Asia/Africa update: January 29 2019

ASIA AFGHANISTAN With the US and Taliban circling a peace accord, Afghans are starting to wonder what’s in store should the militant group regain some degree of legitimate political authority: Haroun Mir, an analyst in Kabul, said Afghans are anxiously waiting for the insurgents to clarify their demands in the next round of talks, especially… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: January 29 2019

Asia/Africa update: December 17 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Taliban representatives met with negotiators from the US, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates in the UAE on Monday. Which was nice. But they refused to meet with representatives of the Afghan government. Which was not so nice. These negotiations between the Taliban and the US are a welcome development, and… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: December 17 2018

World update: November 8 2018

ASIA ARMENIA Journalist David O’Byrne looks at what US sanctions on Iran might mean for the Caucasus. Georgia seems minimally affected, and Azerbaijan as a net energy exporter will probably be OK, but Armenia could be in a difficult situation: The bulk of Armenia’s gas is imported from Russia (via Georgia), but Yerevan also imported… Continue reading World update: November 8 2018

World update: November 3-4 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN A US soldier was killed on Saturday in what appears to have been another “insider attack” in Afghanistan. Brent Taylor, the mayor of North Ogden, Utah, was killed by a member of the Afghan security forces, who was also killed. It’s not clear what the motive was–these kinds of attacks can be arranged by… Continue reading World update: November 3-4 2018

World update: October 30 2018

ASIA KAZAKHSTAN Central Asia analyst Natalie Hall considers who might eventually succeed 78 year old Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev: Kazakhstan’s power structure, like many post-Soviet states, is pyramidic in nature. From his seat of power at the top, a series of patronage networks flows down the ranks of government, distributing money, favors, and power to… Continue reading World update: October 30 2018

Asia/Africa update: October 9 2018

ASIA ARMENIA Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has managed to convince the leader of a small party called Prosperous Armenia, plus several individual members of the opposition Republican Party, to agree to hold a snap election in December. This gives Pashinyan the election he’s wanted in order to build a genuine parliamentary majority and eases what… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: October 9 2018

Asia/Africa update: September 17 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Multiple Taliban attacks across three different provinces on Sunday and Monday killed at least 27 Afghan security personnel. A series of attacks beginning Sunday night in Farah province and left 17 security forces dead, while a Monday morning attack in Badghis province killed five and another Monday attack in Baghlan province killed another five. Increasingly,… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: September 17 2018