China’s New Air Defense Zone (And How It All Fits Into a Pattern)

To sum up the events of the past few days: China declared an air defense zone that overlaps Japan's as well as South Korea's.  The United States flew a B-52 through it, just to show that it could.  The Chinese were muted in response, but analysts all over are worried about escalation.  Someone dumb could … Continue reading China’s New Air Defense Zone (And How It All Fits Into a Pattern)

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Iran’s Deal One Step Closer to Total American Domination (And Incidentally, One Step Closer to Peace)

First, a review. America wants a Middle East divided into a stable balance of power guaranteed by the United States  This is the working formula for Europe that ended European anarchy.  Remember that from the unification of Germany in 1871 to the end of World War II, Europe was endemically at war or near enough to … Continue reading Iran’s Deal One Step Closer to Total American Domination (And Incidentally, One Step Closer to Peace)

Geopolitical Round-up (November 22)

So let's take a quick run-around the world and see what's what in the news these days, looking how power relationships are changing as we move into the mid-point of the decade. The Middle East The Iranian nuclear negotiations go on; Saudi Arabia and Israel are not happy.  America is trying to find a way … Continue reading Geopolitical Round-up (November 22)

Riyadh’s Riots: It’s Getting Hot In Here

"It's getting hot in here/So take off all your thobes/I am getting so hot/I'm gonna riot and then throw oil markets into chaos." Seven months ago, Saudi Arabia began an amnesty to allow illegal workers to leave the kingdom without fine or punishment.  The result has been up to one million people fleeing the country … Continue reading Riyadh’s Riots: It’s Getting Hot In Here

Why Israel Is Too Hot To Talk About (Or, Why Internet Discussions About It Descend Rapidly Into Idiocy)

Nations don't have friends, they have interests.  Thanks De Gaulle!  Such an idea underpins much in foreign relations.  Nobody out there is friends with your country, much as you might think they are.  And yet, quite stubbornly, the U.S.-Israeli relationship continues to be categorized not as a strategic one but one based on fraternal bonds … Continue reading Why Israel Is Too Hot To Talk About (Or, Why Internet Discussions About It Descend Rapidly Into Idiocy)

Geopolitical Round-Up

(Much apologies - life has a way of interfering with schedules.  Anyway, here we go) Just a brief round-up of what's going on around the world - and how the game will continue to change. Middle East Syria continues to disarm its chemical weapons, against all odds.  History does not repeat itself after all. Saudi … Continue reading Geopolitical Round-Up

The How-To of Decolonization

So you wake up one day and you realize something - you're about to be leader of a country.  For a long time, some foreign power's been running the show, but they're about to skip town and leave you to your devices.  Never mind how you got there - your idiosyncratic journey doesn't change the … Continue reading The How-To of Decolonization

Saudi Arabia’s Panic Is Geopolitically Sound

If you've lived in the Persian Gulf for a while, seeing one of its countries throw a shit-fit on an international stage won't surprise you all that much.  You get used to that kind of ridiculous chaos; you see one dumb, doomed project connected to a badly-planned roundabout removal scheme merging into a seemingly nonsensical … Continue reading Saudi Arabia’s Panic Is Geopolitically Sound

A Broken Russia? (Or, Rampant Speculation Is Fun)

In his Next 100 Years, George Friedman predicts a Russia that actively breaks up into separate regions by the end of the 2020s.  It's undeniable that Russia is under strain - demographically less than impressive, geographically quite unwieldy, and politically slipping into the kind of dysfunction that killed the czar and undid the Soviets.  But … Continue reading A Broken Russia? (Or, Rampant Speculation Is Fun)