After Mosul Falls, What Then?

There are some 100,000 troops involved in the conquest (or reconquest, depending on your perspective) of Mosul.  On the surface, the battle is meant to restore the Iraqi government to its full writ; a Baghdad-united Shi'a and Sunni realm, a nation-state on the way to functionality.  In other words, a normal country. Ah, dreams. Careful … Continue reading After Mosul Falls, What Then?

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Why the hell is Yemen shooting at the U.S. Navy?

(Note: This article originally incorrectly stated that Ali Abdullah Saleh was a Sunni; he is in fact a Zaydi.  It also stated that Bahrain and Kuwait's royal families descended from Yemeni tribes; they do not.  The content has now been updated to correct these inaccuracies.)  Of course, it isn't Yemen shooting the Navy at all, but … Continue reading Why the hell is Yemen shooting at the U.S. Navy?

The Death of a King and the Future of Monarchy

(While mine, this article originally appeared on The Atlantic Sentinel.) Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej had a long run: from 1946 until today, his living memory involved Japanese occupation, Cold Warriors burning Vietnam, the self-immolation of Cambodia, the shunning and decades-later rehabilitation of Myanmar and the rise of China. His death leaves many questions for Thai politics, not … Continue reading The Death of a King and the Future of Monarchy

If This Is Cold War 2.0, Then the Russians Are Winning

Sequels are so often disappointing; I'd love to meet someone who thought Independence Day 2 was an improvement.  So it is with so-called Cold War 2.0: it can certainly feel meaningless, as Moscow doesn't hope to raise a hammer and sickle above the White House. Perhaps it's better to refer to it as Cold War 1.5, a … Continue reading If This Is Cold War 2.0, Then the Russians Are Winning

When People Don’t Give Peace A Chance: Colombia Rejects Peace with FARC

Who do you blame when bad things happen to good people?  Who is your private scapegoat that helps you understand when barrel bombs kill children in Aleppo, or when drones blow up weddings in Afghanistan? Who is to blame for war? On many a Facebook comment, the answer is simplistic: "terrorists," "the West," "greedy corporations" … Continue reading When People Don’t Give Peace A Chance: Colombia Rejects Peace with FARC