World update: August 13 2018

ASIA CENTRAL ASIA The Diplomat’s Umida Hashimova explains why Central Asian countries are still all-in on the Belt and Road Initiative even as some of China’s other partners are starting to balk at its onerous terms: Central Asian countries are in need of large-scale investments and the BRI intends to do just that. So far,… Continue reading World update: August 13 2018

Europe/Americas update: August 11-12 2018

EUROPE RUSSIA As expected, the five nations surrounding the Caspian Sea (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Russia, and Turkmenistan) signed the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan on Sunday, creating some broad rules for governing the vast…well, it seems like a really big lake to me but what do I know? The… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: August 11-12 2018

World update: July 10 2018

It’s been a long day so if it’s OK with you I’m going to roll through these updates with a minimum of banter. MIDDLE EAST SYRIA Rebels in Daraa city say they’ve begun surrender talks with Russian officials in hopes of staving off a full Syrian-Russian offensive. The inevitable recovery of Daraa will be a… Continue reading World update: July 10 2018

Europe/Americas update: April 20 2018

EUROPE SLOVAKIA World War II is back in the news this week, and good for it I guess. Not only was there that massive unexploded bomb discovered in Berlin, which was disarmed on Friday after forcing a major evacuation of part of the city, but four smaller unexploded Soviet bombs were discovered in a field… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: April 20 2018

Asia/Africa update: April 20 2018

ASIA ARMENIA Anti-Serzh Sargsyan protests hit Yerevan yet again on Friday. A week into these demonstrations, their momentum behind them seems to be growing, not lagging: With larger rallies, spontaneous acts of civil disobedience, escalating numbers of arrests, and nonstop honking, the protests in Armenia’s capital continued to metastasize throughout the city on April 20.… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: April 20 2018

World update: October 27 2017

MIDDLE EAST IRAQ/SYRIA I’m lumping these two together today because both Iraqi and Syrian forces are pushing ISIS back to a region that straddles the border, and ISIS appears to be consolidating in two towns–al-Bukamal on the Syrian side, and Qaʾim on the Iraqi side. Both the Syrian army and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces… Continue reading World update: October 27 2017

Asia/Africa update: August 2 2017

ASIA TURKMENISTAN Here in America we’re just getting used to having a man-child president who likes to play with cool toys and do real manly stuff to show what a big boy he is. This kind of thing: The President's in a big-boy truck beep beep: https://t.co/46hYzarIrj pic.twitter.com/i2Hsero1ML — Deadspin (@Deadspin) March 23, 2017 Needless… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: August 2 2017