The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and brinkmanship.
Syrian Regime Chokes Off Food to Town That Was Gassed: What is the point of a siege if food is allowed through the siege lines? I will never understand modern bleeding hearts. They should be happy the government forces are not catapulting disease ridden corpses into the besieged area or trying to poison the water supply. Since when is war supposed to bloodless and not affect non-combatants? Update: Starving rebels eat lion from a Damascus zoo – Apparently the siege is doing what a siege is intended to do. I am not shocked. Further, the guys in the picture look anything but starved.
COIN Doctrine Under Fire: Wow, now after the manifest failure of COIN doctrine everywhere it has been tried somebody found the courage to say it out loud and that is news. With warfighting strategies like COIN it is no wonder terrorists are not afraid of America. Of course, stories like this are not helpful in making our enemies fear us either.
Endless Afghanistan? US-Afghan agreement would keep troops in place and funds flowing, perhaps indefinitely: Who has not seen this coming? since apparently we are unable or unwilling to achieve our stated victory conditions in Afghanistan we are now negotiating an endless presence. Does this mean they can always claim progress? Watch the metrics used to judge effectiveness get more and more divorced from any reality as time passes. Update-US and Karzai agree on language for pact Update again- Oh wait, they don’t agree. Karzai tacks on additional demands to previously agreed on language Yet another Update- Iran’s President determined to maintain uranium enrichment sites: The only change after the deal is that Iran’s position has not changed Update: Saying no to Karzai: I am becoming increasingly convinced that the US will be leaving Afghanistan next year. I am not sad.
Norwegian army goes vegetarian… to fight global warming: While this story does not speak to any current conflicts it does speak to the the current state of Western militaries. Apparently, it is not just the US military who spends as much time thinking about and implementing postmodern policies as fighting wars. This is one of those stories that if you think about if it was not so funny you would break down in tears.
China creates air defence zone over Japan-controlled islands: Will these islands or other similar disputes serve as a pretext for the next shooting war in Asia? The lengths to which China will go in its hunt for regional prestige are truly startling. I am not certain they would not risk a shooting war if they think they get too much pushback from Japan on these islands. Update- China sends warplanes to newly declared air zone: I wonder how far China is willing to go to provoke an incident and if they are willing to start a war at this time. They are certainly going out of their way to start an incident over matters of prestige.
New Law in Egypt Effectively Bans Street Protests: I don’t quite know what to make of this. I expect it is the military trying to clamp down even harder on the MB. The question is whether enough MB leadership was rounded up this past summer. I expect we will find out when we see if the insurgency in the Sinai spreads across Suez Canal to the rest of the country.
FBI warns about Americans joining Islamic fighters in Syria: Didn’t we hear warnings similar to this at the height of the Iraq War? The wonder is not that naturalized citizens return home and radicalize, it is that the US continues to allow such security threats to reside in the US and naturalize in the first place.
Syria: US and UK suspend aid after Islamist fighters seize weapons stores: I wonder this has not been a bigger story in the West. It is essentially what many have been calling for. Perhaps the story is being buried because conservatives want no aid going to the rebels while liberals are in live with them?