The Future of an Unwieldy Iraq

As if Iraq didn't have enough to worry about, now come reports of its once-secured southern regions rumbling with unrest.  From Reuters: Worsening clashes among tribes and a political void is threatening security at oil installations in Iraq’s main southern oil producing region, officials and security sources said. Iraq has concentrated security forces in the … Continue reading The Future of an Unwieldy Iraq

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

America Goes to War with the Islamic State (And Once More, It’s All About Oil)

Nobody who has ever seen The Road should be all that horrified by what ISIS has done. When you’re in a post-acocalyptic nightmare land, you’ll grasp onto whatever straws of order you can get. So it is with the Sunnis of Iraq and Syria, who have now turned to a devil they don’t fully understand … Continue reading America Goes to War with the Islamic State (And Once More, It’s All About Oil)

ISIS Is Going to Change Everything In the Middle East

There was a time not so long ago when it seemed like the Middle East's worst problems were either endless cycles of tit-for-tat violence or mind-numbing stagnation.  In 2010, it was possible to think Ghaddafi was going to die in his bed and that Saudi Arabia was a pretty stable, albeit deeply dull, place. Sure, … Continue reading ISIS Is Going to Change Everything In the Middle East

The Coming of Kurdistan Is Inevitable

A Kurd is not a piece of cheese often used in one of Canada's most treasured of national dishes.  It's a type of human being.  For most of history, they've been ignored, oppressed, conquered, and passed by, as greater powers nearby sought to use them as a buffer.  But now it's looking more and more … Continue reading The Coming of Kurdistan Is Inevitable

Iraq Slides Back to Its Natural State

Disclaimer:  Iraq's natural state is not a violent, psychopathic Madmax-esque land of broken dreams and slaughtered sects. It's natural state is actually a divided one. First, let's take a run-down of Iraqi history and geography to understand how it got to where it is today. Ancient Iraq was not called Iraq; also, it was independent … Continue reading Iraq Slides Back to Its Natural State

Even a Small Attack in Syria Could Tip The Scales (Because Small Guys Get Knocked Over Easier)

It is, in many ways, elementary.  Bigger is better, stronger, and more able to survive punishment.  The smaller something becomes, the more fragile it is.  A lot of fretting is going into the long-term effects of an air assault on Syria.  Most of it centers on how Americans feel about themselves following eight long years … Continue reading Even a Small Attack in Syria Could Tip The Scales (Because Small Guys Get Knocked Over Easier)

The Imperial Presidency Takes a Step Back (Or, why America’s finally rolling back to life before 9/11)

President Obama has done the unthinkable - he's asked Congress for permission.  Never mind that he didn't much bother for Libya, or continues to not much bother for the extensive drone war in Yemen, or will he much bother any other time should America's interests be threatened by some kind of hair-trigger, do-or-die crisis.  This … Continue reading The Imperial Presidency Takes a Step Back (Or, why America’s finally rolling back to life before 9/11)

Bombing Syria Now Will Save Lives Later

Thus begins the Great Hand-Wringing.  The United Kingdom's out; Congress is demanding the president explain himself; everyone wants to wait on the UN weapons inspectors before making a decision.  It's all quite understandable, considering, well, this.  But holding back won't save anyone.  Here's why. This is not Iraq in 2003, for God's sake Everyone likes … Continue reading Bombing Syria Now Will Save Lives Later

A World Without America (Part I)

Let's play a thought experiment.  Thought experiments are a lot like playing with toys all by yourself, except you don't have any toys and by using the term "thought experiment" you can seem smarter than other people. You hear plenty of foreign folk pining for a world without American hard power (that is, our military … Continue reading A World Without America (Part I)