People hold Chinese and Djiboutian national flags as they wait for Djibouti's President before the opening of a 1,000-unit housing construction project in Djibouti on July 4, 2018. The project was financially supported by a Chinese company. Photo: AFP/Yasuyoshi Chiba

It’s Africa’s Choice: AFRICOM or the New Silk Roads

The dogs of war – cold, hot, trade, tariffs – bark while the Chinese caravan plies the New Silk Roads. Call it a leitmotif of the young 21st century. At the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing, President Xi Jinping has just announced a hefty US$60 billion package to complement another US$60 billion pledged …

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US or Russia? The Mystery Airstrikes Against Tajikistan

Russia, the United States and Tajikistan have all denied that they were behind a series of mystery airstrikes that took place along the Tajik-Afghan border on Sunday, while the identity of the targets also remains unknown. The 800-mile border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan consists of mountainous terrain. Unlike the Afghan-Pakistani border, which is rife with …

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Will the Battle of Idlib Start while Russian Task Force Is in the Mediterranean?

Russia has amassed large naval and air forces in the Mediterranean opposite the Syrian coast under the command of the Russian Navy commander Admiral Vladimir Korolev. 25 warships and 30 aircraft are involved in these extensive maneuvers: Tu-160 bombers, Tu-142s, II38 anti-submarine, Su-33s and Su-30SMs, and other aircraft. The drill is announced to end one …

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Will Friday’s Tabriz Tripartite Summit Resolve the Idlib Imbroglio?

The next Tripartite Summit between Russia, Turkey, and Iran is scheduled to take place in Tabriz this Friday. The three countries’ presidents will gather in the Mideast city to discuss the most important points of convergence and divergence between them, with the first-mentioned being the increasing multisided pressure that they’re all coming under from the …

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US Push for Sanctions of China Over Treatment of Uyghur Minority

As the Trump administration escalates its trade war measures with China, a powerful group of US lawmakers headed by Senator Marco Rubio issued a letter last week calling for sanctions against Chinese officials allegedly responsible for human rights abuses against the Muslim Uyghur minority in the western province of Xinjiang. There is no doubt that …

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Rebel fighters take a position in the countryside of northern Idlib on 17 August 2018 (AFP)

Has Trump’s Attack on the Turkish Lira Unlocked a Syria Deal?

“He does things the right way,” US President Donald Trump said of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month. It shouldn't have been a surprise; the two men have much in common, as nationalist, tub-thumping autocrats with a contempt for constitutional limits on presidential might, who see few problems that cannot be solved through the …

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Lebanon’s Precarious Neutrality

Facing possible invasion from both Britain and Germany in 1940 and determined to remain neutral, the Irish government in Dublin asked one of its senior ministers to draft a memorandum on how to stay out of the Second World War. “Neutrality is a form of limited warfare,” was his eloquent but bleak response. The Lebanese would agree. For seven years, they have …

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Israel’s Fifth Column: Exercising Control from Inside the Government

Referring to Israel during an interview in August 1983, U.S. Navy Admiral and former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Thomas Moorer said “I’ve never seen a President — I don’t care who he is — stand up to them. It just boggles the mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know …

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The Hybrid War on Cameroon Aims to Destabilize the West-Central African CPEC

The multisided security crisis unfolding in Cameroon is intended to preemptively destabilize the West-Central African CPEC well in advance of its construction and might even catalyze another Migrant Crisis to Europe if the Hybrid War isn’t resolved soon enough. Cameroon is a country mostly known for its national football team but which is increasingly gaining …

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