World update: May 24 2018

ASIA PAKISTAN A mob of people stormed and destroyed a 100 year old Ahmadi mosque in the city of Sialkot overnight. The Ahmadiyah is an Islamic faith that grew out of a 19th century revivalist movement led by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (d. 1908), who claimed to be the Mahdi. They are a small-ish (anywhere from hundreds… Continue reading World update: May 24 2018

World update: April 5 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is supposed to visit Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul on Friday, but things are already off to a rocky start. The Afghan government on Thursday accused Pakistan of carrying out airstrikes in Kunar province. Islamabad has made no comment but regularly accuses Afghanistan of harboring Pakistani… Continue reading World update: April 5 2018

Asia/Africa update: April 4 2018

ASIA CENTRAL ASIA The Carnegie Endowment’s Paul Stronski looks at how Russia and China have, thus far, managed to avoid conflict over their competing interests in Central Asia. Russia has been very accommodating toward China’s Belt and Road Initiative, though to be sure it’s not like Moscow has the economic leverage to compete with Beijing. China,… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: April 4 2018

Asia/Africa update: April 3 2018

Hey, how’s it going? Long time no see. As usual when I take an extended break, there’s a lot to get through here and I’m not even going to try to cover every single thing that happened while I was gone. This update is mostly going to consist of stuff that’s happened in the past… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: April 3 2018

Conflict update: April 5 2017

SYRIA I’ve already written most of what I had to write about Syria today, but there are a couple of additional updates. Well, one, really. President Trump spoke in public, which seems inadvisable but I guess you make do with the president you have, and anyway after we spent last week (and, off and on,… Continue reading Conflict update: April 5 2017

Conflict update: April 1-2 2017

EGYPT Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is in Washington right now, preparing for his big meeting tomorrow with fellow authoritarian personality Donald Trump. Because I did a TV spot for Alhurra about this earlier today and it’s therefore fresh in my brain, here are a few things they might get to talking about tomorrow. These… Continue reading Conflict update: April 1-2 2017

Conflict update: March 30-31 2017

Skipping yesterday was probably a bad idea. There’s plenty here for a two-parter, so as I’ve done before I’m going to put all the Middle Eastern stuff in a separate post. 320 MILLION FOOLS AND OUR MONEY The F-35 is the most expensive weapon (well, it’s intended to be a weapon, anyway) ever manufactured, with… Continue reading Conflict update: March 30-31 2017