World update: January 28 2019

MIDDLE EAST SYRIA The Syrian Democratic Forces’ commander in Baghouz, Heval Roni, says that ISIS is down to its last four square kilometers of territory in Syria, a stretch of territory from the Baghouz area to the Iraqi border. The SDF believes there are “some high-ranking” ISIS bigwigs in that enclave, but doesn’t know if… Continue reading World update: January 28 2019

Asia/Africa update: January 18 2019

ASIA AFGHANISTAN The list of challengers to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani for July’s presidential election is beginning to take shape: On Friday, Mohammad Hanif Atmar, a powerful former national security adviser who parted ways with the government in August, became the most serious challenger to formally join the race so far. He vowed to “save… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: January 18 2019

Asia/Africa update: January 17 2019

ASIA ARMENIA The Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers met on Wednesday in Paris and apparently–somewhat incredibly–had an extremely positive discussion: Following the meeting, the official statement included several unusual elements that cheered advocates for peace between the two sides. “Here is the most positive statement of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs in a very long… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: January 17 2019

Asia/Africa update: January 11 2019

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Ashraf Ghani made wholesale changes in his national security cabinet last month, installing former intelligence boss Amrullah Saleh as interior minister and putting new people in charge of the defense ministry and the High Peace Council. The point, with momentum building behind peace talks between the Taliban and US that threaten to leave… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: January 11 2019

Asia/Africa update: January 7 2019

Welcome back! As always after an extended break, we will not be recapping everything that happened while I was gone. If I’ve missed a story you think is important, you can always drop me a line and let me know. ASIA AFGHANISTAN At least 27 people were killed across Afghanistan from late Sunday into Monday.… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: January 7 2019

Asia/Africa update: December 17 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Taliban representatives met with negotiators from the US, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates in the UAE on Monday. Which was nice. But they refused to meet with representatives of the Afghan government. Which was not so nice. These negotiations between the Taliban and the US are a welcome development, and… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: December 17 2018

World update: December 1-2 2018

Happy Hanukkah to those readers who are celebrating! ASIA GEORGIA Thousands of people protested in Tblisi on Sunday due to anger over the result of Wednesday’s presidential runoff. New President-elect Salome Zurabishvili, the candidate of the ruling Georgian Dream party, won handily, but the defeated Grigol Vashadze has alleged that the vote was rigged. International observers… Continue reading World update: December 1-2 2018