Middle East update: August 28 2017

IRAQ The Battle of Tal Afar is…over? Seriously? Eight days and the city is liberated? Well, yes, as it turns out. The battle ended on Sunday, after a lightning Iraqi offensive from three directions that cut through the city and then swept across it much faster than most analysts, yours truly included, expected it would.… Continue reading Middle East update: August 28 2017

Asia/Africa update: August 21-22 2017

PSA: This may very well be my last update until Monday. I’m traveling for the rest of the week and while ideally I would like to find time to pump out a little content while I’m doing so, realistically I don’t think it’s going to be possible. AFGHANISTAN Well, Donald Trump announced his Big New… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: August 21-22 2017

World update: August 12-13 2017

ASIA DEATH BY FARMING Lately I almost find myself reassured by stories on our collapsing environment, in the sense that however bad we might fuck up the human race, at least we might not be around to see the results. Wait, that’s not reassuring at all. But it is possible. To wit: The use of… Continue reading World update: August 12-13 2017

Middle East update: August 10-11 2017

IRAQ I know I’ve already mentioned this several times before, but if you’re interested in really keeping up with day-to-day developments in Iraq I highly recommend Joel Wing’s “Musings on Iraq” blog, which I cite in these posts all the time. He goes into much greater detail than I’m able to do in this overviews… Continue reading Middle East update: August 10-11 2017

Middle East update: August 9 2017

SYRIA War crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, who among other things has worked on criminal cases related to the genocide in Rwanda and the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia, has resigned from the United Nations’ Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria over its inability to accomplish, well, anything: “I give up. The states in the Security… Continue reading Middle East update: August 9 2017

Asia/Africa update: July 11 2017

ASIA AFGHANISTAN I’m going to start by repeating something I added to last night’s update after it had posted, just in case people haven’t seen it. It’s about the Trump administration’s still-developing plan for Afghanistan: President Trump’s advisers recruited two businessmen who profited from military contracting to devise alternatives to the Pentagon’s plan to send… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: July 11 2017

Asia/Australia/Africa update: July 7-9 2017

ASIA AFGHANISTAN The New York Times reports on the astonishingly horrific situation for women in Afghanistan’s anarchic Ghor province: If Afghanistan is one of the worst places to be a woman, then Ghor, a province so lawless that people often wonder if there is a government there at all, may be the country’s capital of gender-based… Continue reading Asia/Australia/Africa update: July 7-9 2017