Shithole update #2 (Asia/Africa): January 11-12 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN A Friday morning Taliban attack on a police outpost in Farah province killed three Afghan police officers. US forces on Thursday reportedly bombed an Afghan government-aligned militia in Nangarhar province after one or more members of that militia opened fire on US special forces troops amid some kind of argument. At least 13 militia… Continue reading Shithole update #2 (Asia/Africa): January 11-12 2018

World update: November 2 2017

ASIA UZBEKISTAN Eurasianet helpfully tries to counter the emerging media narrative that Uzbekistan is little more than ISIS’s training facility: Such instant analysis falls short, mainly because it has to oversimplify in order to make a pattern plausible, many regional scholars contend. Edward Lemon, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, warned… Continue reading World update: November 2 2017

Asia/Africa update: October 31-November 1 2017

ASIA UZBEKISTAN The big story of the day is obviously the aftermath of Tuesday’s terror attack in New York, and we’ll get to that later but here I wanted to try to say something about the US media’s immediate obsession with Uzbekistan. The attacker, alleged I guess, was an Uzbek national named Sayfullo Saipov, and… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: October 31-November 1 2017

Asia/Africa update: October 17-18 2017

ASIA KAZAKHSTAN If you’re a fan of trees, then today was a pretty good news day. Deforestation is apparently down in Brazil (I’ll get to that) and also we learned from the Rockefeller Foundation, via the Guardian, that Kazakhstan’s efforts to plant a million trees in a ring around the city of Astana are starting to… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: October 17-18 2017

Asia/Africa update: September 19-20 2017

ASIA KYRGYZSTAN Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev is winning friends in Kyrgyzstan. He met on Tuesday with Omurbek Babanov, one of the candidates who will be standing for president in Kyrgyzstan’s October 15 election, and was immediately accused by Bishkek of interfering with the election. Babanov is an opposition candidate, you see, and could be a… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: September 19-20 2017

Asia/Africa update: September 7-8 2017

ASIA UZBEKISTAN The Uzbek and Kyrgyz governments appear to have reached an agreement this week to delineate their shared border and, in principle, to collaborate on a major hydroelectric project , the Kambarata-1 dam, on the Naryn River in Kyrgyzstan. Former Uzbek President Islam Karimov opposed Kyrgyzstan’s plans to construct dams on its rivers over fears… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: September 7-8 2017

World update: September 6 2017

ASIA AFGHANISTAN At least six people were wounded Wednesday evening by a suicide bomber who attacked Bagram air base, and two civilians were killed by a roadside bomb in Laghman province. The Pentagon has finally put a troop number to its mini-surge in Afghanistan. It will deploy 3500 additional soldiers, slightly under the expected 4000,… Continue reading World update: September 6 2017