World update: August 16 2017

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Former US ambassador to Afghanistan Ronald Neumann writes that, outward appearances to the contrary I guess, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is reforming the country, starting with its top military brass. The issue, Neumann says, is that the country is so corrupt that Ghani can’t tackle all the challenges at once and progress will… Continue reading World update: August 16 2017

Asia/Africa update: August 5-7 2017

PHILIPPINES Anybody who had “Philippines” in their “where will America bomb next” office pool, stand by to collect your winnings: The Pentagon is considering a plan that allows the U.S. military to conduct airstrikes on ISIS in the Philippines, two defense officials told NBC News. The authority to strike ISIS targets as part of collective… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: August 5-7 2017

Asia/Africa update: June 19-20 2017

PHILIPPINES BREAKING: Just in the past few minutes (it’s about 10:30 PM east coast time as I write this) reports have starting coming in about more Islamist militant activity on the Philippines’ southern Mindanao Island: A police report said about 300 armed men, among them members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), stormed a school… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: June 19-20 2017

Asia/Africa update: June 16 2017

ASIA AZERBAIJAN Armenian separatists in the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave say that three of their soldiers were killed in fighting with Azerbaijani forces on Friday. This region has been a lot quieter this year than I’d expected, but it’s still a brushfire waiting to break out given a big enough spark. KASHMIR Six Indian soldiers were reportedly… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: June 16 2017

Asia/Africa update: May 23 2017

PHILIPPINES The southern Philippine island/archpelago of Mindanao, marked in red on the map above, is under martial law for the next 60 days, after an attack by the Maute militant group in Marawi City. The Maute group is largely made up of members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which quit its insurgency in 2014,… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: May 23 2017

Asia/Africa/Europe update: May 16-17 2017

AFGHANISTAN Afghan forces were able to recapture the Qala-i-Zal district of Kunduz province on Tuesday, ten days after it fell to the Taliban. Meanwhile, in eastern Afghanistan, ISIS claimed credit for an attack on the state TV broadcaster in the city of Jalalabad on Wednesday, in which six people were killed in addition to the… Continue reading Asia/Africa/Europe update: May 16-17 2017

Conflict update, April 26 2017

SYRIA UPDATE: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is reporting that there’s been an explosion and fire at Damascus International Airport. No cause has been suggested. As promised, the French government has produced proof that Bashar al-Assad’s government was behind the April 4 chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun–and as expected, it’s somewhat less than meets… Continue reading Conflict update, April 26 2017