Iran oil exports will likely drop to just over 2 million barrels a day pushing the rial lower. Photo: iStock

Crashing Currency Chaos Spreads Across the Global South

The Iranian rial: crash. The Turkish lira: crash. The Argentine peso: crash. The Brazilian real: crash. There are multiple, complex, parallel vectors at play in this wilderness of crashing currencies. Turkey’s case is heavily influenced by the bubble of easy credit created by European banks. Argentina’s problem is mostly to do with the neoliberal austerity …

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Asia’s Shifting Alliances in the Time of Trump

“Boxing the compass” is an old nautical term for locating the points on a magnetic compass in order to set a course. With the erratic winds blowing out of Washington these days, countries all over Asia and the Middle East are boxing the compass and re-evluating traditional foes and old alliances. India and Pakistan have …

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The Syrian-Iranian Military Deal Strengthens Russia’s “Balancing” Strategy

No real details were publicly revealed about the new military deal that was clinched after the Iranian Defense Minister’s trip to Damascus but the Islamic Republic’s top military representative earlier told reporters that “No third party can affect the presence of Iranian advisers in Syria”, in what was clearly a response to aggressive American and …

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Will Someone in Washington Play the Ace of Spades before November?

With regard to American foreign and security policy, President Donald Trump presents a paradox. Aside from some harsh bluster (“fire and fury” directed towards Pyongyang in the lead-up to an unprecedented US-North Korea summit), Trump generally seems to want more peaceful ties with the rest of the world and an end to wasteful and dangerous …

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Is a ‘Suez’ Event Being Prepared for Syria?

So, the metamorphosis is done. President Trump has finally, fully, shed his 2016 Campaign ‘skin’ of loosely imagining a grand foreign policy bargain that could be the foundation for “WORLD PEACE, nothing less!” as Trump tweeted when imposing sanctions on Iran. We wrote, on 3 August, quoting Prof Russell-Mead, that Trump’s ‘8 May metamorphosis’ (the US exit from JCPOA), …

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The Long Shadow of the Gulf Crisis: Qatar Emerges as Key Player in Gaza Crisis

Dug in for the long haul in its increasingly bitter dispute with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, Qatar is emerging as a key player in efforts to prevent tension between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, from spinning out of control. Qatar’s increasing role counters Saudi and UAE efforts to …

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Who’s Who and What’s What in Iraq’s New Parliament

Iraq’s parliament by numbers  Iraq’s new parliament will meet to form a new government following the first national elections since the terror group Daesh occupied vast swaths of the country’s territory. After a lengthy manual re-count of votes, the major factions had the following number of parliamentary seats: –Saairun Alliance of Muqtada al-Sadr=54 seats –Fatah Alliance …

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The Real Stakes of the USA China Trade Wars

The bizarre and escalating “trade war” being waged by Washington against the Chinese is not at all about balance of trade surpluses. The Chinese have apparently recently concluded this as well. It is about an all-out assault on China’s strategy to become an advanced, self-reliant economic leading economy, technologically on a par with the West, …

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US Military Presence in Africa: All Over Continent and Still Expanding

Around 200,000 US troops are stationed in 177 countries throughout the world. Those forces utilize several hundred military installations. Africa is no exemption. On August 2, Maj. Gen. Roger L. Cloutier took command of US Army Africa, promising to “hit the ground running.” The US is not waging any wars in Africa but it has a significant presence on …

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