January 20, 2014
No one knows if Doku Umarov is still alive. Last week Peter Haring argued in The Arabist 2011 may bring good things to those who wait. Daghestan's man in Moscow. Everyone gathered for Ban Ki-moon comments today on Syria. Even Iran receives invitation to Geneva talks on Syria ceasefire, but Assad says he's going nowhere. Western sanctions and uranium enrichment tempering in Iran. Can the international community achieve both stability and justice in Lebanon with Hariri assassination passing into history? That's in the hands of the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
Posted by Michael Kocsis at 12:08 PM
January 17, 2014
Modest step toward stability in Damascus-sponsored prisoner exchange. Syrian regime proposes a cease-fire as U.S. Sec. of State Kerry offers assurances. 'Geneva II' is the US/UN/Russian effort to bring both sides to the table and explore peace prospects in Syria. Challenges in today's Lebanon include the challenge of staying alive. Kabul suicide bombing reminds western diplomats who's likely to remain in charge of Afghanistan. Still, the Taliban's return to Afghan dominance will take its own pace. Here the International Crisis Group (ICG) calls for high-profile mediation in Southern Sudan before factions slip into civil war.
Posted by Michael Kocsis at 3:05 PM
September 04, 2011
Sec-Gen. Ban-Ki Moon seeks to end conflict and violence in and around the new South Sudan. U.N. post-conflict adviser will smooth the path and open doors for Libya transitional authority. Libyan rebels close in on last Qaddafi strongholds. Here are the International Crisis Group (ICG)'s recommendations for a Smooth and Peaceful Transition to Post Qaddafi Era. U.S. planners now anticipate rising Shia activities in Iraq. Author Thomas Sedlacek argues in this new book that we should take ownership of our collective economic lives. Tony Blair utilizes his envoy role to anticipate conflict that could envelop Palestinian efforts for statehood at the U.N.
Posted by Michael Kocsis at 5:08 PM
September 03, 2011
E.U. diplomats announce tougher oil sanctions on Syria (*), roughly four days after Washington announced the same. With the vestiges of the Qaddafi regime going underground, Russian decision-makers can be certain they put their money behind the wrong tyrant this time. When the 'mouthpieces' fall silent in Libya, foreign diplomats can fill the information void. A Jewish State is not in the way of peace, Lorne Gunter argues in today's National Post, so long as Israel's neighbors continue to make war. Pakistan's Taliban switches recruitment strategy.
Posted by Michael Kocsis at 2:12 PM
August 22, 2011
Collective relief among NATO leaders as Libya's rebels appear ready to challenge for Tripoli (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Combat air patrol over Libya will continue as long as is necessary according to NATO. In this context the Telegraph says: now is the time for us to plan Libya's future. Is there genuine euphoria right now among Libyan the people? The plan in Washington is to get tough on Syria and it's Assad regime. In Damascus, Assad tells interviewers his regime is stable again and back in the saddle.
Once again the Balkans walk a tightrope as Kosovo-Serbia waltzes towards a moment of great risk. We begin to see the wider historical ripples of Ratko Mladic arrest for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Bosnian civil war. J.L. Granatstein is confused about the new Canadian military-intellectual complex.
Posted by Michael Kocsis at 12:24 PM
August 20, 2011
Syria's Assad regime must wonder if repression can regain control. Defections and encroaching rebels are perilous signs for Qaddafi regime (1, 2, 3). The rebels say that Tripoli is surrounded. A short video about the August 1991 coup d'etat in Russia that nearly succeeded. What if it did succeed? Marc Grossman, U.S. envoy/viceroy in Afghanistan/Pakistan, reflects on 9/11 and Afghan leadership, stating nevertheless that the transition will go ahead on schedule. Rwandan genocide trials produce a tense reconciliation. Noth Korea's Kim Jong-il is received for brief and cool discussions in eastern Russia. In Russia, Syria has a rare friend. The cycle of murder and revenge returns to Gaza in August.
Posted by Michael Kocsis at 4:50 PM
August 16, 2011
In Libya, signals of desperation and flight from Qaddafi regime (1,2,3), yet there remains one force in clear control of the capital Tripoli. The rhetoric and balance of force in Afghanistan remains the same throughout Afghanization efforts but now people on the ground pay the price. Washington's war has shifted eastward and skyward. Post-intervention state conflict in Libya is being decided primarily in western capitals, not by Libyans.
This is an editorial argument that Israel's democratic culture is nourished by Arab Spring transformations. In the Balkans, both conflicting signs (1,2), and signs of simmering conflict (1,2), make the continuing saga impossible to predict.
Posted by Michael Kocsis at 3:07 PM
August 15, 2011
When foreign armed forces enter a divided country, unpredictability and mission creep are unavoidable. Today in Libya we are unsure: either successful endgame or locked into stalemate. Rebels may be poised to choke Tripoli, yet Qaddafi remains intransigent and still has military options. Support for Libya's regime stable or in some regions increasing. U.N. Security Council will consider Palestinian statehood, and Israel and Washington will resist. RFE/RL asks How did the Caucasus become and unholy mess? History has moved along and the state of Bosnia may not continue.
Posted by Michael Kocsis at 1:43 PM
August 13, 2011
Canadian military stuck in Libya for the near term. Canadian Defense Minister McKay strangely announces millions for 'dining rooms' on some home military bases. Refugee claims from 'Arab spring countries' beginning to rise in Canada. Here is a Whig-Standard in-depth analysis of Canada's military activities in the Arctic Circle. Is this hockey logo indicative of Canada's new militarism? The United Nations is geared up to slim down this year and next. How to balance personal freedoms, social order, after four nights of lawlessness in Britain. Qaddafi regime divided on endgame, but NATO still views this as unpredictable as it continues to arm rebel militias, who set their sights on key towns. The roots of a revolution: Russia/1991 and Tahrir Square/2011.
Posted by Michael Kocsis at 3:02 PM
August 07, 2011
As Syrian government presses its assault, Damascus receives dressing down from neighbors Turkey and Saudi Arabia (1, 2). Who said ISAF operations were to wind down? The Taliban takes credit for helicopter attacks in Afghanistan. Roadblocks and border checkpoints return in Kosovo. Amid the famine, Mogadishu returns to the control of Somali troops. Rebels claim Libyan town of Bir al-Ghanam. Will U.N. attention to Palestinian question bring about peace or 'unprecedented bloodshed'? The L.A. Times warns us of dangerous overconfidence after Bin Laden assassination.
Posted by Michael Kocsis at 10:02 PM
August 02, 2011
In Syria, the Damascus regime prepares for fall 'offensive' against rebel-dominated areas, as protesters demand international action. Somalia's politics of humanitarian assistance: insurgents block famine refugees. The fall begins in the middle east with gunfire across the Israel/Lebanon border. Israel puts its strength on display. Georgia will soon choose between orderly Presidential transition and dangerous breakdown. International Crisis Group (ICG) gauges the current situation in the new South Sudan.
Posted by Michael Kocsis at 1:26 AM