World update: October 23 2018

ASIA CAUCASUS After he leaves Russia (see below), National Security Advisor John Bolton will make a swing through the Caucasus, where he’s expected to emphasize the need for security cooperation against Iran. He’s likely to get a lukewarm reception for that pitch. Caucasian countries would really rather not get sucked into the US-Iran rivalry because… Continue reading World update: October 23 2018

World update: July 10 2018

It’s been a long day so if it’s OK with you I’m going to roll through these updates with a minimum of banter. MIDDLE EAST SYRIA Rebels in Daraa city say they’ve begun surrender talks with Russian officials in hopes of staving off a full Syrian-Russian offensive. The inevitable recovery of Daraa will be a… Continue reading World update: July 10 2018

Asia/Africa update: July 5 2018

Well, we’re back. As usual when I’ve been gone for a while this update will mostly stick to things that happened today with some pieces I flagged while I was gone in there for good measure. ASIA AZERBAIJAN Azerbaijan has responded to Armenia’s recent change in government by amping up its threats to regain control… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: July 5 2018

Asia/Oceania/Africa update: June 16-18 2018

ASIA GEORGIA Former Georgian Finance Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze is the country’s new prime minister. He was named on Monday to replace Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who resigned last week over disagreements with their Georgian Dream party leader, Bidzina Ivanishvili. Bakhtadze plans to shrink the Georgian government–quite explicitly, from 14 ministries to 11. He’s also looking to integrate Georgia into… Continue reading Asia/Oceania/Africa update: June 16-18 2018

World update: June 13 2018

ASIA GEORGIA Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili resigned on Wednesday. He’d been mired in a series of disagreements with billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, who awkwardly reassumed leadership of Kvirikashvili’s Georgian Dream party (which Ivanishvili founded in 2012) and has been meddling in the government’s work ever since. Ivanishvili’s return to active politics has coincided with a series of major anti-government demonstrations… Continue reading World update: June 13 2018

Asia/North Korea update: June 12 2018

AZERBAIJAN The Azerbaijani government on Monday showed off (via photo) its swanky new missile systems purchased from Belarus and Israel. Both acquisitions are a little surprising–the latter because there was no indication Azerbaijan was in the market for Israeli missiles, and the former because Belarus is a treaty ally of Armenia, and Armenia and Azerbaijan… Continue reading Asia/North Korea update: June 12 2018

World update: June 7 2018

G7 Because he is actually President Baby, the World’s Most Colicky Head of State, Donald Trump is real mad about having to go all the way to Canada for this weekend’s G7 summit just to hang out with a bunch of boring losers (well, he’s got a point there actually). And as fussy babies are wont… Continue reading World update: June 7 2018