Europe/Americas update: January 25 2019

EUROPE RUSSIA NATO and Russian negotiators made a probably last-ditch effort to salvage the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty and failed miserably. NATO reiterated a US demand that Russia destroy its 9M729 cruise missile, which it says violates the treaty, and Russia continued to deny that it violates the treaty and reject the demand for its… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: January 25 2019

Europe/Americas: January 11 2019

EUROPE ESTONIA The Estonian government has for some time been concerned about the possibility that Vladimir Putin might make a move against its predominantly Russian east a la Crimea. In order to help develop that part of the country and keep the people there happy, the Estonian government has begun investing in the arts in… Continue reading Europe/Americas: January 11 2019

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Eisenhower Doctrine, or: They All Lived Happily Ever After (1957)

Today is the anniversary of the Eisenhower Doctrine, which seems like a pretty good case for the argument that maybe it’s not always such a good idea to have a doctrine. Eisenhower articulated his doctrine in a “Special Message to the Congress on the Situation in the Middle East,” which he delivered before a joint… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Eisenhower Doctrine, or: They All Lived Happily Ever After (1957)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Iran Hostage Crisis begins (1979)

It was on November 4, 1979, that a group of Iranian students from an organization called “Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line,” possibly with the pre-approval of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, stormed the American embassy in Tehran and took 66 US citizens hostage. Thirteen of them would be released within three weeks, and another was… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Iran Hostage Crisis begins (1979)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Balfour Declaration (1917)

The Balfour Declaration has a lot more importance in hindsight than it really had at the time Balfour wrote it. In 1917, Britain was only just embarking on its period of greatest success in the Middle Eastern theater of World War I, when it captured Baghdad and used the Arab revolt that it had fomented… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Balfour Declaration (1917)

Middle East update: October 31 2018

Happy Halloween to those celebrating! MIDDLE EAST The Carnegie Endowment has produced a several-part series on the “hybridization” of national security in several Arab countries: Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. What they’re talking about is the increasing reliance these states have on non-state militias to backstop their national militaries. These countries have played around… Continue reading Middle East update: October 31 2018

Today in North African history: the Eighth Crusade ends (1270)

King Louis IX of France (d. 1270, which is a bit of a spoiler), who would later become St. Louis, would probably go somewhere on a list of the 10 greatest Crusaders of all time, particularly if you limit the list the canonical numbered Crusades. He’d be right up there alongside men like Godfrey of… Continue reading Today in North African history: the Eighth Crusade ends (1270)