Tag Archives: War

The Fascination and the Fear

Review – See You Again in Pyongyang by Travis Jeppesen

Global interest in North Korea is prompted by fascination and fear. Both are overdone. Continue reading

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Daraa Could Mark the End of the Assad Regime’s Ability to Act With Impunity

What is happening to Syria gives little reason for optimism. What positivity there is must be extracted from adverse events – and present events are adverse. Continue reading

Daraa: Assad’s Violence, Western Indifference; A Painfully Familiar Story

The assault on Daraa by the regime of Bashar al-Assad is well underway. Long-foreseen, its course will follow a predictable pattern. Continue reading

The Singapore Summit Has Trivialised a Brutal Dictatorship

The world’s attention is fixated on Singapore, the venue for a summit that not long ago looked like it wouldn’t happen.

Discussion between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump was imperilled by the former’s intransigence and the latter’s rashness. Trump dictated an intemperate letter to Kim on May 24 cancelling the thing. It looked as though that was that. Continue reading

Iraq’s Elections Showcase the Wonder of Democracy

Elections are wonderful things. Despite the calculated duplicity which campaigning for the vote requires, and despite their association with politicians, elections remind voters – and observers around the world – that ordinary people, individually and together, can affect the futures of the societies in which they live. Continue reading

The Coalition That Could Have Been

Foreign policy undertaken unilaterally is disdained and feared. It meets vast, instinctive criticism. Action, especially military action, which is seen to be arbitrary elicits the same response. When democratic states seek to act on the international stage, they desire not only to succeed in their chosen course of action, but also to be seen to be acting justly, within limits, and without caprice. Continue reading

ISIS, Insurgent and Resurgent

The Islamic State (IS) has been militarily defeated in its attempt to create a ‘caliphate’ in Iraq and Syria. Its de facto capitals of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria were wrested from the terror group after long, grinding campaigns fought by local forces with extensive international assistance.

After the rapid capture of Tal Afar and a pocket around Hawija from IS last year, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared that the war against IS was over, that it had been won. Continue reading