America Has No Deep State, And Egypt Helps Prove It

It's become the phrase of the week: the Deep State, a cabal of anti-Trump ideologues seeking a coup against a democratically-elected president hiding within the warrens of the CIA, State Department, and any other agency that can be labeled as "shadowy."  The reputed "Deep State" is the boogeyman of the Trumpistas frustrated that their president is … Continue reading America Has No Deep State, And Egypt Helps Prove It

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What the fuck just happened in America?

The blog originally began with a simple vision: complicated foreign policy analysis stuffed with swears to soften the otherwise indigestible material.  As the years have worn on, I've largely dropped that approach. But I feel we deserve the old way today. So let's start to dig through the rubble and figure out what the fuck … Continue reading What the fuck just happened in America?

To save us from someone like Trump, look to institutions

Nothing, perhaps, is less sexy than an institution: a department's interminable lines, the universal human experience of meandering through a faceless ministry of this or that, trying to accomplish some simple task. Yet they may be all that protect us from the likes of President Trump. Let's make institutions super. First, why bash Trump? Donald … Continue reading To save us from someone like Trump, look to institutions

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

How culture keeps the Russians and Ukrainians just steps away from war

The Ukrainian civil war has been easy enough to fall off the world radar; with headline grabbing terrorism striking the heart of Europe, Donald Trump running his irrational mouth, and the EU rendering itself asunder, the conflict in Donbass, the eastern province now split away from Kiev's central control, seems like a whisper of a … Continue reading How culture keeps the Russians and Ukrainians just steps away from war

What the upcoming battle of Mosul tells us about the Iraqi state

As battles go, it was a real shocker: less than 1,500 Islamic State fighters defeating perhaps 30,000 Iraqi police and troops.  In the course of 6 days, from June 4th to June 10th, 2014, IS militia conquered Iraq's second largest city using little more than suicide bombers and pick-up trucks. They should have been butchered: … Continue reading What the upcoming battle of Mosul tells us about the Iraqi state

The World Is Much Better Off Than It Feels

There will be few who will miss 2016; perhaps fewer still that will miss 2017.  Americans despair their electoral choices (choosing cancer or a heart attack, to some); Brits have quit the European Union; Turkey, post-coup, is also mid-purge; Islamic State's lone wolves butcher and bomb.  Even the Pope is using the 'w' word to … Continue reading The World Is Much Better Off Than It Feels

The Bloody End of 2016’s Ramadan

Certainly, the end of this year's Ramadan will go down as one of the century's bloodiest.  First Istanbul; then, Dhaka, rounded off by Baghdad, Qatif, Medina, and Jeddah.  It's not wholly clear just how much the Islamic State controlled or directed these attacks, or merely inspired them, but owing to their scale, scope, and timing, … Continue reading The Bloody End of 2016’s Ramadan

How We Got To Brexit

So they went ahead and did it. They were warned; boy, were they warned.  Economist after economist, leaders both near and far, even their own prime minister, all with the same line: to Leave is to suffer.  Upon the eve of the vote, even the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) did not … Continue reading How We Got To Brexit