Bed, Ba’ath, and Beyond, part 1: Saddam’s Shopping Extravaganza

Hello readers! Today I'm very pleased to bring you the second attwiw guest post! Arms proliferation researcher Travis Haycraft joins us for the first part of a two-parter (coming next month) on Iraq. Part one looks at the Saddam Hussein-organized build up of the Iraqi military in the 1970s, leading up to the Iran-Iraq War. … Continue reading Bed, Ba’ath, and Beyond, part 1: Saddam’s Shopping Extravaganza

Today in Central Asian history: the Soviets invade Afghanistan (1979)

For a while Americans mostly viewed the Soviet-Afghan War positively, as the Beginning of the End of the Soviet Union, and while there may still be something to that, I imagine most of us think of it a bit differently nowadays. The plucky Mujahideen who earned America's support and admiration for their brave fight against … Continue reading Today in Central Asian history: the Soviets invade Afghanistan (1979)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Republic of Mahabad is born (1946)

Really though, the Republic of Mahabad was an experiment in Iranian Kurdish self-rule that survived all the way from January (January 22, to be precise) 1946 until December, um, 1946, when the Iranians decided that they weren't really all that keen on the idea of Iranian Kurdish self-rule. It involved Kurdish nationalism, the overthrow of … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Republic of Mahabad is born (1946)