James Butler

James Butler is a former Associate Editor (North America) at Fair Observer. He holds an MA in International Relations from King's College London and his research interests include the relationship between politics and the media, and the impact the "War on Terror" has had on civil liberties. Since graduating, he has worked as a security analyst, specializing in Latin American security issues, and as a journalist focusing on political events in North America. Butler is also an alumnus of Oxford University (Lady Margaret Hall), where he studied Modern History. During his time there, he was elected to the committee of the Oxford University Law Society.

Purge Risks Weakening Turkish Security Forces

Jul 22, 2016

Erdogan will likely use the momentum of the crackdown to support his efforts to increase the presidency’s executive powers. The short-lived coup attempt in Turkey was launched by a section of the armed forces on July 15 by the so-called Peace at Home Council. During the ensuing hours, 145 civilians...

Bombs and Ballots Bring Uncertainty to Turkey

Sep 26, 2015

President Erdogan’s security policy threatens to undermine the ruling party ahead of November’s election. Security has significantly worsened in Turkey since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) failed to secure a majority in the June parliamentary election. The resumption of full-scale conflict with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and a...

The UK General Election Explained

May 05, 2015

The 2015 UK General Election could see the Conservative-Labour dominance in Westminster diminished. Background On May 7, the British electorate will take to the polls in an election that seems virtually certain to end in a second consecutive hung parliament. Though it has been widely predicted that no party will...

Should Drugs Be Legalized?

Mar 16, 2015

As a number of US states experiment with the legal regulation of marijuana, the issue of drug reform is increasingly debated. Background After decades of global prohibition encompassing virtually all drugs except alcohol, there are signs that major reform of drug laws is starting to become a possibility. There is...

US Intervention in Ukraine Risks Further Conflict

Feb 06, 2015

The US is considering whether to arm the Ukrainian military, however, such a move could provoke further escalation of the conflict. Despite numerous attempts to enforce the ceasefire agreement reached in Minsk in September 2014, the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine is deteriorating. On January 23, Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of...

Europe Remains at Risk of Further Terrorist Attacks

Jan 17, 2015

Due to limited resources for intelligence services, European cities will remain vulnerable and further attacks are highly likely to occur. The attacks in Paris are the latest reminder of European cities’ vulnerability to terrorism. The style and duration of the attacks highlight the high impact that incidents involving small arms...

The Scottish Referendum Explained

Sep 15, 2014

Will Scotland secede from the United Kingdom? Background On September 18, 4 million voters in Scotland will be asked a “yes” or “no” question that could have profound implications for their country, and for the United Kingdom of which it is a part: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” The...

Iraq: Making or Breaking Obama’s Foreign Policy

Jul 22, 2014

In Iraq, Obama faces the greatest test of his attempt to recast US foreign policy. Despite the undoubted early coup of killing Osama bin Laden, foreign policy has proven a particular area of vulnerability for US President Barack Obama. He has been stalked by sustained attacks from Republicans over his...

The Future of Guantanamo Bay

Sep 04, 2013

Why has Obama failed to close Guantanamo Bay? Background The detention camp at Guantanamo Bay has become perhaps the most potent and divisive symbol of America’s "War on Terror," and one which then-Senator Barack Obama promised to end during his 2008 presidential campaign. Yet there are still 166 detainees being...

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