Philip Towle


Towle has written in IEDSS collections which feature Brian Crozier, Gerald Frost and Christopher Coker. Towle also worked for the Reuters News Agency and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He was Deputy Director (1982-93) and then Director of the Centre of International Studies (1993-1998). The Management Committee of the Centre includes Professor Christopher Andrew, and the International Advisory Board includes Lord Timothy Garden, Sir Nicholas Henderson (formerly Ambassador to the US, Bruce Jackson the Vice President of Strategy and Planning, Lockheed Martin Corporation, President and Chairman, US Committee on NATO, Dr David M. Malone President, International Peace Academy, Michael Prideaux Corporate and Regulatory Affairs Director, British American Tobacco and several others.

Towle was the author of the (1983) Europe Without America: Could We Defend Ourselves, an IEDSS Occasional Paper No. 5, cited in Manfred R.Hamm’s (1983) Missiles in Europe: The Case for Deployment a Heritage Foundation briefing paper. Other similar IEDSS studies highlighted and quoted by Heritage according to their archive include a Michael Ruehle (1986) study of anti-tactical ballistic missile defense in Europe, with a focus on the Strategic Defense Initiative. Towle was also part of Gerald Frost and Andrew McHallam (eds). (1992) In Search of Stability: Europe’s Unfinished Revolution, IEDSS Studies Annual 1991-92, which was reviewed as having the common theme of the “need for the destruction of the culture of communism.” On Brian Crozier, it notes that his work

…is a strange review of the state of theCommunist parties in Western Europe and of their ties to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. I believe his aim-in 1992–is to ring the alarm bell of domestic subversion. And yet, it is very difficult to see the miniscule and divided parties in Britain and Germany, or the withered party in France or the renamed party in Italy as anything besides dinosaurs or curiosities. The authors are at a loss to explain the transition from communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The problem is, of course, that the generally bloodless, mostly nonviolent, astonishingly rapid collapse of state socialist regimes clashes with every belief about left totalitarianism conservatives have held since Lenin arrived at the Finland Station. Both historian Mark Almond (author of two chapters) and journalist Brian Crozier go so far as to see the retreat of the Bolsheviks as aruse to lull unsuspecting publics while the Reds lick their wounds and plan their returns. The evaporation of the communist threat clearly presents a paradox for rightists. Though cheered by the downfall of Leninism, conservatives pine for the certainty of the good old bad old days.

Towle’s work is described as part “look how wrong you were” polemic against “the erroneous pre-Gulf War prognostications of the academic pundits, and part commentary on the course of the war.” And that “Towle writes as if the strength of the Iraqi military was the only issue upon which the decision to go to war hinged.”

Towle also wrote the (2000) Ethics and the Arms Trade, for the Institute of Economic Affairs. He has taught at the Royal Naval College Dartmouth, and was a Senior Research Fellow in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (1978-1980).

*Back to the The Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies


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