The Syrian Kurds Think They Can Play Damascus Like a Fiddle

The Syrian Kurds are exploiting Damascus’ strong sense of patriotism in order to provoke it into the dilemma of either entering into a confrontation with Ankara or risk falling victim to slanderous accusations that it “sold them out” to the Turks, with this entire manipulation being carried out with the grand strategic intent of prompting …

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Shifting Geopolitical Realities in Afghanistan. Threat to US Hegemony?

Violent geopolitical rivalries between imperialist and hegemonist powers over Afghanistan’s natural resources, trade and transit routes, and geostrategic location have dramatically intensified. Despite sixteen years of heavy-handed US presence to establish its hegemony in Afghanistan and beyond, influence of regional powers like Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, and India is growing. The Perpetual War Sixteen years …

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Blackouts and Flashpoints in 2018

The prophets and forecasters for the coming year have already set out their global vision ranging from rising economies to catastrophic global wars. I want to argue from a different perspective, focusing on the increasing subdivision of markets, the deepening autonomy of political action from economic development, the greater threat of military interventions and increasing …

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Trump’s General Just Announced a New Cold War. Who Will Stop It?

Defense Secretary James Mattis announced a dramatic shift in military policy last week, and it threatens to plunge the world into new forms of conflict. The secretary, known as “Mad Dog” Mattis when he was a four-star Marine general, now commands the most powerful military force in human history. Mattis insists the nickname came from …

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The Doomsday Weapon

While we agonize over such life and death questions as clumsy men groping women and the crucial need for gender and racial ‘inclusion,’ let me spare a few seconds thought to something really important and scary: Russia’s doomsday nuclear torpedo. Code-named by NATO ‘Kanyon,’ it’s reportedly something new and terrifying, a ‘third strike’ weapon designed to …

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Front label of peeled plum tomatoes from UK (Yara Ismail)

How Did Food From the West Midlands End Up in ISIS-Controlled Territory in Syria?

It’s below zero degrees on the vast dirt hillside above Totah but through the mist and freezing rain, I can see the Syrian general’s target, a small ISIS-held village across a valley of mud. There’s a crash of artillery fire from his Shilka guns, and you wait several seconds before the shells fall behind a …

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Sudanese refugees hold up signs during a demonstration against the new Israeli government's police to turn away refugees from the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan (AFP)

The Ethical Hollowness of Israel’s Liberals

Human rights abuses by their government have so outraged prominent liberal Israelis that, in an unprecedented move, they have launched a campaign of civil disobedience. Many hundreds have responded to a call by rabbis, pledging to hide victims in their own homes to protect them from Israel's security services. Moral concern With the mood rapidly …

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© Umit Bektas / Reuters

We Come in Peace, Really: ‘Operation Olive Branch’ and Other Ridiculously Named Military Campaigns

Since WWI, armies have provided code names for their military operations. Many, however, have been euphemisms to conceal what really stands behind them. This week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a military campaign against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in the enclave of Afrin, situated in northern Syria. Codenamed ‘Operation Olive Branch,’ it …

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