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: May 22 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN A car bomb killed at least 16 people and wounded 38 others in Kandahar on Tuesday. Afghan authorities were attempting to defuse the bomb, which they believe was going to be used for a much larger attack during the upcoming Eid celebration at the end of Ramadan, when it exploded. There’s not much… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: May 22 2018

Asia/Africa update: March 14-15 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Another likely Taliban attack on a checkpoint in Farah province on Wednesday killed 10 members of the Afghan security services. Farah’s provincial council has requested reinforcements from Kabul to help stabilize the province. Additionally, a truck bombing on Wednesday in Helmand province reportedly killed at least two Afghan border guards. PAKISTAN The Pakistani… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: March 14-15 2018

World update: March 13 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Another (likely) Taliban attack on a police checkpoint in Farah province left at least five police officers dead on Tuesday. Meanwhile, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis made a surprise visit to the country (always a good sign for the war effort when leaders have to duck in to the country without telling… Continue reading World update: March 13 2018

Asia/Africa update: February 26 2018

ASIA PAKISTAN In a real curiosity, the BBC has apparently found three men who still speak Badeshi, an Indo-Iranian language spoken in Pakistan’s Bishigram valley that was previously believed to have gone completely extinct three generations ago. Obviously it’s still on its way out, but nevertheless it’s an interesting story and might mean that linguists… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: February 26 2018

Conflict update: February 21 2017

Iran It finally looks like a major principlist candidate might challenge Hassan Rouhahi in May’s presidential election. Ebrahim Raisi was appointed last year to run Astan Quds Razavi, the charitable foundation that manages the Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad, and that makes him one of the most important religious figures in Iran. Only 56 (that’s… Continue reading Conflict update: February 21 2017

Conflict update: February 20 2017

McMaster Gets the Gig Donald Trump has a new national security adviser, and it’s not a name that was on many candidate lists: Lt. General H. R. McMaster. I’ll confess that keeping track of general officers in the US military is not exactly a pastime of mine, so I don’t know much about McMaster. John… Continue reading Conflict update: February 20 2017