Sir Sherard Louis Cowper-Coles KCMG LVO is a British diplomat. From 2009 to 2010 the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
He worked briefly for BAE Systems’ as the International business development director, focusing on the Middle East and south-east Asia. He is now a Senior Advisor to HSBC’s Group Chief Executive Officer.
His first book Cables from Kabul was published by HarperCollins in 2011. It is a frank and honest memoir, which provides a unique, high-level insight into Western policy in Afghanistan. Ever The Diplomat, his second memoir, was also published by HarperCollins in 2013. This entertaining and engaging memoir lifts the lid on embassy life throughout the world.
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EVER THE DIPLOMAT: CONFESSIONS OF A FOREIGN OFFICE MANDARIN – buy it here.
In this entertaining and engaging memoir, former ambassador Sherard Cowper-Coles lifts the lid on embassy life throughout the world.
In 1977 fresh-faced Oxford graduate Sherard Cowper-Coles entered the hallowed portals of the Foreign Office. Over the next thirty years he was invariably to be found at the frontline of international diplomacy, either striding the corridors of power at Westminster or jetting from one exotic location to the next. His tasks ranged from the challenging to the bizarre – from speech writing for Margaret Thatcher (who scrawled an emphatic ‘NO!’ over his first effort), to hiding an embarrassing bobble hat from Robin Cook .
With recollections from the last three decades in international politics, taking us right up to Cowper-Coles’s posting to Afghanistan, ‘Ever the Diplomat’ is a revealing and witty account of a unique period in our history. Cowper-Coles reveals what went on behind-the-scenes of Whitehall as we encounter a swindler impersonating Liberian President Charles Taylor, the young, idealistic leader of Syria Bashar al-Assad and Tony Blair in his boxer shorts.
PUBLISHER: Harper Press
PUBLICATION DATE: 28th March 2013
CABLES FROM KABUL – Buy it here
A frank and honest memoir by Britain’s former ambassador to Kabul which provides a unique, high-level insight into Western policy in Afghanistan.
For three years, from 2007 until 2010, Sherard Cowper-Coles was on the diplomatic frontline in Kabul as the Western policy towards Afghanistan sank deeper into crisis. First as the British Ambassador and, later, as the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative, he witnessed at first hand a struggle that by 2010 was swallowing billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money, and had cost the lives of more than 2,000 American and 350 British soldiers, as well as tens of thousands of Afghans, in and out of uniform.
In ‘Cables from Kabul’ he gives the reader a ringside seat in the enfolding drama of the West’s Afghanistan mission. Packed full of colourful vignettes, the book lifts the lid on Embassy life, while at the same time providing a powerful critique of Western strategy. Why, he asks, are we focused on pacifying the Taliban in order to hand over power to a half-formed Afghan state that is neither willing nor able to govern?
The book sets out Sherard’s conviction that the Afghanistan project can be brought to a successful conclusion only if America is prepared to engage directly with its enemies and to deliver the massive political and diplomatic effort required to bring about conflict resolution.
Nobody is better placed to tell this story. Authoritiative, witty and astonishingly frank, ‘Cables from Kabul’ explains how we got into the quagmire of Afghanistan, and how we can get out of it.
PUBLISHER: Harper Collins
PUBLICATION DATE: 9th June 2011