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The article first published in americanthinker.com on 01/15/2018. President Trump’s threat to cut US assistance to Pakistan because of its duplicitous policies has elicited relatively few angry denunciations from the normally unhinged Trump haters in the foreign-policy establishment. They have been limited to accusations of endangering American soldiers in Afghanistan because of lack of logistic alternatives to Pakistan. This essentially implies that the current failed and counter-productive policies are preferable to Trump’s calls for change. To understand why this is a recipe for continued failure in which the Pakistani people are the main victims some history is in order. Ever since its violent separation from India in 1947, Pakistan has been an army with a state attached to it. Its quarrel with India, a vastly more powerful state, became a
On April 4, 2017, when 23-year old Akbarzon Jalilov has blown himself up taking 15 other innocent people lives at the St. Petersburg metro, very few people initially paid attention to his place of birth. Shortly, it turned out that him, as another eight of his friends who were detained, were ethnic Uzbeks from a Kyrgyz town of Osh. Another Uzbek man, Rakhmat Akilov, is suspected of steering a hijacked beer truck into a crowd of shoppers in Stockholm on April 7 that left four people dead and 15 others wounded. Yet another Uzbek national, Abdulkadir Masharipov, has been arrested for allegedly killing 39 people of different nationalities only two hours into the New Year in the Reina nightclub in Istanbul on January 1, 2017. All three of them
By launching cruise missile strikes on government forces in Syria, successfully obliterating dozens of ISIS terrorists in Afghanistan, and dispatching a military flotilla to confront the North Korean regime, the Trump administration has sent four strong messages: to dictators, allies, Russia, and Western populists. Trump’s moves overturn several years of fruitless diplomacy and empty threats by the Obama administration and appear to be working. Although the cruise military strike in Syria only involved one airfield, it was swift and decisive, thereby demonstrating to dictators such as Bashar al-Assad that the new White House values hard deeds above tough words. White House action was in stark contrast with the previous administration, which warned of consequences for war crimes and the use of prohibited chemical weapons but did not deliver
In a year that has begun with a bloody attack on Europe’s southeastern edge, the SEE region figures to again factor prominently in world events. What transpired in Southeastern Europe in 2016 and what lies ahead in 2017? 2016 was a very violent year in Turkey, where war, terror and mass arrests grabbed the headlines. In 2017, the bloodshed has already begun. More than three dozen New Year’s Eve partygoers were killed just minutes after the year began. Now, Turkish President Recep Erdogan will seek to exploit the chaos in order to transform Turkey’s system of governance and obtain the executive presidency he has long desired. While blood spilled in Turkey, the year 2016 in the Balkans was characterized by an uneasy peace. Following the Brexit vote
In recent months in almost all countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Russian networks of influence have come under heavy public scrutiny. Moscow’s networks of influence in many ways fit into one and the same pattern, albeit with some national specifics. The main differences reflect the mix of state and non-state actors recruited by the Russian side through official and semi-official channels, including diplomatic channels, governmental institutions, oligarch-led business networks, media, the Orthodox church, intelligence services — the foreign intelligence service and its his civilian offshoots and the military intelligence agency, GRU — and cultural and information channels. The degree and nature of participation of indigenous sources — political parties, media, individual politicians and companies — also affect the varying natures of Russian networks of influence. Where
President Erdogan’s radical departure from previous policy lines toward the Kurdish minority and its political representatives in the Turkish Parliament could derail Turkey’s ambitious plans to act as a crucial energy hub for gas and oil flows destined to the EU and global market. He is not only fighting the PKK but all Kurds, as HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş was arrested along with at least 11 MPs in a marked escalation of the post-coup crackdown. Intensification of the government’s war against Kurds in the southeastern region of the country might spell the end of a risk-free environment for all major transit projects passing through Turkey — both existing and planned. A sequence of bombs blasts — the last one two weeks ago on the gas line
Terrorist attacks have been increasing in the West for the past years and became especially frequent in Western Europe since 2015. The mainstream media continues to present us with the image of the “global terrorist network” of jihadists, guiding from afar the actions of its fighters, infiltrating them into Western societies. If we look closer however, more than little has changed with so-called “grassroots” and “lone wolf” attacks overtaking those organised by “professionals”. An attack was prevented in Frankfurt in April 2015 when large quantities of chemicals used for the production of IEDs, as well as assault weapons and great quantities of ammunition were found by police in a family’s home. A successful attack was carried out in Denmark in 2015 by Omar al-Husein, a lone wolf