blessed they may have been, but lucky the Ottomans certainly were, eventually. Arguably Mehmet deserved his good fortune. For such a young ruler, he was imaginative, tactically astute and above all, determined when older and wiser ‘supporters’ counselled withdrawal. Constantinople fell then largely due to his leadership and this event signalled yet another shift in the balance of power in the Middle East.

Matthew Jennings is Head of History at Ardingly College. Educated at Manchester Grammar School and University College london where he received a law So why did Constantinople fall? Degree. in 1995, he was awarded Why was the Ottoman besieging army successful when so many other a Masters in War Studies at enemies of Byzantium had failed in Kings College, london. Since then he has been a member of the past? It would be misleading to the international institute of blame the defenders or even their allies, although both contributed to Strategic Studies. Constantinople’s fate. Ultimately,

The world headlines of 2012 are regularly dominated by a swathe of countries between North Africa and the Indian Sub-Continent. In a Headmaster’s Lecture in 2010 I summarised how deep and often decisive has been the British involvement during the 19th and 20th Century histories in many of these nations – Egypt, Palestine, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Iran, the nations of the Gulf, Afghanistan and Pakistan. With the end of the conflict in Iraq, it is what is happening in Afghanistan, which is most central to British foreign and defence policy in 2012. The ‘war’ in Afghanistan is not solely a British operation. British forces are engaged there as part of a multi-national operation coordinated by NATO. Nonetheless this is, in effect, the British Army’s fourth Afghan War, and the RAf’s second. But what were the main features of the first, Second and Third Afghan Wars? When and why were they fought and how did they turn out? Afghanistan is not a natural geographical entity; more a rugged tangle of mountains and deserts which has acted over the centuries as a crossroads between India, Persia (now Iran), and Central Asia. Many historical figures have travelled this ‘highway of conquest’, usually in the direction of the riches of India; Darius, Alexander, the Mongols, and Tamberlane among them. Britain is merely the most recent foreign power from the 17th century to be drawn to those riches. The difference though is that British traders and then governments came by sea, and became involved in Afghanistan not as a transit route on to further glory, but as a line of defence. In other words, Britain chose to fight in Afghanistan to avoid a war in its Indian colonies.

The first Afghan War took place before the Punjab and the North West frontier were part of British India. It was a muddled and misconceived response to what was seen as a Russian threat to Britain’s role in India. It took the form of a military operation designed to restore to the Afghan throne a ruler seen as less pro-Russian than the current incumbent. In 1839 a British army marched from India via Quetta and Kandahar to Kabul under a very sickly Lord Elphinstone. The restoration was straightforwardly achieved, and the army thinned out. Within a year both the ruler and the British officials who kept him in power were deeply unpopular with the Pathan tribes of which the population of eastern Afghanistan is made up. By 1840 the Government of British India should either have withdrawn or reinforced it, but did neither. The result was one of the most infamous bloodbaths of British military history. Supporters of both Afghan claimants and the other tribes united. first the key British political officers were murdered, one by a mob the other by being lured to his death. Then, when the British and Indian army (around 700 of the former and 3700 of the latter), with its families and camp-followers (numbering at least 10,000), started to withdraw by agreement and at 6000 feet in January 1841, they were repeatedly ambushed and slaughtered by tribesmen under no political control. famously just one man supposedly made it to Jalalabad, half way between Kabul and the Khyber Pass. In fact, several hundred soldiers and families, mainly British, survived, most of whom were captured and later released. Nevertheless, another army was despatched on a mission of revenge and repression late in 1841, but the humiliation was

Further Reading • Crowley R, Constantinople: The Last Great Siege, 1453, Faber & Faber 2006 • Eaglestone C. R, The Siege of Constantinople, 1453: An Historical Romance (1878), Kessinger Publishing 2009 • Turnbull S, The Walls of Constantinople AD 324-1453, Osprey Publishing 2004



into a dangerous and unacceptable situation. Before final withdrawal could be engineered however another famous episode in British military annals took place. In response to Roberts’ activities an Afghan army from Herat in western Afghanistan marched on Kandahar where a second British army was located. As it marched through Helmand towards Kandahar it clashed with the British force under General Burrows at Maiwand in July 1880. It was one of the few occasions where an Afghan army bettered a British one on the battlefield. When Burrows force retreated to Kandahar it had lost half of its 2500 men. The British response was the famous march of Roberts, with a force of 10000 men, over 300 miles from Kabul to Kandahar in 22 days in mid-summer. Shortly afterwards the profitless war was abandoned with the evacuation of both Kabul and Kandahar. It had cost 3000 British and Indian casualties. As with the first Afghan War, the outcome was a reduced not enhanced British position, a weakening of central government to the benefit of the influence of the tribes, the slowing down of development, and increased xenophobia and religious fanaticism.

and resourceful guerrilla fighters and adept at exploiting the foreigner to serve their own ends. They are deeply conservative, stubborn in their Islamic adherence, and even more resentful of being coerced by foreigners than by fellow Afghans. The risk is high that foreign decision makers will find themselves sooner or later faced with uncomfortable decisions as to how to disengage while retaining some pride and sense of achievement. The Third Afghan war in 1919 was on a smaller scale and, unlike the others, fought not in the heartlands of the country but along the border with British India. The deal struck in 1880 was that British India would have no diplomatic or political presence in Afghanistan, but that the Afghan ruler would leave foreign relations in British hands and deal with no one else. By 1919 this situation was widely and deeply resented in Afghanistan. A new ruler saw a chance to exploit British and Indian exhaustion at the end of World War One, and widespread discontent among Indian Muslims, to assert ‘independence’ and test the potential for bringing north-western India under Afghan influence. The British authorities saw the need to react at once to Afghan mobilisation on the border, declared war, and sent small British forces into Afghan territory. fighting was brisk and quite bloody but British units, the losses of the war notwithstanding, were too well organised for the Afghans. Raids by the RAf on Jalalabad and, on one occasion, Kabul, also had a strong effect. The ruler soon put out peace feelers, and, though he gained no territory was rewarded by British Indian acceptance of his

right in future to conduct the foreign policy of his country himself.

First Afghanistan War - last stand of the survivors of the 44th Foot at Gandamak

total. British and Indian losses over the whole campaign were well over 10,000. Consequently, no Imperial Government for nearly 40 more years would dare venture on a ‘forward policy’ of direct military involvement in Afghanistan again. from the late 1860s fears of growing Russian influence in Afghanistan once again surfaced in India. This eventually lured the British authorities in India to get involved in Afghanistan’s internal affairs. Russia had been extending her hold over much of Central Asia, and in 1878 Britain had taken the Turkish side when Russia attacked her. Reports reached India of a Russian mission to the Afghan ruler and a British mission was despatched to counter its influence. (In fact it never arrived). The British mission was turned back on the orders of the Afghan ruler and the British response was to despatch two armies across the Afghan border. under this pressure the ruler agreed to the British mission under Louis Cavagnari travelling to Kabul. Within months the events of 1840-41 seemed to be repeating themselves when Cavagnari and his staff and escort were murdered in July 1879 by disaffected Afghan soldiers. This led to the despatch of an army to Kabul under General frederick Roberts (later Lord Roberts of Kandahar). Roberts practised what many call a reign of terror. In the absence of an effective Afghan partner through whom to rule, tribal resentment rose dangerously. A new Government in London replaced the Viceroy in India, who was seen as responsible for getting

Taliban Fighters

I served as a young diplomat in Kabul in the early 1960s. At that time, 15 years after the granting of independence to India and Pakistan in 1947, the prediction that 50 years later there would again be 10,000 British troops in Afghanistan would have been laughable. The reasons they are there are, of course, very different from those of 1840, 1880 or 1920. We actively want a resilient Afghan state capable of looking after itself and capable of ensuring that its territory does not harbour or support extremist and terrorist groups. In the global village of today it is the potential direct effect on security here in Britain, rather than the defence of a crucial component of the British Empire, which is at the root of a policy supported by both Labour and Conservative led Governments. However different the reasons our forces are there, there is nonetheless a haunting sense that some of those lessons of earlier wars will prove distressingly relevant still. Robert Alston, CMG, QSO, DL is a distinguished, retired British diplomat and was formerly Chairman of Governors at Ardingly College. He was educated at Ardingly and New College, Oxford. He served as British Ambassador to Oman (1986-1990) and as British High Commissioner to New Zealand and elsewhere.

First Afghan War - sole escapee of the retreat from Kabul

What lessons were to be drawn from these wars (and indeed from the experience of the Soviet union 100 years later)? Embroil yourselves at your peril unless you are prepared both to commit overwhelming force and be ready for the long haul and heavy casualties which will follow. Afghanistan was and is a fractious and ethnically divided land. Afghans are brave

Second Afghan War – 1879, Battle of Chardeh Valley



The Arab Revolt
& T. E. Lawrence
Gustav Fithen

he was classified as too small. Eventually Lawrence got into the army because he could read Arabic so he joined the Arab desk at General Headquarters. Indeed, when war had broken out, Lawrence had been charting Crusader and Byzantine fortifications across the Middle East under his own steam and at his own expense. This was no ordinary young man and his extraordinary resourcefulness and empathy with Arab peoples quickly drew the eye of his superiors in Military Intelligence. Meanwhile, the Ottomans still held important strategic centres like Medina. Lawrence helped Amir Feisal attack the only railway line Between Medina and Damascus. This meant the Ottomans could not get equipment to these and other important destinations where the fighting was taking place. Lawrence was a tough fighter; with only 3000 men Lawrence and his Arabs took on 50,000 Ottomans in a successful guerilla campaign over several months. Later on July 6th 1917, Lawrence and the Arab force defeated a whole Ottoman battalion in a frontal assault when they captured Aqaba, a key port. More and more Arabs joined the revolt because of Lawrence’s success. The Arabs loved Lawrence because he respected them and their culture. He spoke their language, dressed in the same style of clothes they did, lived in the same conditions and ate their food. A sheikh who fought with Lawrence said: “Of all the men I have ever met, Al Auruns (Lawrence) was the greatest prince”. In September 1918, Lawrence and Feisal took control of the area around Medina from the Ottomans. Allied assistance increased and the fighting stopped. At the end of the war, the Anglo-Egyptian force led by British general, Allenby, had seized Palestine, Transjordan, Lebanon, large parts of the Arabian Peninsula and southern Syria. Though Medina, cut off from the Ottoman Empire, would not surrender until January 1919. The British and French forces took advantage of the deteriorating situation for the Ottomans and took control of the land the Arabs had just captured. The French and British broke their promise that the Arabs should have a huge empire. Instead, as a result of an agreement reached in Paris and sealed at the Treaty of Versailles in June 1919, the British and French

divided the land between themselves and called them Mandates or Protectorates. Lawrence was disgusted that the allies had broken their promises to the Arabs; he quit the army and hid from his fame. He joined the Royal Air Force under the false name of J.M.Ross but the newspapers found him. Lawrence left the R.A.F and joined the Tank corps under the name of Edward Thomas Shaw. Lawrence then rejoined the R.A.F in 1925 and finally left in 1935. Lawrence was killed in a motorbike accident trying to avoid two boys; he was traveling at 90mph on a tuned Brough Superior 1000cc. Nonetheless, Lawrence’s legacy can still be seen today in place names across the Middle East and the British lasting fascination with this iconic and enigmatic leader. However, amongst the Arabs, the outcome of their revolt has left a different legacy that remains like an unhealed wound. The British and French failure to honor their promise to the Arabs has remained a serious obstacle to trust thereafter. So what is the significance of the Arab Revolt to the Arabs themselves? Here is the view from King Hussein of Jordan: “Much of the trauma and dislocation suffered by the peoples of the Middle East during the 20th century can be traced to the events surrounding World War I. During the conflict, the Ottoman Empire sided with the Central Powers against the Allies. Seeing an opportunity to liberate Arab lands from Turkish oppression, and trusting the honor of British officials who promised their support for a unified kingdom for the Arab lands, Sharif Hussein bin Ali, Emir of Mecca and King of the Arabs (and great grandfather of King Hussein), launched the Great Arab Revolt. After the conclusion of the war, however, the victors reneged on their promises to the Arabs, carving from the dismembered Ottoman lands a patchwork system of mandates and protectorates. While the colonial powers denied the Arabs their promised single unified Arab state, it is nevertheless testimony to the effectiveness of the Great Arab Revolt that the Hashemite family was able to secure Arab rule over Transjordan, Iraq and Arabia. ...”

The Arab revolt started during the First World War, on the 5th June 1916 in Hejaz (in modern day, Saudi Arabia.). This happened because the Arab peoples had become increasingly resentful of the OttomanGerman alliance which had extended its grip on power across the Middle East. In Damascus, Syria and Beirut, Lebanon many Arab nationalist figures were arrested then tortured. They and many other Arabs wanted this to stop and so they rose up in revolt against their Turkish rulers. Mark Sykes designed the flag of the resistance to create a feeling of Arab-ness in order to fuel the revolt.

On the June 5th, 1916, the conflict started when two of Husseins’ sons, Ali and Faisal, attacked an Ottoman garrison in Medina but were fiercely beaten by the Turkish troops stationed there. The revolt properly got started on the June 10th when Hussein ordered his supporters to attack the Ottomans in Mecca. Egyptian troops were sent by the British to help with the bloody conflict by providing artillery support. On July 9th they finally took the Holy City of Mecca.

Early in the war French and British naval forces had cleared the Red Sea of Ottoman warships. Now that the Arab revolt had finally been proclaimed in the North, the focus of operations shifted southwards Because of the Ottoman Empire’s repression of the to the further extremities of the Ottoman Empire, Arabs, Grand Sharif Hussein, the guardian of the the ports on the southern Saudi Holy City of Mecca, formed an peninsula and modern day Yemen. alliance with Great Britain and The port of Jidda was successfully France. This alliance was facilitated attacked by 3500 Arabs on June by the services of a mysterious 10th with more help from British young Arab officer in the Ottoman artillery and aeroplanes. This Arab army named Muhammed Sharif victory demonstrated to the British al-Faruqi. Grand Sharif Hussein had the value of their new erstwhile about 50,000 men but fewer than allies. Furthermore, the capture of 10,000 had rifles. He was too weak these Red Sea ports meant that the to take on the full might of the British could now help in other Ottoman forces alone. Nevertheless, T.E. Lawrence ways too such as by sending over evidence that the Ottoman a force of 700 Arab soldiers (and former Ottoman government were going to kill Hussein at the end POWs.) Indeed, Britain sent out a number of officials of the war led him to correspond with the British to help their new allies in the conflict in Hejaz, High Commissioner, Henry McMahon. The latter including a young officer named Thomas Edward convinced Grand Sharif Hussein that his assistance Lawrence. He was born in 1888 in a small welsh to the Triple Entente would be assisted by the Allies village called Tremadog in Caenarvonshire. Lawrence and eventually rewarded by a new Arab Empire. This was extremely bright; he could read at the age of four would span the entire territory between Egypt and and read Latin at the age of six. Later, Lawrence won Persia with imperial possessions such as Kuwait, Aden, a scholarship to Oxford University to read history. and the Syrian coast. This was an enticing promise but When World War One was declared Lawrence tried also one that would not be kept. to join the army but at under the 5’5” height limit,



REflECTIons on ThE fIRsT Gulf WAR
Major-General P. Cordingley

company – I as much as anybody else. Then there was the problem of loot. The understandable desire to return from the war with a souvenir was an overwhelming one and, as we could have predicted, the soldiers were as imaginative as ever in what they hoped to smuggle home. Putting aside the legal requirements, the danger of collecting the spoils of war was immense. The area was strewn with unexploded mines and bomblets, and the deserted bunkers and even some dead bodies were booby-trapped. The control measures we applied were not popular but very necessary. CORRECT DECISIONS It was then time to sleep and, if that was not possible, think. Irrespective of the disaster Iraq is today, my views have changed little on what happened to us and whether we got it right. I remain convinced that the cease-fire was called at the optimum moment. from the brigade’s point of view we had defeated the enemy and stopped before his destruction was complete. This seemed to us to be honourable; enough people had already died. Practically, we would have had some difficulty in pushing on to Basra without at least a day’s break. We were extremely tired and making mistakes, we had very little water and there was none available in the immediate area. Our field hospitals were a long way behind us.

The Desert Rats, the uK’s 7th Armoured Brigade, during the first Gulf War were initially part of the 1st uS Marine Corps. Later they were moved to join the VII uS Corps, the largest and most powerful corps in history. In february 1991 the British tanks led the attack into Iraq from Saudi Arabia. Their Commander now reflects on the aftermath of four hectic days and nights of fighting.

POLITICAL CONuNDRuMS Also by 28th february it was clear that General Schwarzkopf’s plan to annihilate the Republican Guard with a left hook through Iraq had failed. The expectation that the American Marines and Arab Coalition forces would take days to fight through the defences in Kuwait and perhaps draw in Iraqi reserves as well never materialised. They were proud and determined – nothing was going to stop them reaching the city gates. Saddam Hussein had no time to dispatch his Republican Guard as reinforcements, even if he ever intended to. VII uS Corps’ target was a will-o’-the-wisp by 27th february. The majority of the Iraqi soldiers were already on their way back to Baghdad.

in the Middle East, nor did the Americans want to be seen as king-makers. Militarily and politically the cease-fire called on 28th february was therefore inevitable.

Road to Basra

THE CEASEfIRE We had stopped some twenty miles north of Kuwait City, astride the highway leading to Basra. Black smoke from the oil wells hung over us; the scene was one of darkness and foreboding. Vehicles, bodies and other military wreckage lay strewn around in every direction. This dampened our euphoria, as did the uncertainty of a temporary cease-fire and a lack of sleep. Orders then arrived for our engineers to clear a route through the Muttla Pass, only a few miles south of our new position, and for the rest of us to help bury the Iraqi dead. It was far from the ideal note to finish on. But we had been warned of the carnage caused when the American air force

media had claimed, but certainly hundreds; it was a reminder to us all of the horror of war. INITIAL PROBLEMS Small problems surfaced almost immediately the next morning to catch us by surprise. Having spent months preparing the soldiers for the most unpleasant of wars, preparing them to cope with violence and death, we had not thought through the immediate effects of the ceasefire. Some were clearly still spoiling for a fight, some were disturbed by what they had seen or done, some felt cheated that they had not met the enemy; fortunately the majority were just relieved to be alive and delighted by the result. But, whatever, it was clearly going to be a time when we needed the comfort of each other’s

Burning Kuwaiti oil wells and a destroyed Iraqi tank

Iraqi causualties

and the 2nd uS Marine Division had caught the retreating Iraqi army leaving Kuwait City on the road to Basra. There were not thousands of bodies, as the

President Bush had another awkward problem, presented by the media’s reporting of the ‘turkey shoot’ at the Muttla Pass. It seemed that he would almost certainly lose support from the Muslim world if he allowed another such incident to happen. The political conundrum as to whether Saddam Hussein should have been removed from power is perhaps more difficult to comment on without the interference of hindsight, but I remember thinking at the time that no-one wanted a vacuum

RE-SuBORDINATION I also remain firm in my view that our re-subordination from the American marines to the VII uS Corps was regrettable. Politically, we would have gained most glory if we had been involved in the liberation of Kuwait City itself. Militarily, we joined what the Americans termed ‘the main point of effort’ and, despite being involved in some of the hardest fighting, we were seen after the war as the troops who held open the door for the American Army in its pursuit of the Republican Guard. That was not what our planners had envisaged. THE MEDIA I worry now, as I did then, about the effects of the media on modern warfare. I detected, during the initial settling-in period, the belief among reporters that they should encourage emotion. If an interview could be turned to probe fear or shock, this seemed to win favour at home. The intrusion, if challenged, was justified as caring and in the



public interest. But don’t the public, and indeed the armed forces, shape their behaviour to the media’s demands? Did we not confess in the Gulf, under this examination, to being frightened? Well, of course we were – but was it not unpatriotic to ask us to say so? And then the reporting of the very clinical nature of modern weapon systems, and their effects on the bunkers and buildings in Baghdad, led the public, particularly the American public, to lose touch with the reality of war; a grim, ghastly and bloody affair. Such reporting also heightened the public concern over casualties. This is also a dangerous preoccupation. I wonder if commanders can now be ruthless enough, in a television age, to pursue the enemy to the limit, if the stakes are anything less than national survival.

built an elaborate network of interconnecting roads, allowing for easy redeployment and logistic supply. But that was their problem. Once a single vehicle moved, the sophisticated American surveillance systems spotted it and the resultant onslaught from the air was devastating. But it was only later that I came to the conclusion that Saddam Hussein probably did not care what happened to any of his forces except the elite. His aim was all but achieved the moment his troops entered Kuwait and then refused to withdraw. He had demonstrated to the Muslim world, by standing up to the Americans, that he was their natural leader. Most of his huge conscript army was expendable. It was, after all, too large; he was having trouble feeding and paying it. The loss of one hundred thousand was but a small price to pay to achieve his misguided ambitions. The Republican Guard, on the other hand, was essential to his survival.

belligerents. There was hardly a single one of us in the desert who did not pray for a peaceful solution to the crisis, despite the fact that we recognised that the quickest route home lay through the defeat of the Iraqi forces. This hope was probably

when training without troops on the ground, we had tended to send out overcomplicated instructions. Messages and orders must be simply stated and entirely clear. This becomes even more essential when lack of sleep distorts the mind, which happened to us after two days of fighting. All our soldiers were briefed in minute detail about the plan and their part in it. This has to have been one of the keys to our swift advance. LOGISTICS The logistic support was Herculean. Thirty-five thousand British soldiers were deployed to the Gulf with four hundred thousand tons of equipment, munitions and freight, and thirteen thousand five hundred vehicles. from Al Jubayl, when the decision to move west was taken, twenty-three thousand tons of ammunition, six hundred and fifty tons of rations and nearly two million litres of petrol were moved over two hundred miles to a logistics base called Alpha in only nineteen days. During the ground war the logisticians were prepared to cope with a daily consumption of one thousand tons of ammunition, half a million litres of fuel and three-quarters of a million litres of water. They also delivered to us half a million parcels and nine million letters. THE uNEQuAL CONTEST The Desert Rats were involved in an international coalition pitted against a moderately sized regional state. It now appears to have been a ridiculously unequal contest, with the Iraqi strength probably

over-estimated. But we had studied their success in a different sort of war against Iran and then focused on the quantities of manpower, artillery and tanks rather than on an investigation into human qualities. We had lived in harsh conditions through a long preparatory period and expected, when we went into the attack, to meet all sorts of horrors which didn’t materialise. And so we must be careful about the lessons we take from a war where we defeated a technologically inferior enemy on featureless terrain and met very few reverses.

equipment and with the enemy having been bombed by the Coalition air forces for over six weeks. But we won the land war so quickly because we were aggressive and used to full advantage the staggering artillery firepower available to us. Also our outstanding tanks could pick off the enemy at three thousand yards’ range; our infantry was well equipped and trained; we could, and did, fight at night. We moved with remarkable speed, covering some two hundred miles in four days. We destroyed three hundred enemy tanks and armoured personnel carriers and took eight thousand prisoners of war. I believe that even if the enemy had been more resolute we would still have been unstoppable. Major-General Cordingley, educated at sherborne and RMA sandhurst has a distinguished military career including command of the famous 7th Armoured Brigade (the ‘Desert Rats’) throughout the Gulf War. he was awarded the Distinguished service order for leadership and bravery. he has held several notable appointments and is closely connected to the help for heroes and Macmillan Cancer support charities. he is also a published author, scholar and is in much demand as a lecturer on leadership, team-building and decision-making, as well as a media commentator on international affairs.

British Armoured Fighting Vehicles

naive. Once the Coalition was ready to fight, the temptation for the politicians to find a military solution to the problem must have been overwhelming. Decision Making and the Passage of Information I continue with observations on decision making and the passage of information and how we made our plans. The formal decision making process, the estimate, was time consuming. In our fast moving war of manoeuvre the decision point had to be reached as quickly as possible so an opportunity to outwit the enemy was not missed. The debate is now whether or not an intuitive decision should be taken in the interests of speed without testing it against the long and more formal process of the estimate or appreciation. In the desert we learnt once again the value of issuing clear and unambiguous orders. In our peacetime exercising, particularly

IRAQI TACTICS During January 1991, Saddam Hussein and his generals were much criticised over their tactical handling of their forces in Kuwait and Iraq. ‘Their defences are similar to those used on the Western front in 1916’ was a common cry. I felt, even at the time, this was a little disingenuous. There were, after all, very few options open to them. The defensive strategy was centred on Basra and consisted of three layers or lines. The front, manned by the ragtag conscripts, was nevertheless well prepared on the KuwaitiSaddam Hussain Saudi Arabian border. Behind POLITICAL NEGOTIATIONS this came the regulars, and I turn to the subject of political then in reserve the Republican negotiations between the Guard. The Iraqi engineers had

British artillery

7th Armoured gather in Iraqi POWs

However, it must be of immense value for the future that a new generation of soldiers now understands the realities of war. We won’t, I hope, pretend that for us it was violent. We had, after all, complete air supremacy and almost total domination on the ground, with our superior



Abidine Sakande and Johannes Wullenweber



Left: Photomontage of the Tunisian Revolution by Thomas Gibbens

ThE TunIsIAn



Thomas O’Dell

How did the Revolution start? The Tunisian Revolution officially started on the 18th December 2010, although the event that caused it, the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, took place on 17th December. Bouazizi was the sole source of income in his family of eight, and was treated unfairly and illegally by a female police officer, as many street vendors in his position were used to. However, Bouazizi decided that he had had enough of this treatment and decided to do something about the corruption in the government. Without informing any friends or family, he went to the police headquarters, covered himself in a flammable liquid, and set himself on fire. This action provided the spark – pardon the pun – that lit the gunpowder; this gunpowder being the 23 years of oppression brought on Tunisia by President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Initially the people sought change by peaceful marches, but, after the police violently attacked the marchers, (reminds me of a particular event in the USA in 1963...) riots broke out, firstly across Sidi Bouzid, the city where Mohamed Bouazizi burned himself, but then spread throughout Tunisia. Those protesting did now no longer want reform – they were calling for the end of President Ben Ali’s regime. How did the Revolution end? The main revolution ended with the ousting of President Ben Ali on 14th January. However, many protests continued afterwards, as people were unhappy with the new government. Following Ben Ali’s departure from office, the army took control of

Tunisia, with Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi taking over as acting President for a short while. Some rioters used the occasion to continue stealing and vandalising, but some were displeased with Ghannouchi’s cabinet reshuffles, and wanted more change and a better chance of liberty. Ghannouchi was a high-ranking official in President Ben Ali’s government, and the people of Tunisia wanted a whole new beginning. What were the significant events of the Revolution? After Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation, riots and protests started in Sidi Bouzid and then spread. By 27th December, protests had reached Tunis, the capital of Tunisia. On 6th January, strikes started, with 96% of Tunisia’s lawyers refusing to work in protest about unprovoked beatings. Teachers also joined this strike as they had been victim to the same treatment. On the 14th January, the military finally ousted President Ben Ali as he fled to Malta. However, several members of his party, the Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD in French) remained in the government. Protests continued over this as the people wanted a completely new government. The army pledged its allegiance to the revolution, strengthening the cause of the rebels, and weakening the position of the RCD. To meet the demands of the protesters, Mohammed Ghannouchi removed six of the former members of Ben Ali’s government. This meant that aside from Ghannouchi himself, only two former Ben Ali government members remained in the interim



Right: Photomontage of the Egyptian Revolution by Thomas Gibbens

government – and these two ministers had not been a key part of the RCD, meaning that the revolutionary demands had been met. However, on the 28th January, another protest started, because Ghannouchi was still in government. Protesters claimed that he was still propping up the old regime, and that they wanted an entirely new government, with no remnants from the Ben Ali era. Naim Garbousi, a protester from the central town of Gefsa, summed up the attitude, “The new line-up is a theatre. The symbols of the old regime are left, like Ghannouchi. Why is he insisting on staying? We are 10 million people, there will surely be someone who can replace him.” Even after elections were announced for July, protests demanding Ghannouchi still continued. Eventually, after a protest of over 100,000 people on 27th January, Ghannouchi resigned, and was replaced by Beji Caid el Sebsi. Two other ministers resigned, but protestors called for the whole interim government to go. Eventually, on 9th March, the RCD was closed down after a court case. Ben Ali’s secret police were also dissolved. However, elections were delayed because of internal elections in the new government. What were the outcomes of the Revolution? The outcomes of the Tunisian Revolution reached both a national and international level. Tunisia managed to secure itself a brand new government and President, with much of the oppression by President Ben Ali’s regime removed. However, the impacts of the Tunisian Revolution were felt across the Arab world. After Mohammed Bouazizi’s self-immolation, many people in similar dictatorships copied his actions. The Egyptian people managed to overthrow their President, Hosni Mubarak, as their situation was very similar to the Tunisian one, and so did the people of Yemen with their President, Ali Abdullah Saleh. However, not all countries managed to achieve Tunisia’s easy success. Both the Libyan people and Syrian people have been faced by ruthless military opposition – unlike Tunisia, where the military supported the protestors. The Libyan Civil War lasted from 15th February to 23rd February, with Muammar Gaddafi being killed

on the 20th October. Syria is still, at the time of this publication, in civil war, with the military retaining all the advantages over the protesters Why is this Revolution important? This revolution is important because of the actions of one man the whole Arab world has been turned upside down. Tunisia was the first Arab nation to successfully overthrow its dictator, setting an example to other nations – a message of hope, that freedom was possible. If Tunisia had failed, as the forerunner of the Arab Spring, it would have looked weak, and other Arab peoples that had followed the Tunisian people’s example would have lost morale and hesitated. If the Tunisian revolutionaries had failed to overthrow President Ben Ali, the dictators in Egypt, Yemen, Libya and countless other countries would still be in power, and would no doubt be exacting some form of twisted punishment upon those who dared to oppose them. However, they succeeded, and so the Arab world, and indeed the whole world, will never be the same again.



Egyptian Knights: A Drama in Three Acts
After over four thousand years in the shadows of the pyramids of Giza, Cairo emerged in the world’s headlines throughout last year. This article will explore the historic acts that occurred in Egypt in 2011, the unrest that currently occupies its capital and the pressing questions that its population now faces. ARAB BROKEn SPRinG After years of oppressive rule and poor leadership, Egyptians felt little hope concerning their future. However, Tunisia’s fall provided the spark which resulted in wide spread protests from January 25th, 2011. After a short period of protests, Mubarak stepped down from office leaving Egypt on February 11th without a leader. The Ministry of Defence, advised by senior military figures, took his place as president. The ensuing nine months witnessed a struggle between the increasingly visible Muslim brotherhood and the military, the former of the two wishing a rapid transition to civilian rule and the latter seeking to safeguard their privileged position. Protests broke out sporadically, cumulating in an enormous peaceful protest on November 18th, which, unfortunately, degenerated into violence throughout the following days with evermore strident demands for an end to military rule. Nevertheless, on 28th November, elections for the new People’s Assembly began peacefully, proving immensely popular but delivered a surprisingly strong showing for the Muslim brotherhood and a shock result for the hard-line Salafis who received around a quarter of the vote. in de nilE The revolution raised huge expectations of rapid change for the better. However, Egyptians are now confronted with the reality of transforming ideals into practical changes. Ongoing changes represent an impatience for quick results and an absence of the fear that previously inhibited expressions of dissatisfaction. Not a day passes now without a strike or protest in favour of higher wages, improved conditions and more jobs. At the same time, following the elections a new government has still not been formed as this is the prerogative of the president who will not be elected until May or June 2012. This means that important economic and civil issues are not being dealt with. One manifestation of this is sadly a general disregard for law and order. Oppressive fear of the police, which existed before the revolution, has now vanished with both trivial and serious results; street vendors operate where they wish with no fear of being removed and a significant increase in violent crime. In this atmosphere of thwarted aspirations, most anger is now focusing on the military, who are still in overall control and an immediate transition to civil rule is still regarded as somewhat of a panacea. Initially, the brotherhood had said they would not put forward a presidential candidate but have recently changed their policy. So who then, will govern? Egypt has been through a remarkable twelve months and the expectations of change are high. However, the country now faces the most difficult stages in its struggle for a better future.
Article and some photography by Amy Haines

nOW FOR tHE HARD PARt... A number of fundamental questions now present themselves to Egypt. Will the military give up their power? Their complete withdrawal from politics seems hard to imagine given their extensive economic and social authority (they currently control many factories and their influence through conscription is vast). However, popular demands for real power to civilian administrations will be hard to ignore. It is likely the military will attempt to retain reserved rights in some areas, for example, over the military budget. The Muslim brotherhood won the election and is expected to be dominant in the new government. Another question is whether they will use this power to turn Egypt into a Sharia state. There is no question that the Salafis, who are the second largest group in parliament, would want this but the implications for Egyptian society and its impressive tourist industry would be profound. Finally, strong individuals have traditionally governed Egypt, whether he or she be sultan, king or president. The country must now wait until May or June for a new leader. Logically, given the success of the People’s Assembly Elections, the new president will be an Islamist.

Graffiti of an Army General



Jenny Elwin

tHE liByAn REvOlUtiOn

Last year, the news became filled with stories of uprisings in the Middle East that has been termed the ‘Arab Spring.’ Although an oversimplification, it could be said that these uprisings were routed in the people’s dissatisfaction with their totalitarian regimes and a contingent desire for greater democracy. In Libya, an oil rich country in North Africa, one such revolution took place and NATO’s involvement in the conflict increased the world’s attention towards it. The motives behind this intervention have been called in to question especially due to the presence of large oil reserves in Libya. Indeed, Britain’s relations with the Libya (especially its government and leader, Colonel Gaddafi,) prior to the start of the Revolution, were already controversial. Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair’s, decision to initiate talks with Colonel Gaddafi had been the subject of considerable criticism and that had intensified following the Scottish government’s decision to release the Lockerbie bomber on compassionate grounds. The Libyan revolution was driven to an extent by the workers, the youth and the poor. But it was also fuelled by local and tribal loyalties, creating a disjointed ‘revolutionary coalition’. The situation in the country made the headlines in February 2011 when conflict broke out in Benghazi, and remained

at the forefront of media attention till its culmination in August, when the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi was overthrown. Prior to being supplanted, and subsequently killed, Gaddafi had been in control for more than 40 years. He came to power in September 1969 after leading a coup against King Idris, in a rather less bloody struggle than the one which resulted in his own downfall. The Libyan revolution was the result of a combination of factors, but primarily, it resulted from the desire for new leadership and an end to the corruption that existed under Gaddafi. The hope for change stems from the youthful age of the population (with 2/3 being under 30) and the lack of opportunities afforded to them by the regime. In recent years, high unemployment (30%), the lack of a political voice, and the increased cost of living amplified the atmosphere of despondency about the future. One of the most interesting contributory factors to the revolution was the role played by modern technology, and especially the internet. Today’s society, with its emphasis on social media, allowed Libyans to hear news of revolutions in other Middle-eastern countries and additionally made it possible for news to be communicated to people outside of Libya once the conflict began.

The Revolution began in February, with protests in Benghazi, Libya’s second biggest city. The protests quickly spread to other important cities and throughout the rest of the country including the capital Tripoli where thousands of civilians gathered to voice their opinions. (In contrast, the media controlled by the state was filled with images of Libyans waving support flags and shouting in support of Gaddafi.) The Libyan leadership responded violently to the demonstrations, using the air force to bomb protestors. Throughout his period in power, Gaddafi had kept the Libyan military weak and internally divided, fearing it would become strong enough to pose a challenge to his authority. Consequently, he enlisted the help of mercenaries (roughly 2500) from other countries including Chad, Sudan and Niger to tackle the demonstrators. In March, following scenes of Libyan forces bombing and shelling their own citizens in rebel held areas, the West decided to intervene. Under a UN mandate to use force only to prevent the military force being used to the detriment of the Libyan civilians, NATO quickly interpreted this to empower their intervention on the rebel side. Both American and European air forces did so with missile strikes, beginning on March 19th. A large coalition of NATO forces mustered in Italy or out at sea and under American leadership ensured that no Libyan government air force could target rebel held areas. Furthermore, NATO air forces successfully destroyed large numbers of Libyan government heavy weaponry such as tanks, artillery guns and rocket systems. Consequently, by late May the NATO strikes had helped the rebels, who had gained territory in both the east and the west of the country. Indeed, evidence appears to be emerging of the rebels receiving more than just the mandated air

protection for its civilians. Reports so far suggest that Western governments have helped the rebels in other ways too. For example, weapons were air dropped in by the French, the US offered rendition of prisoners and NATO as a whole has provided technical and intelligence support. On the 21st of August rebels poured into Tripoli, for the most part, greeted by celebration and little resistance. It took just a few days to end the fighting that had been waged indecisively for the previous six months. After two days of street fighting, subsequent to entering the capital, the rebels established control. On the 23rd August, they reportedly infiltrated Gaddafi’s fortified compound, although by that time he had gone into hiding, and various members of his family had fled to Algeria. Two months later, on the 20th October, his death was reported. Originally it was alleged that he was killed in the cross fire, but videos from mobiles subsequently emerged of Gaddafi apparently begging for mercy before he was shot in the head. Retired German General Egon Ramms, has stated that NATO’s role in toppling Gaddafi’s rule was a ‘decisive one’. To an extent, General Ramms is correct. At the beginning of the conflict it seemed a civil war would ensue, in which the rebels would be outnumbered. The United Nations Security Council’s decision for military action, helped tip the balance in the rebels’ favour. In part, this was because the proGaddafi forces were better equipped than the rebels, whose efforts were hampered by internal conflict and insufficient training. Within a week of the air strikes commencing, a ‘no fly’ zone had been established over Libya. However ultimately, it was the rebels on the ground that were the driving force of the revolution. Allegedly, there was a certain amount of debate in America as to whether the use of cyber warfare might



Right: Photomontage of civil strife in Syria by Thomas Gibbens

be permitted to tackle Gaddafi. However, this idea was ultimately rejected, due to fear that it would set a precedent for other countries, China and Russia in particular, to follow suit. Nevertheless, the action which was taken was not without its flaws; the air strikes were intended to protect civilians, but they caused the deaths of civilians too. Indeed, many observers noted how NATO’s airpower arrived when the rebels’ ground forces were prevented from advancing. After the rebels took over, a provisional government, the Transitional National Council, was put in place under the Prime Minister Abdel Rahim el-Keeb. ElKeeb had previously worked as an electronics engineer and was a known critic of Gaddafi prior to the leader’s death. At present, Libya’s future remains uncertain, however plans are being made for a constituent assembly to be decided by June of this year. The Constituent Assembly will have the ability to create a government whilst a new constitution is being written. This is hopeful progression, but some of the problems of Gaddafi’s regime are still in existence. For instance, Amnesty International has reported that torture is still being used on prisoners. The task, which faces the new leadership, is undoubtedly a hard one. This is exacerbated by widespread expectations that Gaddafi’s overthrow would bring an immediate increase in Libya’s prosperity. Initially, instability was caused by tribal divisions and fear of the permeating influence of Islamists. Moreover, divisions between the rebels that existed before the revolution’s success, has widened since Gaddafi’s death, as it eradicated the negative cohesion which existed between them.

For instance, there have been clashes between rebel forces in January of this year, fuelled by their dissatisfaction at the rapidity and character of the change occurring. Despite the transitional government’s request, few have disarmed to any noticeable extent. But whilst there has much debate as to the type of government and society which would replace Gaddafi’s autocracy, normality has been able to resume in some areas. By mid November oil production, the country’s most significant industry, had restarted. However, reports suggest that this production is 40% of what it was before the conflict began. Nevertheless, damage done to this industry is not as detrimental as it could have been; Libyan officials have reported that no serious harm was done to 40 of the most important oil and gas fields. Therefore, the current situation in Libya is an unstable one and the future uncertain. It should be noted that the fate of the country is being given less prominence in the news now, than when the conflict began. One must also question the responsibility the West has towards the citizens of Libya due to the decisive role they played in Gaddafi’s overthrow. Because of our active involvement in the conflict, I believe we have a moral duty to assist with rebuilding the country too. Unfortunately, it seems likely (as it has happened before) that the media find something new to print in their pages. Consequently, it is very likely that we will forget about the people of Libya whose fate the West decided when NATO intervened in 2011; or at least, until the Media’s attention is drawn back to Libya by a further crisis that affects the West.

Fighting outside Gaddafi’s Compound

Rebel fighters stomp on Gaddafis head



WhAT DoEs TuRKEy’s RElATIonshIp WITh syRIA MEAn To ThE REGIon, ThE WEsT AnD To ITsElf?
Kaan tuncel

and so was generally neutral towards As Syria started to change its approach to the PKK, a thawing of the disputes in other countries in relations between the two countries the region, all except one… started. In 2004 the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has had more than its visited Syria to sign a free trade fair share of troubles with Syria. Although there are minor disputes, agreement; trade between the two countries has flourished, growing such as local dam projects and from $730 MN to $2,270 MN the region of Hatay, the greatest in 20101 . This has not been an point of tension has been Syria’s support of the PKK. The PKK isolated case and indeed, this (Kurdistan Workers Party,) is a Turkish-led thaw has led to it Kurdish organisation that aims gaining more credibility throughout to achieve greater rights for the the Middle East. The previous Kurdish population in Turkey. It American-appeasing view has been has been recognised as a terrorist challenged, as many in the region organisation by Turkey, the US, were delighted in 2003 when the UK and the EU. The PKK Turkey refused to allow American regularly plants bombs in Turkey At the turn of the century Turkey forces to invade Iraq through its (such as the bomb attack in was viewed very differently border. The election of the mildly Central Ankara on 20th September Islamic AK party in 2003, coupled from how it is today. It was 2011 which killed 3) and attacks very politically unstable (from with the booming economy (which the military with guerrilla tactics. its creation in 1923 there have is now the 17th largest in the For this reason, Turkey has been been four coups d’états: in 1960, world) has made Turkey a shining very confrontational with Syria 1971, 1980 and 1997). It was example around the Arab world of over its support of the PKK. seen in the Middle East as too a successful Islamic government. Examples of Syrian support for western orientated, as it has been the PKK range from allowing traditionally close to America However, the Arab Spring caught them to have safe heavens in the since the end of World War II. Turkey by surprise. Despite Baqaa valley to giving its leader Arabian nationalists regarded it reluctant support for the Libyan with suspicion because of Ottoman Abdullah Ocalan residence in and Egyptian revolutions, Turkey Damascus. This has led to Turkey’s now has to decide what approach domination of the Middle East, government claiming it would while Islamists regarded its to take with its other important secularism with disgust. Turkey kept take any steps necessary to destroy neighbour. The consequences of any to itself in the region and was more the PKK’s bases in Syria, strongly action will be significant and far occupied with its internal problems, hinting at military action. reaching. Turkey shares an 822km As this article is being written, historic events have come to pass in the region. The Arab spring was a shot in the arm for democracy in the world. The peaceful nature of the Egyptian and Tunisian protests showed that the much-recited call to arms by terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda was wrong. In particular, the people in those countries now see Turkey as the shining example for a Muslim democracy. However, Turkey’s greatest test now is that posed by Syria: what should it do about its close neighbour’s civil war and the problems spilling over the border in to Turkey?

border with Syria, and so far there have been around 24,000 refugees who have fled into Turkey because of the violence2. Turkey could risk further destabilising the country if it starts to support the opposition outright, but the situation might also do that if nothing is done. The foreign minister was quick to point out that Syria is a more complicated situation than Egypt or Libya, and there is a big risk of sectarian conflict3 in the Ba’ath party ruled country4. This risk of a second insurgency war in the region (and the second one with a border with Turkey), is a big one. This is perhaps the reason why many of Turkey’s western allies are accepting that Mr Erdogan keeps his line with Syria’s President, Bashar Assad, open. Mr Erdogan is insisting that Mr Assad starts to introduce democratic reforms to help stabilise the country. This is currently seen in Turkey as the most viable option, as there is little evidence of an alternative to Assad who could keep control in such an unstable country. Turkey does not just want to give democracy to the people, it wants to create a strong regional partner that will both help it promote further stability and create strong economic ties. That being said, it is becoming obvious that the Turkish government is losing its patience. Mr Erdogan has said that when he talked with Bashar Assad about removing emergency power, the president agreed with him but

has failed to implement this5. Mr Erdogan later on went on to say the head of Syrian forces, who is Bashar Assad’s brother, was “chasing after savagery”6 and that Turkey would have no choice but to support a UN resolution to intervene in Syria. Nonetheless, it is important to note that Turkey also shelters in the province of Hatay the main armed wing of the Syrian opposition, namely the Free Syrian Army. However, Mr Erdogan has also stated that the government does not supply the movement nor allows anyone else from doing so either. This is not an attempt to shift its policy, but rather adopt a contingency. Turkey will still try to achieve the best outcome for itself and the region with the least amount of intervention as possible, because of Arab views opposing breaches of another country’s sovereignty. (But it reserves the means of upping its involvement should it feel the need to do so.) This inevitably means working with the local Syrian government as much as possible, and Turkey will always try to take the path of least resistance. To outside observers, this approach might seem weak but such a view would overlook the complex nature of the situation both currently on the border as well as the ramifications that would most certainly arise in the region should Turkey flex its military muscle.

Rather, it is important to see the complexity of the state of affairs which faces Turkey. The Middle East is a region plagued with factional violence, worsened by two countries (Iran and Saudi Arabia) that manipulate the region to suit their own needs. Turkey is a country that has had a rich history of leading the Muslim world, as the seat of the last Caliphate and in recent years has been making something of a comeback. Neither Iran, nor Syria will want to see a strong and democratic Turkey with ties to the West. Syria will be Turkey’s first real test of how it will try and prevent a further outbreak of cross-border violence, which has erupted in this ancient region so many times before. This is an exciting prospect for everyone interested in its long overdue democracy.

1 viewed on the 1st of November 2011 viewed on the 12th of April 2012 3 Paragraph 3, under “Exploring Alternatives” viewed 11th November 2011 4 viewed on 11th November 2011 5 viewed 11th November 2011 6 viewed 11th November 2011



IsRAEl’s foREIGn polICy ChAllEnGEs
Mr M. Jennings

WhERE To noW,

Turkish success owes much not just to changes in personnel across the Middle East following the Arab Spring but also to its strategically important, geo-political location bridging Asia and Europe as well as the physical link between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. More than just oil has to be shipped through the Dardanelles. Nonetheless, the oil-dependent West can not afford to make enemies of Turkey, especially given the volatile nature of Russia, the other key petro-chemical exporter from Eastern Europe. So Turkey’s diplomatic strength is Israel’s current weakness. Iran has made no secret of its progress towards manufacturing nuclear fuel cells, which, it claims are for civilian purposes only. This energy programme is very popular in Iran but has caused alarm around the world. This is because the manufacturing techniques to make nuclear fuel can easily be transformed to create nuclear weapons-grade material. Intelligence reports published by the International Institute of Strategic Studies, here in London, reveal that Iran has been creating the right nuclear weapons-making equipment and collecting appropriate nuclear material for many years over a large number of inaccessible locations, such as beneath mountains and in deep mines shafts. In other words, Iran not only is probably making nuclear weapons at this very moment but is almost certainly trying to hide it and prevent it from being sabotaged. This has not fooled Israel or its Intelligence forces. It surely can be no coincidence that 5 Iranian top nuclear scientists have been murdered within the last 18 months and many believe that they have been despatched by Mossad-led teams. Of more concern is what Iran intends to do with its nuclear capacity when it comes on-line in 2013. Since Iran’s regime under President Ahmadinejad has openly expressed its hatred of Israel (its continued existence), and its allies, more countries than just Israel have good reasons to fear Iranian nuclear power. Consequently, the UN has extended its sanctions for Iran’s continued violation of International law, in having an unsanctioned nuclear energy programme. Meanwhile, President Obama and his government have worked hard (during this Presidential election year, another coincidence?) to patch up their relationship with Israel’s government, much to the benefit of both regime’s poll ratings. But domestic support and the backing of the USA will not be enough to protect Israel should Iran chose to use its nuclear weapons. Only diplomacy with Iran or regime change in Tehran can seemingly avoid these two countries creating a Middle Eastern nuclear Cold War. The last and most problematic cause for Israel’s troubles has been the brave and clever change in tactics by the Palestinian government. Despite being internally divided between Fatah and Hamas (the much more militant Islamist organisation) the Palestinian cause has long been associated with terrorism and anti-Semitism. These features have held back their attempts to seek not only a viable agreement with Israel that would play well amongst their own people but also have hindered their own efforts to seek support from other states. With talks between Israel and Palestine halted and deadlocked over Israel’s continued building of settlements in the West Bank, the Palestinian government changed tack in the summer of 2011. Rather than repeat well worn arguments in the foreign ministries and media around the world about Israel’s negotiating tactics or even table further motions at the UN seeking condemnation of Israeli occupations, actions in Gaza or the building of further settlements in the West Bank, the Palestinians began the process of seeking international recognition of a Palestinian state. On 31st October 2011, they achieved their first and arguably most crucial victory in persuading UNESCO (the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization,) a very important and influential part of the UN. Only Israel and the US voted against the proposal. Consequently, Israel and the US are increasingly isolated from world opinion, which favours a two state solution to the Israel-Palestine question anyway.

The Arab Spring of 2011 has posed Israel a real foreign policy problem. Despite being the oldest democracy in the region, Israel has not welcomed the pro-democracy changes in its near neighbours with the same ringing endorsements heard from around Europe. Indeed the silence from Tel Aviv, at these extraordinary developments especially in Egypt, has caused its diplomatic corps some considerable embarrassment. Part of the reason for this is that prior to the Arab Spring, Israel was enjoying a prolonged period of peace and strength, hitherto not experienced since its birth in 1948. Its neighbouring governments in Turkey, Jordan and Egypt were on personal friendly terms with Israel’s military and political leaders. Its Palestinian political opponents were divided internally and lacking key friends within the region and beyond. All of these factors have changed to some extent and now cause considerable unease within Israel’s viper’s nest of political factions. Moreover, in the last year, Iran has continued the development of its nuclear programme which has resulted in more than just voices of caution in Israel and elsewhere. Together, these events have led to a series of foreign policy blunders by Israel which has not endeared them to the new regimes of their neighbours. This threatens the peace in this already volatile region. The close personal relationships between Mubarak’s Egyptian regime and Israel had been the cornerstone of peace for the region. With both states having ties to opposing blocks throughout the region and beyond, this alliance had cemented a peace since the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948-1973. Mubarak himself

had been the perpetual link in this chain of peace. That is why he was so popular in the West and why the US in particular did not welcome news of his regime’s crumbling. The new, military led government is a caretaker and Israel has no choice but to be patient, wait and hope that it can forge links with its successor. Israel does not do patience well. That patience could be strained to breaking point if a radical Islamist individual, as is likely, succeeds in their quest to become the new President of Egypt. Then, an Islamist, anti-Israel government would be formed and who knows what the future for both countries would be? Israel has also become concerned by events to the north. The secular state of Turkey has been a close supporter of Israel over many years. It has suited not just the economies of both countries to remain allies but this alliance has helped open doors for both countries in many other ways. For example, Turkey’s alliance with Israel has helped bring closer ties to the EU. However, the relatively new, pro-Islamist and popular Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is pursuing a different agenda. Following the diplomatic gaff by Israel when its commandos stormed the Turkish aid ship and killed ten aid workers on its way to Gaza in May 2010, Turkey’s government has sought not only to pursue a non-Israeli aligned foreign policy but also stake a claim for leadership of other Arab states such as Jordan. It is seeking to be the dominant power in the region and so far, is having considerable success at Israel’s expense.



Right: Photomontage of recent events in Iran by Thomas Gibbens

Mubarak, Netanyahu and Obama

inducements probably in trade than it does at present. Regarding Iran, a stark and clearer although much less palatable choice faces Israel. Either employ a pre-emptive military strike against all the key nuclear targets and hope that such action is a) successful and b) will not lead to war or, engage diplomatically with Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s government. This government has been a key ally of Hamas, the radical Islamist Palestinian party and authority in Gaza. What price for peace would Iran seek and, more relevantly, can Israel afford to pay it? So, Israel’s negotiations with Iran will inevitably have consequences at home that few Israelis want. Arguably though, the most important issue for Israel’s future stability concerns its relationship with Egypt. Israel will have to step much more carefully with the new pro-Islamist regime in Cairo. If Israel and Egypt fail to re-establish a peaceful alliance, then what will replace, if anything, the cornerstone of peace in the Middle East? And if nothing replaces that, will internal conflicts boil up and expand out of the Arab states with Israel becoming a target again for Arab pan-Nationalism? Matthew Jennings is Head of History at Ardingly College. Educated at Manchester Grammar School and University College london where he received a law Degree. in 1995, he was awarded a Masters in War Studies at Kings College, london. Since then he has been a member of the international institute of Strategic Studies.

With Israel so far isolated what can now stop this process of Palestinian statehood becoming a legal reality? So, where to now, Israel? How shall it approach the revitalised Palestine government and its claim for statehood? Much may depend upon the outcome of the 2012 US Presidential election. Should a strong, pro-Israel, Republican candidate win the election, then Israel will feel less pressured to reach an accommodation with the Palestinian government. Similarly, the Israeli Netanyahu government simply may not be willing or even able to reach an agreement with President Mahmoud Abbas (Fatah) of the Palestinians on any of the key issues preventing a long term peace. If that is the case, how long will the Palestinian people remain docile before another outburst of cross-border incidents and reprisals? Furthermore, Israel cannot ignore the growing strength of Turkey nor can it continue to make so many gaffes with its neighbours. It will have to reengage with its northern neighbour and offer it greater



The Arab Spring and the Question of Military Intervention
Professor J. Ralph

Academics like to draw parallels.
A year on from the start of the Arab Spring it is tempting to compare these events to the 1989 revolutions. These swept away the communist regimes that had held Eastern Europe in their grip for almost half a century. Most of these revolutions were, thankfully, peaceful; and this time last year many were celebrating what seemed to be peaceful transitions in Tunisia and Egypt. As in 1989, however, spring turned to winter and the hopes that a regional revolution could remain peaceful gave way to the reality of civil war. The international politics of 1990’s Europe, was in many ways, dominated by the violence in the Balkans. After the Arab Spring of 2011, the international politics of the Middle East looks set to be dominated (the question of Iranian nuclear capabilities aside) by the violence in Syria. further parallels exist in the fact that the united Nations Security Council is not always certain about how to respond. The Russian and Chinese veto of the resolution proposed early this year illustrates this. These kinds of crises prompt much discussion about the responsibility of “outsiders”. Should they intervene to prevent or ease humanitarian emergencies? Do humanitarian principles and national interests merge as Tony Blair insisted, or is the appeal to humanity a rhetorical veil that disguises the selfish interests of outsiders? Can ‘humanitarian intervention’ remain politically neutral or does outside interference inevitably alter politics in a way that denies national selfdetermination? And, most fundamentally, who decides the answers to the questions? Should a state that answers these questions in favour of intervention press ahead against the objections of other states?

Can that state really claim to be acting on behalf of the “international community” when other states think the common interest is best pursued through a policy of non-interference? When drawing their comparisons academics should acknowledge that historical lines never run precisely in parallel. This is because lessons are learned and applied in ways that alter the course of contemporary events. Take the Balkans for instance. Western governments were initially reluctant to intervene. The national interest was defined narrowly. The Balkans was considered to have its own history which implied that outsiders should not interfere. finally, the consensus at the Security Council did not stretch beyond support for neutral peacekeeping missions. Then we had the massacres at Srebrenica and elsewhere. The outrage prompted shifts in the answers to the key questions. The uK shift was facilitated by a change in government. New Labour had promised to put ‘ethics’ at the centre of its foreign policy. This prompted a greater willingness to intervene forcefully on behalf of human rights and led to Tony Blair’s 1999 insistence that it was right for NATO to intervene to stop the violence in Kosovo. from his perspective the national interest did merge with the humanitarian impulse to ‘do something’. The Balkans certainly had its own history but it was also part of a “European” and even “global” history and its people were part of a “European” and “international community”. foreign governments did have “a responsibility to protect” and the lesson from Bosnia was that NATO had to intervene early.

The problem was that the Russians in particular didn’t agree. Its threat to veto a Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force meant NATO had to construct original legal arguments to square its actions with the uN Charter. Essentially, Russia’s position on Kosovo was presented as being unreasonable in the face of previous resolutions, which had identified the humanitarian situation as a threat to international peace and security. These previous resolutions, it was claimed, ‘implicitly authorized’ NATO to use force. In this respect, the mood of western governments was shifting. They were less willing to let the lack of consensus at the Security Council paralyse their response to humanitarian emergencies. The question that remained, however, was this: could NATO still claim to be acting on behalf of the ‘international community’ when it had seemingly by-passed the uN? If not, was NATO’s intervention an example of liberal imperialism? Not everyone is concerned by the charge of liberal imperialism. If NATOs intervention helped ease or prevent a humanitarian emergency in Kosovo then that might, by itself, be enough for it to claim legitimacy. Yet there are potentially costs to adopting this approach.

The first is illustrated by the diplomacy leading up to the Iraq War. When the french threatened to veto a resolution authorizing the use of force Blair dismissed it as ‘unreasonable’. The invasion was legitimate, he argued, because previous resolutions “implicitly revived” the authority to use force against Iraq that had existed since the first Gulf War in 1991. The uS and uK again pressed ahead without uN support. unlike NATO’s intervention in Kosovo, however, the Americanled invasion of Iraq did not turn out well for Blair. Supporters of the invasion have since acknowledged that Security Council deliberations got it right. Had the uS and the uK accepted that they alone could not decide the best policy then, the critics argue, they would have avoided making a mistake. A reason for listening to the Security Council therefore might be that the discussions there deliver better outcomes. But that doesn’t necessarily hold. One might also argue that the Kosovo intervention delivered a good outcome and had NATO listened to the Security Council the outcome would have been much worse. There is no easy way of determining when a veto is unreasonable.



It does seem that the present governments of the uK and the uS are reluctant to act outside of a clear Security Council mandate. Of course, if a nation decides to act without uN support it cannot easily call on others for assistance. It has to bear the burden itself. This was the lesson that President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron drew from Iraq. Security Council support then is not simply a question of legitimacy; it is a means of sharing the burden. This very much informed the approach toward the 2011 crisis in Libya. There was no doubt in this case that Resolution 1973 (2011) authorized the use of force. The Russians and others (e.g. Brazil, India, China and South Africa) still had concerns, however. Their fear was that the NATO-led coalition was using force to pursue a political agenda (regime change) rather than a humanitarian one (protection of civilians). As noted, it is difficult to see how an external intervention for humanitarian reasons can maintain political neutrality, and there is an argument to suggest that regime change was the only proper way to protect the Libyan people.

Regime change, in other words, was implicit in the “protection of civilians mandate”. The idea of “implying” a mandate from a resolution however does not reassure the Russians – it sounds too much like Kosovo and Iraq. By vetoing resolutions on Syria, Russia and China seemed to be saying they had had enough. They were not going to allow NATO or anyone else to use the same arguments again. The concern that western governments are implying mandates from resolutions and using humanitarian interventions to push political agendas is not new. It has, as I’ve illustrated here, a recent history that stretches back to the 1990’s. This has raised concerns about the legitimacy of western-led interventions. On the other side of the coin, there are reasonable concerns about the use of the veto and this has raised doubts about the legitimacy of Security Council deliberations. It is a difficult issue to resolve. We are at a situation now, however, where it is more difficult for western governments to convince their domestic constituencies to support the use force for humanitarian reasons without Security Council backing. They do not want to bear another burden like Iraq or Afghanistan. This increases the political significance of objections at the Security Council, which in turn reduces the likelihood of future interventions. Jason Ralph is professor of International Relations at the university of leeds and a British Academy Mid-Career fellow. he is author of Defending the society of states. Why America opposes the International Criminal Court and its vision of World society (oxford university press, 2007).

DEFininG A U.S. ROlE
Dr. Henry A. Kissinger

Not the least significant aspect of the Arab Spring is the redefinition of heretofore prevalent principles of foreign policy. As the United States is withdrawing from military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan undertaken on the basis (however disputed) of U.S. national security, it is reengaging in several other states in the region (albeit uncertainly) in the name of humanitarian intervention. Will democratic reconstruction replace national interest as the lodestar of Middle East policy? Is democratic reconstruction what the Arab Spring in fact represents? What are its criteria? The evolving consensus is that the United States is morally obliged to align itself with revolutionary movements in the Middle East as a kind of compensation for its Cold War policies (invariably described as “misguided”), in which it cooperated with nondemocratic governments for security objectives. Then, it is alleged, supporting fragile governments in the name of international stability generated long-term instability. Even granting that some of the Cold War policies were continued beyond their utility, the Cold War structure lasted 30 years and induced decisive strategic transformations, such as Egypt’s abandonment of its alliance with the Soviet Union and the signing of the Camp David Accords. The pattern now emerging, if it fails to

establish an appropriate relationship to its proclaimed goals, risks being inherently unstable from its very inception, and could submerge the values it proclaimed. The Arab Spring is widely presented as a regional, youth-led revolution on behalf of liberal democratic principles. Yet Libya is not ruled by such forces; it hardly continues as a state. Nor is Egypt, whose electoral majority is overwhelmingly Islamist; nor do democrats seem to predominate in the Syrian opposition. The Arab League consensus on Syria is not shaped by countries previously distinguished by the practice or advocacy of democracy. Rather it reflects, in large part, the millennium-old conflict between Shia and Sunni and an attempt to reclaim Sunni dominance from a Shiite minority. It is also precisely why so many minority groups like Druzes, Kurds and Christians are uneasy about regime change in Syria. The confluence of many disparate grievances avowing general slogans is not yet a democratic outcome. The more sweeping the destruction of the existing order, the more difficult the establishment of domestic authority is likely to prove, and the more likely is the resort to force or to impose a universal ideology. And the more fragmented the society grows, the greater the

temptation to foster unity by appeals to a vision of a merged nationalism and Islamism targeting Western values or social goals. We must take care lest revolutions turn, for the outside world, into a transitory Internet experience – watched intently for a few key moments, then tuned out once the main event is deemed to be done. The revolution will have to be judged by its outcome, not its proclamations. Humanitarian concerns do not abolish the need to relate national interest to a concept of world order. For the U.S., a doctrine of general humanitarian intervention in Middle East revolutions will prove unsustainable unless linked to a concept of U.S. national security. Intervention needs to consider the strategic significance and social cohesion of a country (including the possibility of fracturing its complex sectarian makeup) and evaluate what can plausibly be constructed in place of the old regime. American public opinion has already recoiled from the scope of the efforts required to transform Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Do we believe that a less explicitly strategic U.S. involvement disclaiming an American national interest will make nation-building less complex? Do we have a

Further Reading • Blair, T (1999) Doctrine of the International Community, 24 April 1999. Available from • Alex Bellamy and Paul Williams (2011) ‘The new politics of protection? Côte d’Ivoire, Libya and the responsibility to protect’, International Affairs 87 (4) 825-50. • Jason Ralph (2011) ‘After Chilcot: ‘The doctrine of international community’ and the UK decision to invade Iraq’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations 13 (3): 304-25. • Wheeler, NJ (2002) Saving Strangers. Humanitarian Intervention in International Society. Oxford: Oxford university Press.



preference as to which groups come to power? Or are we agnostic so long as the mechanisms are electoral? If so, how do we avoid the risk of fostering a new absolutism legitimized by managed plebiscites? What outcomes are compatible with America’s core strategic interests? Will it be possible to combine strategic withdrawal from key countries and reduced military expenditures with doctrines of universal humanitarian intervention? A discussion of these issues has been largely absent from the debate over U.S. foreign policy regarding the Arab Spring. Whether the Arab Spring in fact enhances the scope of individual freedom or instead replaces feudal authoritarianism with a new era of absolute rule based on sect-based permanent majorities will not be disclosed by the initial proclamations of the revolutionaries. Traditional fundamentalist political forces, reinforced by alliance with radical revolutionaries, threaten to dominate the process while the social network elements which shaped the beginning are being marginalized. America should encourage regional aspirations for political change. But it is not wise to seek an equivalent result in every country at the same pace. America will serve its values as well by offering quiet counsel as by issuing public declarations, which are likely to produce a sense of siege. It is not an abdication of principle to tailor the U.S. position on a country-by-country basis and attune it to other relevant factors, including national security; indeed, this is the essence of a creative foreign policy.

For over half a century, American policy in the Middle East has been guided by several core security objectives: preventing any power in the region from emerging as a hegemon; ensuring the free flow of energy resources, still vital to the operation of the world economy; and attempting to broker a durable peace between Israel and its neighbours, including a settlement with the Palestinian Arabs. In the past decade, Iran has emerged as the principal challenge to all three of these objectives. These interests have not been abolished by the Arab Spring; their implementation has grown more urgent. A process that ends with regional governments either too weak or too anti-Western in their orientation to lend support to these outcomes, and in which American partnerships are no longer welcomed, must evoke American strategic concerns – regardless of the electoral mechanisms by which these governments come to power. Within the framework of these general limits, American policy has significant scope for creativity in promoting humanitarian and democratic values. The United States should be prepared to deal with democratically-elected Islamist governments. But it is also free to pursue a standard principle of traditional foreign policy to condition its stance on the alignment of its interests with the actions of the government in question. The U.S. conduct during the Arab upheavals has so far been successful in avoiding placing America as an obstacle to the revolutionary transformations. This is not a minor achievement. But it is just one component of a successful approach. U.S. policy

The articles in the first issue of Timeline have explored the Middle East and have illustrated numerous constants, from the importance of Jerusalem to the domination of the region by aggressive rulers. These remain as true today as they did back in the eleventh century. In addition, the Middle East is the lynchpin of three continents with three separate religions of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. At the heart of many of the conflicts between rulers from each region has been their religious differences and competition over Holy sites. Indeed, many of the earlier articles have highlighted this. These religious differences live with us to this day. The Middle East has held a special attraction for many in the West since Christianity settled in Europe. Prior to that time, the region of modern day Israel was still vital to trading links between Europe, North Africa and Central Asia. Nowadays, oil is the economic imperative that prompts outside interest and on occasions even Western involvement in the region. Yet, while the Middle East sits astride the richest natural resources in the world, much of that wealth is held by a few super-elite often from the same family or tribe. Events across the region over the last two years have illustrated how the people living under the firm rule of these elites have become unwilling to do so. Not only have Tunisians and others wanted greater protection of their civil rights but also tangible economic opportunities especially for the ordinary working man and woman. These desires, albeit not particularly new, have brought them in to conflict with their own governments time and time again. Yet something different happened in 2011. These complaints grew in number and did so courtesy of the powerful media used by the protestors. This was the new dimension that transformed protests in to rebellions. This process was vividly brought to the attention of many in the West by digital technology and social networking sites. Protests and brutal suppression were beamed around the world within minutes of it happening by an empowered ordinary class of activist; a true Peasant’s Revolt. In most countries of the Middle East this power struggle has yet to be resolved. For example, it remains unclear whether Egypt is evolving into a democracy or whether another form of authoritarian control will supplant the previous regime. Libya has yet to proceed as far as that and has far greater divisions to deal with. Those may well hinder its path towards a peaceful multi-party democratic state. Syria holds elections while simultaneously fighting a civil war in a dozen cities. Other states too, such as Yemen, Bahrain and Palestine have yet to resolve their own civil disorders. Consequently, the Arab Spring is not only still alive, it is ever-changing. And so are the methods of protest. The battle lines remain with the authoritarian forces of government, police and army on the one side verses the protesting masses armed with banners, BlackBerries and iPhones on the other. Similarly, the aims of the protestors from Bahrain to Egypt have changed a lot since the first few months. The more militant groups have resisted calls to accept moderate reforms by placating leaders. These protestors have ceased just demanding jobs and civil rights. They are now calling for root and branch constitutional reforms and holding their oppressors accountable before their own courts. Across the Middle East it will be some time yet before we can say with certainty that the rebellions of the Arab Spring have become revolutions for a new Arab world. While western governments hope that strong, pro-western democracies will emerge in the Middle East, many fear that these dreams are unrealistic. Already ultra-Nationalist and Islamist groups have gained considerable political support in Egypt, Libya and Syria. Some have demonstrated a willingness to bypass democratic niceties to achieve their aims especially in Libya and Syria. Furthermore, an Islamist President has been elected in Egypt and more may follow in the Arab Spring’s fledgling republics. It remains unclear at this stage how these new regimes will change the previous dynamic of stable relations between the previous Arab dictatorships and the West as well as with Israel. So will the Arab Spring turn in to an Islamic Winter? Only time will tell…. Mr M. Jennings

will, in the end, also be judged by whether what emerges from the Arab Spring improves the reformed states’ responsibility towards the international order and humane institutions. Dr. Kissinger served in the Army and graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College later receiving M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in 1952 and 1954. From 1954 until 1969 he was a faculty member of Harvard University, in both the Department of Government and the Center for international Affairs. Subsequently, Dr. Kissinger served as national Security adviser and as Secretary of State under Presidents nixon and Ford. in 1973, he received the nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Kissinger is the author of numerous books and articles on United States foreign policy, international affairs and diplomatic history. This work originally appeared in the international Herald tribune, April 2, 2012 and we are grateful to both iHt and Dr Kissinger for permission to republish.



Next Issue of Timeline
Volume 2: The Americas: A New World
We are now taking submissions for our next issue of ‘Timeline!’ As well as receiving articles we also want to hear your views about what you have read in this issue. So why not send in a letter to the editor for publication in the next issue? The theme for the next issue of ‘Timeline’ is the Americas. This region has shaped world events over recent years but also has an extraordinarily rich cultural heritage. There are fascinating stories to be told and questions to be answered. Perhaps YOU might want to submit an article on one of the following: the ancient civilisations and indigenous peoples of the Americas, the era of European entanglement with them from 1492 onwards, the quest for Independence in the North and Latin American countries, the American Civil War, the growth of the USA, the building of the Panama Canal, the 1920s, Gangsters and the Mafia, the Wall Street Crash and Depression, the New Deal, America’s involvement in two Worlds Wars, McCarthyism, the Space Race, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, the Falklands War, Hollywood, 9/11, America’s foreign (and domestic) policy challenges, President Obama’s first term and the 2012 US Presidential elections. These are just some of the possible topics that could feature in the next issue of ‘Timeline.’ If you are interested in submitting an article please make sure it is in word.doc format, 12 point and between 750 and 1500 words in length unless by prior arrangement with the Editor. We are happy to publish submissions from current Students, Parents of Students, Staff and indeed OAs. Please send all queries, letters, requests or submissions to: Copy Deadline is Easter 2013

The World Trade Centre Twin Towers 9 11

Matthew Jennings Head of History and Editor of timeline

Dr Martin Luther King Jnr. 1963 Back Page: Egyptian Protestors in 2011


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