Middle East update: April 9 2018

SYRIA It took a little while, but both Russia and the Syrian government dropped their accusations that the United States was behind this morning’s (local time) attack on Syria’s T4 airbase near Homs and came around to the consensus view that it was an Israeli strike. So that appears to be settled. There are lingering… Continue reading Middle East update: April 9 2018

World update: February 5 2018

ASIA AZERBAIJAN Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has decided to move October’s presidential election up to April even though the chances of him losing, regardless of the date, are only slightly greater than the chances of me signing a long-term deal to play in the NBA. Aliyev may be looking to hold the vote before any… Continue reading World update: February 5 2018

World update: February 3-4 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Afghan election officials say they’re ready to hold parliamentary elections but that they likely won’t be able to do so until at least October due to security concerns. And hey, there’s no rush. Technically they don’t need to hold this vote until, uh, [checks notes] July 2015. So they have plenty of time.… Continue reading World update: February 3-4 2018

Asia/Oceania/Africa update: February 1-2 2018

ASIA AZERBAIJAN Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is going to run for a fourth term in October. I know you were all wondering if he would so I thought I’d let you know. AFGHANISTAN An American drone strike in Ghazni province earlier this week reportedly struck a Taliban “meeting” and killed at least 26 of the group’s… Continue reading Asia/Oceania/Africa update: February 1-2 2018

Asia/Africa update: June 6 2017

ASIA UZBEKISTAN Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Azimov is now ex-deputy prime minister. He’s been given a different government post, undoubtedly further removed from the levers of power, as President Shavkat Mirziyoyev works to sideline him and consolidate power. Azimov was once one of the three most powerful political figures in Uzbekistan but his fortunes have… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: June 6 2017

Conflict update: April 27 2017

SYRIA The cause of the explosion that happened at Damascus International Airport this morning has (more or less) been revealed: An Israeli minister has appeared to confirm that Israel struck a Hezbollah arms supply hub in Syria on Thursday close to the airport in Damascus where weapons from Tehran are regularly sent by commercial and… Continue reading Conflict update: April 27 2017

Trying to predict the next global hot spot? Pay attention to the climate.

For those of us who are interested in US foreign policy, international affairs, and a little national security news now and then, it is becoming impossible to ignore the impact of climate change on real events. I’m not talking about some projection of temperature increases or changing weather patterns, or an artist’s conception of what… Continue reading Trying to predict the next global hot spot? Pay attention to the climate.