Carne Ross is the founder and director of Independent Diplomat, a diplomatic advisory group. Born in 1966, Ross has a fraternal twin, Oliver Ross, a successful paediatric anaesthetist in UK. Carne Ross taught in Zimbabwe before attending the University of Exeter where he studied economics and politics. He joined the British foreign service in 1989. Ross's testimony in the Butler Review directly contradicted the British position on the justification behind the invasion of Iraq.
At the UN, Ross served as the UK delegation's expert on the Middle East. Ross also worked on several important Security Council resolutions such as SCR 1284 which rewrote the Council's Iraq policy and established UNMOVIC, the weapons inspection body. He also negotiated for the UK the resolution establishing the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and the Council's resolution of 12 September 2001 condemning the attacks of the day before.
Ross then served as Strategy Coordinator for the UN in Kosovo (UNMIK) where he devised and led a joint UN and government policy to implement a series of standards to improve governance, the rule of law and human rights protection, and advised the Secretary-General's Special Representative on diplomatic and political tactics.
He left the British civil service in 2004 after 15 years of service. He is now a supporter of a UN Parliamentary Assembly. In 2004, he founded the non-governmental organisation Independent Diplomat.
Testimony on the UK's role in the invasion of Iraq
Ross testified during the Butler Review, which investigated intelligence blunders in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. He testified that at no time during his work on Iraq (1998-2002) did the UK or US assess that Iraq's WMD posed a threat. He also argued that available alternatives to war, namely targeting Iraq's illegal oil revenues, were ignored. This testimony directly challenged Blair's assertions that the war was legally justified by Saddam Hussein's possession of weapons of mass destruction which posed a threat to British interests. The testimony was published by the Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs after MPs sought assurances from the Foreign Office that it would not breach the Official Secrets Act. In an interview with the Brooklyn Rail, Ross stated that "in many ways, the sanctions on the Iraqi people were worse than the war because the economy was taken back decades and the health service deteriorated massively."
Publications and artistic endeavours
Ross published a book called Independent Diplomat: Dispatches from an Unaccountable Elite in 2007 and a book called The Leaderless Revolution in 2011. He wrote a play called The Fox, which enjoyed a short run in New York in early 2001. He also appeared as an extra in an Alan Partridge Christmas Special.
He is acknowledged and thanked by author John le Carre in his latest book A Delicate Truth which has been just been recently published. Le Carre goes on to say that his work "would have been poorer" without Ross's "example and pithy advice."
Ross is the grandson of Alan S.C. Ross.
- Palmer, John (26 March 2007). "The road from Rome". The Guardian (London).
- Kozloff, Nikolas (May 2012). "THE “LEADERLESS REVOLUTION” CARNE ROSS with Nikolas Kozloff". The Brooklyn Rail.
- Carne Ross (2007). Independent Diplomat: Dispatches from an Unaccountable Elite. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-4557-6.
- Carne Ross (2012). The Leaderless Revolution: How Ordinary People Will Take Power and Change Politics in the Twenty-First Century. Blue Rider Press. ISBN 978-0-399-15872-8.
- Elyse Sommer (2001). "The Fox" (Review). Curtain Up. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
- Independent Diplomat
- UK Publisher: Hurst & Co
- US Publisher: Cornell University Press
- Stephen Moss, "Diplomat at large", The Guardian, 20 June 2005
- Colin Brown and Andy McSmith, "Diplomat's suppressed document lays bare the lies behind Iraq war", The Independent, 15 December 2006
- TEDTalk: Carne Ross, independent diplomat
- Carne Ross on Bill Moyers
- In Conversation: The “Leaderless Revolution” Carne Ross with Nikolas Kozloff, The Brooklyn Rail