Asia/Africa update: July 12-13 2017

ASIA GEORGIA It’s nice to see, centuries after it was founded, that Russia is still finding ways to keep the empire growing: Just before President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin’s tête-à-tête at the G-20 on July 7, Russia quietly annexed “about 10 hectares” of Georgian territory on behalf of the Republic of South Ossetia, a… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: July 12-13 2017

Asia/Australia/Africa update: June 28-29 2017

ASIA UZBEKISTAN One of Uzbekistan’s more charming features is the annual enslavement of much of its population to pick cotton, which remains one of the country’s most important products. The World Bank has implemented projects in Uzbekistan that are meant to diversify its agricultural sector away from cotton, but a new Human Rights Watch investigation… Continue reading Asia/Australia/Africa update: June 28-29 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

Conflict update: May 1 2017

ISRAEL-PALESTINE A potentially significant development on this front took place today: Hamas has unveiled a new political programme softening its stance on Israel by accepting the idea of a Palestinian state in territories occupied by Israel in the six-day war of 1967. The new document states that the Islamist movement it is not seeking war… Continue reading Conflict update: May 1 2017

Conflict update: April 21 2017

Hopefully a short one tonight. I’m getting a bit of a late start and actually don’t think there’s much to report for a change. SYRIA The first phase of that major four-town evacuation (Fuʿah, Kefraya, Zabadani, and Madaya) has concluded successfully with an additional agreement for the Syrian government to release hundreds of detainees. The… Continue reading Conflict update: April 21 2017

Conflict update: March 30-31 2017

Skipping yesterday was probably a bad idea. There’s plenty here for a two-parter, so as I’ve done before I’m going to put all the Middle Eastern stuff in a separate post. 320 MILLION FOOLS AND OUR MONEY The F-35 is the most expensive weapon (well, it’s intended to be a weapon, anyway) ever manufactured, with… Continue reading Conflict update: March 30-31 2017

Conflict update: March 24 2017

TRUMP UPDATE Donald Trump had a not so very great day on the health care reform front, but he does seem to finally be circling around a potential deputy for Rex Tillerson at the State Department–or, in other words, a deputy for Jared Kushner’s deputy: John J. Sullivan, a prominent Republican lawyer who served in… Continue reading Conflict update: March 24 2017