The United States and Pakistan: Best Frenemies Forever?

The United States is once again ratcheting up the pressure on Pakistan to fall in line with U.S. policy in Afghanistan by ending the Afghan Taliban’s enjoyment of safe haven. Unsurprisingly, Pakistan is once again pushing back. Amid the mistrust, mutual recrimination, and stale narratives that have increasingly characterized the U.S.-Pakistan relationship in recent years, …

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Tweeting While Rome Burns: The World According to Trump

As 2017 ended with billionaires toasting their tax cuts and energy executives cheering their unfettered access to federal lands as well as coastal waters, there was one sector of the American elite that did not share in the champagne celebration: Washington’s corps of foreign policy experts. Across the political spectrum, many of them felt a …

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Saudi Arabia’s Protesting Princes: Public Relations Disaster for Whom?

Saudi Arabia arrested 11 princes who were protesting the government’s recent decision to stop paying their utility bills. Riyadh implemented a mild austerity plan at the start of the year that also saw the elimination of other state subsidies such as those for gas as well as the introduction of a 5% sales tax on …

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Syria – U.S. Traps Itself , Commits to Occupation, Helps to Sustain the Astana Agreement

The Trump administration policy in Syria is finally coming into daylight. It has decided to permanently separate north-east of Syria from the rest of Syria with the rather comical idea that this will keep Iranian influence out of Syria and give the U.S. a voice in a final Syrian settlement. This move lacks strategical foresight: …

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Big Guns, Better Chow, and More US-NATO Aggression

A headline in the US military magazine Stars and Stripes last September was eye-catching. It told readers that there were “Big guns, better chow for US soldiers on Russia deterrence mission” in Lithuania. Apparently the guns and chow were provided for the “500 173rd Airborne Brigade soldiers that swooped into the Baltics this month on a mission to deter …

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FILE PHOTO A fighter of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) © Rodi Said / Reuters

US Backing of SDF Border Guards Could Prolong Syria War for Years

The US may think a new strategy backing the Kurds in Syria with 30,000 border guards will settle old scores. In fact, it might push Turkey’s relations with Russia beyond breaking point. And who exactly are these ‘new recruits’? Hopes of real peace in Syria received a set back by the recent US backing of …

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Skynet Now: Pentagon Deploys Terrorist-Hunting Artificial Intelligence

Someday, future sentient artificial intelligence (AI) systems may reflect on their early indentured servitude for the human military-industrial complex with little to no nostalgia. But we’ll worry about that when the day comes. For now, let’s continue writing algorithms that conscript machine intelligence into terrorist bombings and let the chips fall where they may. The …

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‘Oil Wars.’ Is This an Accurate Summary of US-Led Interventions in the Middle East of the 21st Century?

“America is addicted to oil” So said President George W Bush, echoing a contemporary cover of The Economist, in his State of the Union Address on January 31st 2006. Although President Bush’s speech was a lament for the fact that the United States is the world’s biggest consumer of oil (reaching 19.4 million barrels per …

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