Perspectives on Geopolitics, History, and Political Economy

Rouhani warns voters to prevent ‘extremism’ returning to Iran

Rouhani warns voters to prevent ‘extremism’ returning to Iran

Apr 30, 2017

Originally published on Middle East Monitor By Middle East Monitor President Hassan Rouhani told Iranians on Saturday they could face greater authoritarianism if they replace him with a hardline rival in May’s election. Rouhani was the surprise winner of the last presidential vote, in 2013, after eight years of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whose re-election for a second...

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,...

Violence, Power Vacuum in Mideast, Fertile Ground for Terrorism

Violence, Power Vacuum in Mideast, Fertile Ground for Terrorism

Mar 13, 2017

Global Geopolitics and Political Economy Net – IPS    By IPS World Desk ROME/GENEVA, Mar 13 2017 (IPS) – Long decades of violence in the Middle East and Northern Africa, resulting from the proliferation of international and local conflicts, have strained the social fabric that once held peaceful Arab societies together, says a Geneva-based think tank...

Why Assad’s military gains don’t translate to success in Syrian peace talks

Why Assad’s military gains don’t translate to success in Syrian peace talks

Mar 11, 2017

Dara Conduit, Deakin University The uprising in Syria will mark its sixth anniversary on March 15, but the Syrian war has far from run its course. Much has changed in the Syrian government’s favour over the past 18 months. Russia’s decision to formally intervene in the conflict in September 2015 buttressed the ailing regime’s air superiority and allowed it to...

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...

Turkey’s Death Spiral

Turkey’s Death Spiral

Mar 10, 2017

Commentary from Project Syndicate By Andrew Wachtel BISHKEK – The series of terrorist attacks that have struck Turkey over the last year are sending the country – once viewed as a democratic, secular model for the Middle East – into a death spiral at the very moment when its people are to vote on a new constitution next month. Tourism – which previously...

Trump’s Obsession With Generals Could Send Us Straight Into War With Iran

Trump’s Obsession With Generals Could Send Us Straight Into War With Iran

Mar 7, 2017

Republished with permission from The Nation The president’s foreign-policy picks have set the stage for an aggressive military-first administration. By William D. Hartung In the splurge of “news,” media-bashing, and Bannonism that’s been Donald Trump’s domestic version of a shock-and-awe campaign, it’s easy to forget just how much of what the new president and...

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...

‘Banned from our own lives’: intellectuals mourn the Turkey that once was

‘Banned from our own lives’: intellectuals mourn the Turkey that once was

Mar 1, 2017

Çağla Aykaç, University of Geneva I write life for those who can catch it in a breath, in an exhale. Like one picks a fruit on a branch, like tearing out a root. – Asli Erdoğan, from Taş Bina ve Diğerleri. Until very recently, Turkey was the place to be. The country offered space for everyone: all shades of Islamists and nationalists were becoming very...

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