Middle East update: December 9-10 2017

IRAQ The Iraqi government on Saturday declared that its war with ISIS is over. On Sunday, it even held a big happy victory parade through downtown Baghdad. Before you get too excited, what this apparently signifies is that Baghdad has taken control over its side of the Iraq-Syrian border from ISIS. So territorially the group… Continue reading Middle East update: December 9-10 2017

Europe/Americas update: December 8 2017

WAR ON TERROR The New York Times‘ Islamic extremism reporter, Rukmini Callimachi, has been tracking terrorist groups’ reactions to Donald Trump’s announcement that the US is recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It’s been universally negative, with one interesting exception: The Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has long been one of the… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: December 8 2017

Asia/Africa update: December 8 2017

ASIA KAZAKHSTAN Russia’s neighbors, even the ones that have good relations with Moscow, are quietly adopting new military doctrines in response to Russian actions in Ukraine: Without much ado, Kazakhstan adopted a new military doctrine in September, replacing a 2011 document that had become dated. The new document states that Kazakhstan does not have enemies.… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: December 8 2017

Middle East update: December 8 2017

MIDDLE EAST IRAQ One of the positives that came out of the Mosul operation was the performance of Iraq’s elite “Golden Division” (Counterterrorism Service or CTS) special forces unit. That unit had received considerably more US training and materiel than other Iraqi units, and it clearly outperformed the rest of Iraq’s fighting forces. Outperformed them… Continue reading Middle East update: December 8 2017

World update: December 7 2017

ASIA SOUTH KOREA Russia may have just been barred from competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, but it’s now also unclear whether or not the United States will be there. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said on Wednesday that tensions between the US and North Korea could force the US to skip… Continue reading World update: December 7 2017

Middle East update: December 7 2017

YEMEN Saudi-aligned Yemeni fighters captured Khoukha, a coastal region around 220 miles southwest of Sanaa, from the Houthis on Thursday. Khoukha is not that far south of Hudaydah, if you’re wondering how the Saudis might be planning to make Yemen even more of a hellscape than it already is. If they attack Yemen, all those people… Continue reading Middle East update: December 7 2017

World update: December 6 2017

ASIA NEPAL Voters in southern Nepal are heading to the polls on Thursday for the second stage in the country’s legislative election. The first stage, in northern Nepal, was held late last month. It’s Nepal’s first election since 1999. NORTH KOREA The United States has begun flying B-1B bombers over South Korea along with F-22s… Continue reading World update: December 6 2017