This site hosts my writing, blogs, tweets, talks and other media appearances discussing political and international issues, and alternatives to the current status quo. I am a former British diplomat who worked on issues like the Arab-Israel dispute, Afghanistan, terrorism and Iraq. I resigned in 2004, after giving secret evidence about how the British government had exaggerated the case for invading Iraq and ignored available alternatives to war. I now run the world's first non-profit diplomatic advisory group, Independent Diplomat. >>
02.03.17 |I thought I would post the chapter from The Leaderless Revolution called "Niine Principles for Action". I welcome comments on anything here on my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/carnewross/.
Here is a short list of principles that may guide action, along with a few practical examples. The principles are by no means exclusive, nor comprehensive: mere pointers, not instructions.
Excavate your convictions
This is perhaps the hardest step, and I have...more
Interview published in E-International Relations, Nov 24, 2016
Carne Ross is founder and director of Independent Diplomat, a diplomatic advisory organisation. They work to advise un- or under-represented countries, governments and political groups on participation in the international system. Before founding Independent Diplomat he worked as a British diplomat and resigned in 2004 after giving secret evidence on UK participation in the Iraq war to a British inquiry. He is the author of two...more
11.21.16 |I always really enjoy talking with students. A few weeks ago, I gave a talk at Cornell and was interviewed by Marc Masson, a French post-grad there. This was the result. The interview covers the UN (and the new SG), some of the problems with diplomacy and some advice for those interested in careers in international relations.more
08.02.16 |The Nation asked me to comment on Larry Summers's notion of "responsible nationalism" as a response to the more toxic kind of Trump and the Brexiters. You can view the article on The Nation site here.
Can the Left Reclaim Nationalism?
By Carne Ross, Sherle R. Schwenninger, Atossa Araxia Abrahamian and Mark Blyth
Writing in The Washington Post last month, former Treasury secretary Larry Summers suggested that the proper response to recent manifestations of popular...more
I returned to the UK for the publication of the Chilcot Report. I did a number of interviews, which are posted in the News/Media section of this site. I was asked by the New York Times to write about the report. You can see it online here. And here's the text:
Chilcot Report: How Tony Blair Sold the War
London — WEDNESDAY saw the publication, years overdue, of the official report into Britain’s conduct of the 2003 Iraq war. The...more
06.13.16 |With the publication of the Iraq Inquiry "Chilcot" Report imminent, I am re-posting a blog I wrote at the ten-year anniversary of the war:
With the ten year anniversary of the war, I wanted to tell the story of the evidence I gave to the first official inquiry into the war, an event that led to my resignation from the British foreign servce.
The Butler Inquiry, as it was known, in 2004 invited testimonies from officials who had worked on Iraq before the 2003 invasion. I had been the UK's...more
Oped in today's Guardian about the UN and what to do about it.
As good a place as any to witness the slow decline of the post-second world war global “order” is the UN security council – if they would let you in, which they won’t. Don’t bother with that rarefied organ’s “public” meetings. None of its real diplomatic business is conducted in the open.
In a reflection of the state of the world, the security council, which is charged with the maintenance of international peace, is...more
Die Zeit: I Was Part of It
“I Was Part of It”
This article was originally published in German for Die Zeit on 23 December 2015.
Professional diplomat Carne Ross ended his career and committed himself to the truth
By Kerstin Kohlenberg
He could never be a diplomat: Carne Ross remembers his father telling him that from an early age, at home in South London. To be a diplomat, his father explained to his twelve year old son, you had to be very smart. And he...more
01.26.16 |Mankind has the ability to destroy itself in two ways: climate change and nuclear weapons. This latter method provokes very little discussion these days, presumably because fashionable preoccupations like terrorism or the presidential elections take precedence. There should be much greater debate, in particular about news that the US is busy developing "precision" nuclear weapons and that there is a new nuclear arms race with Russia and China.
In the old days of East-West confrontation, there...more
01.26.16 |The cult around the Japanese guru of tidiness Marie Kondo is bizarre but explicable. It is bizarre because it is absurd that people need to buy a book in order to be told why and how to tidy their houses. There is something grotesque about this spectacle of rich people obsessing about which of their many possessions bring them "joy" as they decide which to discard and which to keep. But such criticism is easy. Modern society has been wasteful long before Marie Kondo came along.
Where does this...more
My book, Independent Diplomat: Dispatches from an Unaccountable Elite, offers a critique of contemporary diplomacy drawn from my own experience as a diplomat. In analysing the many deficits of the current system - and how that system produces bad decisions - it also offers a vision of what can be put right. You can see more here: >>