Middle East update: August 12-13 2017

IRAQ Preparations continue for the eventual Tal Afar operation, but it’s not clear at this point what the hold up is. Iraqi forces are in place to begin attacking the city but the order hasn’t come down from Baghdad yet. On Sunday, two American soldiers were killed east of Tal Afar in what the anti-ISIS… Continue reading Middle East update: August 12-13 2017

Today in Cold War history: the Taksim Square massacre (1977)

Today is, of course, May Day, whose origins go back to pre-Christian European cultures, but for much of the world it’s also International Workers’ Day and, in some countries, Labor Day. Ironically, for a date chosen to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket Affair in Chicago, May 1 is not the official labor holiday in the United States. America celebrates… Continue reading Today in Cold War history: the Taksim Square massacre (1977)

Conflict update: January 16 2017

Iraq With Mosul University in government hands, ISIS’s ability to defend eastern Mosul seems to be collapsing pretty quickly. One of the big changes in the recent course of the battle, in addition to a drastic decline in the number of ISIS suicide attacks, has been that Iraqi forces are no longer having to go… Continue reading Conflict update: January 16 2017

Conflict update: January 6 2017

Iraq Here’s one terrifying side-effect of the Mosul campaign that, to be honest, I hadn’t really thought much about: With the launch of the second phase of the Mosul operations Dec. 29, tens of bodies of killed Islamic State (IS) fighters were strewn across the streets in the neighborhoods of al-Salam, al-Intisar, al-Wihda, Palestine and… Continue reading Conflict update: January 6 2017

Conflict update: January 5 2017

World War III Building on an earlier post, this seems problematic: Senior officials in the Russian government celebrated Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton as a geopolitical win for Moscow, according to U.S. officials who said that American intelligence agencies intercepted communications in the aftermath of the election in which Russian officials congratulated themselves on… Continue reading Conflict update: January 5 2017

Conflict update: January 4 2017

I’m hoping this will be a short one tonight, but I never know until I actually start writing. It’s like a fun mystery we get to explore together. Well, not really. United Nations Senators Statler and Waldorf John McCain and Lindsey Graham are among the Republicans leading a push to cut much or all US… Continue reading Conflict update: January 4 2017

ISIS gets involved in Turkish politics

In my opinion (I realize these things are subjective), the biggest/worst story of the past five days has been the New Year’s Eve terror attack on the Reina nightclub in Istanbul. A single gunman reportedly dressed as Santa Claus and armed with a Kalashnikov opened fire in the crowded club, killing 39 people and sending… Continue reading ISIS gets involved in Turkish politics