World update: October 21-22 2017

ASIA AFGHANISTAN A horrifying week in Afghanistan got a little worse over the weekend in two separate incidents. On Satuday, a Taliban suicide bomber hit a bus carrying military cadets from the Marshal Fahim Academy in Kabul, killing at least 15 of them. On Sunday, Nazuk Mir, a leader of the anti-Soviet rebels in the… Continue reading World update: October 21-22 2017

Europe/Americas update: October 17-18 2017

EUROPE RUSSIA Russian socialite Ksenia Sobchak, daughter of former St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak and possibly Vladimir Putin’s goddaughter, announced that she’s running for president next year. She, like all Russian opposition candidates, is definitely a legitimate candidate who has as good a shot at winning the election as Putin or anybody else in Russia’s totally fully… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: October 17-18 2017

World update: October 16 2017

MIDDLE EAST IRAQ This is obviously the day’s big story. Last night’s Iraqi advance into Kirkuk province appears in the light of day to have ended with Baghdad in control of pretty much all of its targets–oil fields, the K1 military base, and even the city of Kirkuk itself. Aside from a few small skirmishes… Continue reading World update: October 16 2017

Europe/Americas update: June 3-4 2017

UNITED KINGDOM Saturday night’s terrorist attack in London killed at least seven people, and with 21 people reportedly in critical condition there’s still a danger that figure could rise. Just before 10 PM local time, a van struck a crowd of pedestrians on London Bridge, and then drove to Borough Market, where three attackers got… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: June 3-4 2017

Europe/Americas update: June 1, 2017

NATO Two major NATO exercises took place in Eastern Europe today, the annual BALTOPS naval exercise in the Baltics and the Romanian leg of the alliance’s “Noble Jump 2017” exercise. This did not, of course, go without notice from Moscow, whose ambassador to NATO, Alexander Grushko, issued a warning: “NATO countries should understand that all… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: June 1, 2017

Conflict update: March 8 2017

WIKILEAKS I haven’t been able to read much more about the Vault 7 CIA hacking data dump today, and at any rate I readily admit that cybersecurity is out of my purview, but I think Herb Lin makes a good point here in arguing that from the CIA’s perspective, the damage wrought by this leak–at… Continue reading Conflict update: March 8 2017

Today in Mediterranean history: the Battle of Preveza (1538)

Originally posted on and that's the way it was:
September 28 is actually the anniversary of a couple of notable dates in Middle East history. For example, if you’re a fan of lost causes, it’s the date in 1995 when Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo II accord, which was supposed to…