Tag Archive: US

Iraqi Prime Minister Al-‘Abadi in Washington – Some Realities

Iraqi Prime Minister Al-‘Abadi in Washington – Some Realities

While the current media coverage of the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has shifted to the fighting in Syria, the major battle continues to be the Iraqi campaign to defeat the Islamist group in the city of Mosul. The Iraqi security forces – Army, Air Force, police, and special operations units, as well as several Iranian-backed Shi’a militias – have generally acquitted themselves well in the fighting. We all remember the Iraqi Army’s dismal performance against ISIS in June 2014, when the Army collapsed as the group stormed into northern Iraq from Syria and began…
Read more

Commonwealth Countries

The Commonwealth Spreads Its Wings

The Commonwealth is a facet of contemporary life that most people know little about. The Commonwealth games, interposed every four years between the Olympics, might arouse a flicker of interest across the globe, but as for the background or purposes of the organization there is little general knowledge or concern. And yet the Commonwealth has the potential to exert an enormous power for good on global politics.

US Army Stryker Infantry Combat Vehicle in Northern Syria – © Photo: @AfarinMamosta/Twitter

Syria: Has Turkey Been Marginalised While the US Thrusts into the Fight?

In a remarkably under-reported series of events in northern Syria, the success of the joint Turkish – Free Syrian Army (FSA) Operation Euphrates Shield (Turkish: Fırat Kalkanı Harekâtı, Arabic dara’ al-furat) is now more uncertain than ever. The goal of the military campaign is to defeat the forces of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). FSA forces supported by Turkish air power, armour, artillery, intelligence and special forces were moving slowly but steadily on their way from the Turkish border towards what is regarded as ISIS’s centre of gravity – its self-proclaimed capital in the city of Al-Raqqah. Just…
Read more

© Photo: MPC Journal

Iran emboldened – Op-Ed

Emboldened by the misconceived policies of ex-US President Obama, Iran has become positively confrontational under President Donald Trump. Iran and the US always backed different sides of the wars in Syria and Yemen, but now they stand ideologically opposed on most issues involving the region. Early in February Iran tested a ballistic missile, claiming that to do so was not in contravention of its nuclear deal, but the new US ambassador to the United Nations called the test “unacceptable”. Washington put the Islamic Republic “on notice” and imposed sanctions on more than two dozen individuals and companies involved in procuring ballistic…
Read more

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks on Middle East peace at the Department of State in Washington. Photo: Reuters

Flaws at the Heart of Kerry’s Blueprint

On 28 December 2016, in the dying days of the Obama presidency, Secretary of State John Kerry summoned the media to the Dean Acheson Auditorium in the State Department building in Washington, where he promised to “deliver remarks on Middle East peace”. In a speech lasting more than an hour, Kerry provided a detailed apologia for the Obama administration’s policy on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, including an impassioned rationale for the US’s abstention on the Security Council vote on December 23 demanding an end to further Israeli settlement construction in territories captured in the 1967 Six Day War.

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad stand inside the Umayyad mosque CREDIT: REUTERS

Aleppo: Symbol of Action and Inaction

SYRIA – Assad army, backed by Russian and Iranian allies, has recaptured the city of Aleppo, which might be a major victory for President Assad in Syria’s six-year-long civil war. It is not the same city the rebels and the regime were first fighting for. It has dramatically changed. Much of it has become in ruins. Much of it has been lost. Most of its people have been traumatised as thousands have died and many more have been detained or displaced. . Aleppo, as it was before the civil war, has become a memory. Thousands have died and many more…
Read more

obama-putin-hacking

Has the Second Cold War Begun?

We are facing the possibility of a second Cold War – and if it happens, Isis will never be defeated. Every conflict during the Cold War was fought by armies or insurgents working on behalf of the Americans, Russians, or, occasionally the Chinese: Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Angola and the list goes on. These countries would use proxies again, but with a higher death count, in the 21st century At the risk of sounding a little foolish, there is, sadly, much evidence that World War Three has already arrived, though not quite in the way so many futurologists of the past imagined…
Read more

A mural of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump outside a bar in Vilnius, Lithuania, in May. Image©: Mindaugas Kulbis/AP mpc-journal.org

A Trump-Putin Axis?

US President-elect Donald Trump admires Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. That much became clear during Trump’s presidential campaign, as did his intention when in office to repair the US’s damaged relations with the Russian Federation. At the moment the US and Russia, although both nominally combating Islamic State (IS) in the Syrian civil war, are so far from allies that they are very nearly belligerents. In September 2014 the Obama administration brought together a coalition of countries to undertake a twin-objective military effort in Syria: to defeat the rampant IS that had seized large swathes of the country, and to remove…
Read more

Disentangling Omar Mateen’s motivations in the Orlando shooting, at this point a major focus of the inquiry, is likely to be a complicated task. Photograph: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Orlando Shooting: Is It Islam or Western Homophobia?

On 12 June 2016, a mass shooting left 49 dead and 53 wounded in an LGBT+ nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Statistics show that the LGBT+ community is the minority whose members are most likely to become victims of hate crimes in the United States. More depressingly, over 80% of LGBT+ people killed in the US are queer people of colour, according to a report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. Someone who knew Pulse Club well was anonymously quoted online saying that calling it a “gay club” would be factually false: “What actually made this club unique is that it was explicitly for the entire LGBT+ spectrum. “A place…
Read more

Saudi security forces take part in a military parade in preparation for the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. (AP)

What Happens When Arab Autocrats Left to Fend for Themselves?

It is a difficult task to explain everything about the Middle East in a short article. So what I am going to do is to present an important, yet sometimes provocative series of headlines for a more lively analysis. The first point is that the rise of Asia shares significant responsibility for the turmoil the Middle East is experiencing. What I mean to say with this is that popular wisdom has it that a war weary, indecisive and weak President Obama’s disengagement from the region lies at the root of nations with Saudi Arabia in the lead adopting more assertive foreign and defensive policies…
Read more

Menu Title