Tom Stevenson

Tom Stevenson is a contributing editor at the LRB. His collection of essays, Someone Else’s Empire: British Illusions and American Hegemony, many of which first appeared in the paper, was published in 2023.

From The Blog
13 June 2024

The number of Trump administration officials who could be called ‘very competent’ is small, but the former deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger is one of them. A private school boy from Massachusetts who learned to speak excellent Mandarin, Pottinger was once the Wall Street Journal’s correspondent in China (where he was punched in the face in a café by someone he described as a ‘government goon’).

The twin cities​ of Islamabad and Rawalpindi represent the perfect inversion of the idea that military forces should be confined to barracks far from the seat of government, keeping the capital free for civil administration. Pindi is a busy contemporary metropolis. Right at its centre is the grand frontage of the Pakistani army’s general headquarters. The parliament, presidency,...

From The Blog
21 May 2024

The military protection of Saudi Arabia has been the centrepiece of US power in the world’s major hydrocarbon-producing region for decades. For most of that time the US has also committed itself to the protection and support of Israel. American strategic planners have usually managed this balancing act without trouble, but on occasion it has posed problems.

Rubble from Bone: Israel’s War

Tom Stevenson, 8 February 2024

In the first three months​ of Israel’s attack on Gaza around 25,000 Palestinians were killed and around 60,000 wounded, 70 per cent of them women and children. Around 80 per cent of the population of Gaza has been displaced. The rate of killing has been higher than in most wars this century, sometimes reaching more than two thousand deaths a week. There have been airstrikes on...

From The Blog
1 February 2024

Rural fort soldiering is a classic imperial mode, so it isn’t unusual that the US does it in the Middle East, except that so many of the outposts in Syria and Iraq have become liabilities. So why haven’t they been shut down? 

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