ISIS vs. Al-Qaeda Infighting In Idlib Province In Syria Is A Sign of Things To Come

From Reuters: A suicide bomber rammed a car laden with explosives into a gathering of jihadist rebels near the rebel-held northwestern Syrian city of Idlib on Wednesday, killing and injuring scores, rebel sources said. They said the blast ripped a textile factory where members of Hayat Tahrir al Sham, an alliance of rebel groups whose … Continue reading ISIS vs. Al-Qaeda Infighting In Idlib Province In Syria Is A Sign of Things To Come

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Assad’s Big Push To Recover His Eastern Border

Bashar al-Assad hadn't had control of his Iraqi frontier for years.  It's a major headache; it's allowed Sunni rebels to supply themselves from Anbar, a favorable route for Gulf states hoping to keep the war going.  It's also allowed the Islamic State to slide supplies from its shrinking Iraqi domains to its shrunken Syrian ones. … Continue reading Assad’s Big Push To Recover His Eastern Border

Trump Is Now A Real American President

"Real" is not the same as "good."  "Real" means he is finally coming to understand America as a geopolitical entity. America is not a sports team; it is not a business.  It is not a hero or a villain in some movie.  It is a nation-state.  Its state is vast, made up of millions of … Continue reading Trump Is Now A Real American President

As Syria’s Cease Fire Fails, It’s Time To Break Some Stereotypes

Even last week, as I went about analyzing the Russian and American motives behind the most recent go at peace in the Syria civil war, I was hesitant to triumph success.  I doubt many are shocked; maybe John Kerry is heartbroken, but certainly this wasn't beyond the realm of expectations. So while anybody paying attention … Continue reading As Syria’s Cease Fire Fails, It’s Time To Break Some Stereotypes

The long, the short, and the medium of the Syrian peace deal

We should all retain a hefty dose of skepticism whenever someone uses the words "Syria" and "peace" in a sentence.  Having becoming the world's geopolitically favored proxy battleground, Syria's civil war may not stop upon the say-so of Washington and Moscow. There is, of course, the intractable, and resolutely murderous, Islamic State, whose entire recruitment … Continue reading The long, the short, and the medium of the Syrian peace deal

The Islamic State Works, But That’s No Reason for Peace

It's hard to be fair to totalitarians.  The vast majority of us English-reading folks have no concept of totalitarian systems beyond the hard-jawed stereotypes of Nazi movie villains, Thought Police boogeymen of 1984, or Kim Jong Un-like buffoonery.  We take for granted the innate moral superiority of our systems so often that we rarely think about the … Continue reading The Islamic State Works, But That’s No Reason for Peace

NATO could destroy the Islamic State. So why don’t they?

NATO is the most powerful military alliance in human history: it combines 3 of the world's 7 nuclear-armed powers and tops it off with the conventional power of the world's lone superpower.  It has potentially formidable military powers within it: Germany, Italy, France, and Britain could all well rearm to much success should they so … Continue reading NATO could destroy the Islamic State. So why don’t they?

Mission Accomplished for Putin in Syria? Well, yes and no.

Six months ago, Putin stunned just about everyone by sending Russian forces off to a distant war in the Middle East.  Folly, cried many, including myself, for the Middle East is an ugly morass of conflict that siphons power and undermines great states. Now, Putin is pulling most of his forces out.  Once more, just … Continue reading Mission Accomplished for Putin in Syria? Well, yes and no.

Why the Free Syrian Army Never Went Anywhere

As the Syrian civil war embarks upon an odd cease fire - one replete with exceptions and violations - it's worth looking back at some of the failures that led up to this point.  There are plenty to choose from, and that long sad path is better detailed elsewhere.  Instead, we'll focus on just one: … Continue reading Why the Free Syrian Army Never Went Anywhere