James Denselow

James Denselow is a writer on Middle East politics and security issues.


James writes regularly for The Guardian and has written articles for Middle East International, The Huffington Post The New Statesman, Syria Today, The World Today, The Daily Telegraph and The Yorkshire Post. He has been cited in many international publications including The Boston Globe, Voice of America, The Sunday Telegraph, Reuters and AFP

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James writes book, television and film reviews for International Affairs, Middle East International, The Arab and The Guardian

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See James's published work

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In The Media

James in the media - Watch James discussing Middle East issues on a variety of media platforms including the BBC, Al Jazeera and Russia Today
Lebanon: mixing the young generation PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Denselow   
Friday, 28 May 2010 10:21

Interference in Lebanon is rife, but the country's internal politics are often misunderstood or ignored.

(The New Statesman) Last week the Daily Star reported that Hezbollah was organising "Jihadi Tours" to the south of the country. On the trip, Lebanese of all religions were taken to the sites of key battles, the rather surreal border crossing with Israel at Fatima's gate, before meeting some of the largely elusive Hezbollah fighters themselves. Tim Llewellyn commented at the launch of his new book about Lebanon, that parallel trips are being organised whereby Lebanese Shiites visit Christian areas of the north.

The Coalition of the Unwilling PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Denselow   
Friday, 28 May 2010 08:11


Coalition Politics and the Iraq War – Daniel Baltrusaitis



The US commenced combat operations in Iraq 2003 with a ‘coalition of the willing’ that comprised some 40 countries publicly committed to the war effort. Yet such a collection of flags masked the deep divisions that characterised the run up to war with major allies refusing to support the initial invasion and then placing heavy caveats on their role in the ensuing occupation. In this book, a conversion of his PhD thesis, Baltrusaitis argues that the mechanisms of coalitions building are vitally important to understanding how the US in particular wages war. 


Last Updated on Friday, 28 May 2010 08:13
Getting Out – Historical Perspectives on Leaving Iraq PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Denselow   
Friday, 28 May 2010 08:05


Getting Out – Historical Perspectives on Leaving Iraq

Edited by Michael Walzer and Nicolaus Mills


Withdrawing from Iraq – Alternative Schedules, Associated Risks, and Mitigating Strategies


RAND – National Defense Research Institute


The United States occupation of Iraq is winding down. By the end of 2011, according to the Security Agreement signed between the US and Iraq in 2008, all US forces are scheduled to withdraw from the country and this highly controversial war will officially be at an end. 


These two short books examine both the historical perspective of other occupying powers attempts to extradite themselves from a country, as well as a more specific risk analysis of the particular experience of exiting Iraq.


Last Updated on Friday, 28 May 2010 08:15
The Hostage Dilemma PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Denselow   
Thursday, 27 May 2010 11:51

(The Guardian) Recent hostage negotiations in Somalia and Iran show westerners are still valuable international bargaining chips

The video message from British hostages in Somalia and the visit of the mothers of three American hikers in Iran are reminders of the huge value of holding westerners in larger political disputes. In a region wracked by apparently eternal and endless bloody conflicts, the fate of a handful of western hostages can still act as an important pivot in determining events.


From Russia with Love PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Denselow   
Thursday, 20 May 2010 09:58

Syria's relationship with Russia – which is cultural as well as strategic – highlights how US non-engagement has failed

This has been a busy month so far for the Syrians. The US Congress blocked Obama's attempt to appoint Robert Ford as ambassador following reports of Syrian Scud missiles being transferred to Hezbollah, and on 3 May Washington renewed economic and diplomatic sanctions on Syria that have been in place since 2004.

While the US remains unwilling or unable to reach out to Damascus, the Russians have no such worries, prompting concern that the first visit of a Russian leader to Syria since 1917 could trigger a new Middle Eastern cold war .

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