Paul Leslie Moorcraft
(born 1948 in Cardiff, Wales) is the Director of the Centre for Foreign Policy Analysis in London and visiting professor at Cardiff University
Cardiff University is a leading research university located in the Cathays Park area of Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. It received its Royal charter in 1883 and is a member of the Russell Group of Universities. The university is consistently recognised as providing high quality research-based...
's School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies.
Moorcraft was born in 1948 in Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...
, Wales. He attended Canton High School, Cardiff, and then Swansea, Lancaster and Cardiff Universities. Later, he studied at universities in the Middle East, and in southern Africa (University of South Africa and University of Harare). He married Susan van den Brink in 1987 on an island in Zimbabwe's Lake Kariba
Lake Kariba is the world's largest artificial lake and reservoir. It lies 1300 kilometers upstream from the Indian Ocean, along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe...
. In his memoirs, he said it happened "almost by accident". The marriage was dissolved in 1993. Paul Moorcraft now lives in the Surrey Hills, near Guildford in the United Kingdom.
Moorcraft has been the Director of the Centre for Foreign Policy Analysis since its establishment in 2004. It is an independent non-political organisation dedicated to conflict resolution. It has been active in various countries, but especially Sudan. The centre sent fifty observers for the 2010 national elections in both north and south Sudan.
In the course of his academic career he taught full-time at the universities of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, Natal, Cape Town, Witwatersrand, Cardiff, Baylor (Texas), Deakin (Australia), Waikato (New Zealand), and Bournemouth, as well as lecturing part-time at the Open University and Westminster University. His subjects ranged from international politics to journalism.
Moorcraft has also worked for the British defence establishment. He is a former senior instructor at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst (1973–1975), and has also taught at the UK Joint Services Command and Staff College (1997–2000). He also worked in corporate communications in the British Ministry of Defence in Whitehall. The Ministry of Defence recalled him for six months during the Iraq war in 2003.
Moorcraft has also pursued a career as a journalist. He was the editor of a range of security and foreign policy magazines, including Defence Review and Defence International
. He worked for Time
magazine, the BBC and most of the Western TV networks as a freelance producer and war correspondent. He was a Distinguished Radford Visiting Professor in Journalism at Baylor University, Texas. Over the past three decades, he has worked in thirty war zones in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Balkans, often with irregular forces.
Moorcraft is also a crisis management consultant to such international blue-chip companies as Shell, British Gas, 3M, Standard Bank etc., as well as for various government organisations.
He is the author of a range of books on military history, politics and crime. Moorcraft is a media commentator and appears regularly on BBC TV and radio, as well as organizations such as Sky and Al Jazeera. He is also an op-ed/columnist for major international newspapers including The Guardian
, Washington Times
, Business Day
, New Statesman
and Western Mail
. Moorcraft is an award-winning novelist, best known for his Anchoress of Shere
(Poisoned Pen Press, 2002).
He lost some eyesight in one eye as a result of previous war injuries, and in 2009 lost the sight in his good eye after surgery to remove a brain tumour.
Moorcraft takes an active interest in raising awareness of dyscalculia
Dyscalculia is a specific learning disability involving innate difficulty in learning or comprehending simple arithmetic. It is akin to dyslexia and includes difficulty in understanding numbers, learning how to manipulate numbers, learning maths facts, and a number of other related symptoms...
Moorcraft conducted one of the first major interviews with Robert Mugabe
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980...
at the end of the Rhodesian war. He praised Mugabe for his conciliatory attitude towards the white Rhodesians, then later became one of the toughest critics of the Zimbabwean regime. Moorcraft also supported the war against Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...
in 2003, but later recanted his views in the light of the failure to find weapons of mass destruction. He now apparently supports a total withdrawal of Western forces from Muslim countries, according to a recent feature in Britain's Sunday Express
In April 2008, Moorcraft's views on church law and marriage, more specifically criticising the phenomenon of "wedding tourism", which involves couples seeking to be married in pretty rural parish churches with which they have no real connection, were heavily publicized in print, radio and TV in the UK.
- Autobiographical Guns and Poses: Travels with an occasional war correspondent (2001).
- "Inside Saddam's crazy capital", Western Mail, 3 October 2002.
- "A replay of Iraq beckons in Darfur if we send in troops", The Guardian, 6 April 2006.
- "The Mugabe problem", Washington Times, 25 August 2006.
- "Visions of war, dreams of peace in a changing world", Business Day, 9 January 2007.
- 1999 Vauxhall Lecture
- Cardiff University
- Number blindness (dyscalculia)
- "Why the West must exit now", Sunday Express (London), 17 September 2006.
- Church marriage rules
- Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies
- Channel 56
- Sudan Watch
- International Institute for Strategic Studies
- Inside the Danger Zones: Travels to Arresting Places (Dialogue, London, 2010) p. 195.
- In 2005 he co-authored Axis of Evil: The War on Terror (Pen and Sword, May 2005). An updated version, The New Wars of the West, was published by Casemate in the US in 2006. His Shooting the Messenger: The Political Impact of War Reporting (Potomac, Washington, 2008), is co-authored with Philip M Taylor. The Rhodesian War: A Military History, a study of the Rhodesian civil war (with Peter McLaughlin) was also published in 2008 by Pen and Sword books.
- Poisoned Pen Press, Anchoress of Shere was runner up in 2003 for the Benjamin Franklin Awards, and the Foreword Magazine Book of the Year. It was also named "2002 notable mystery of the year" by the US Publishers Weekly. ‘‘Publishers Weekly’’, 1 April 2002, . p57.