Perspectives on Geopolitics, History, and Political Economy

Private Military Companies Forming Vanguard of Russian Foreign Operations

Private Military Companies Forming Vanguard of Russian Foreign Operations

Mar 17, 2017

Originally Published on The Jamestown Foundation By: Pavel Felgenhauer The massive Russian military involvement in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad may be the first move to reestablish Moscow’s influence over the entire Middle East (see EDM, March 8). Russia has also been seeking contacts in conflict-ridden Libya, which still lacks an effective...

Syria 6 years on: What does the future hold?

Syria 6 years on: What does the future hold?

Mar 14, 2017

Originally published on Middle East Monitor By Nasim Ahmed When pro-democracy protests started six years ago in Syria’s southern city, Daraa, few would have anticipated that the violent clampdown by the regime would trigger a brutal civil war. Even fewer would have expected it to last more than six years. While the war has been characteristically unpredictable,...

The Surge Delusion: An Iraq War Anniversary to Forget

The Surge Delusion: An Iraq War Anniversary to Forget

Mar 10, 2017

Originally published on Common Dreams. This article was first published on TomDispatch.com By Danny Sjursen The other day, I found myself flipping through old photos from my time in Iraq.  One in particular from October 2006 stood out. I see my 23-year-old self, along with my platoon. We’re still at Camp Buerhing in Kuwait, posing in front of our squadron logo...

Tensions in the Balkans should be carefully watched but not exaggerated

Tensions in the Balkans should be carefully watched but not exaggerated

Mar 7, 2017

Loïc Trégourès, Université de Lille 2 – Université de Lille Tensions have been on the rise again between Serbia and Kosovo, prompting European Union High Representative for Foreign Policy Federica Mogherini to visit the Western Balkans last week. Her visit was timely: on March 2, a French court postponed the extradition of former prime minister of Kosovo,...

Syria is a ‘testing ground’ for new Russian weapons

Syria is a ‘testing ground’ for new Russian weapons

Mar 5, 2017

Originally published on Middle East Monitor By Middle East Monitor Russia has tested 162 types of new weapons in its combat in Syria, its defence minister said, hailing the military’s performance in the war-torn country, in which more than 310,000 people have been killed. The weapons have proven their worth in the conflict, Sergei Shoigu told the Russian...

Turkey’s Euphrates Shield Operation: al-Bab and Beyond

Turkey’s Euphrates Shield Operation: al-Bab and Beyond

Mar 1, 2017

Originally Published on The Jamestown Foundation By: Göktuğ Sönmez Turkish troops and Syrian rebels have claimed almost complete control of the Syrian town of al-Bab, including the town center, pushing back Islamic State (IS) fighters who have held the area since late 2013 and opening up a path to Raqqa, IS’ de facto capital in Syria (Hürriyet, February 23)....

Risks in Rush to Crush ISIS

Risks in Rush to Crush ISIS

Mar 1, 2017

Originally Published on Consortiumnews President Trump’s vow to crush the Islamic State quickly may lead to hasty actions that could compound the problem rather than solve it, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar. By Paul R. Pillar A couple of tendencies that are all too common in policymaking and policy debate tend to make for unwise foreign commitments or...

Willaim J. Astore on Afghanistan: Losing a War One Bad Metaphor at a Time

Willaim J. Astore on Afghanistan: Losing a War One Bad Metaphor at a Time

Feb 28, 2017

Republished with permission from TomDispatch.com Thrashing About in the Afghan Petri Dish By William J. Astore America’s war in Afghanistan is now in its 16th year, the longest foreign war in our history.  The phrase “no end in sight” barely covers the situation.  Prospects of victory — if victory is defined as eliminating that country as a haven for...

Syria’s Balance of Terror

Syria’s Balance of Terror

Feb 24, 2017

Commentary from Project Syndicate By Omar Ashour LONDON – As the civil war in Syria nears the six-year mark, the mounting death toll and constantly shifting military landscape is making a mockery of the diplomatic track. With yet another round of talks on the horizon – new United Nations-led discussions are scheduled to begin today in Geneva – it’s worth asking...

Iraq PM: Foreign Daesh fighters have fled Mosul

Iraq PM: Foreign Daesh fighters have fled Mosul

Feb 10, 2017

Originally published on Middle East Monitor By Middle East Monitor Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said yesterday that the majority of foreign non-Iraqi militants fighting for Daesh have evacuated Mosul, Iraq’s second city and Daesh’s last major urban stronghold in Iraq. Al-Abadi’s remarks came during a meeting he had with the governors of Iraq’s 18...

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