Asia

A New Generation of Activists Circumvents Iraq’s Political Paralysis

Researching the talks on forming a new Iraqi ruling coalition, our Senior Adviser for Iraq Maria Fantappie finds a country whose youth, women, civil society, officials and even politicians are hungry for bottom-up change to a stalemated, top… Maria Fantappie ICG BAGHDAD – I have spent much of my career – as an academic, an adviser to the EU and a policy analyst – speaking with high-level policymakers in Iraq. In my many meetings, I have tried to get a ... Read More »

Despite US Threats, Another Ally Mulls Russia’s S-400

Another US ally — and host of a critical Middle Eastern air base — is considering buying a high-tech Russian missile system. By Paul McLeary Breaking Defense What can Washington do about it? WASHINGTON The Trump administration’s promise last year to slap sanctions on countries who buy Russian military equipment appears to have done little to deter key allies. For months, American allies from India to Saudi Arania to Turkey have weighed absorbing the promised economic hit, while a new ... Read More »

Iranian who was arrested for Hijab protest absconds country, seeks asylum

The actions earned Jangravi a three-year prison sentence. One year ago, Azam Jangravi took off her hijab and waved it above her head while standing atop an electrical transformer in a busy Tehran square. By ZACHARY KEYSER JPost Reuters contributed to this report. It was an act of protest to denounce Iran’s strict Islamic laws that restrict women and general life in Iran, and limited her ability to live freely within her own country. The actions earned Jangravi a three-year prison ... Read More »

US deploys advanced THAAD missile defense system to Israel

The deployment, which began in March, was intended to test the U.S. military’s ability to rapidly deploy such weapons around the world, said a spokeswoman for U.S. European Command. JERUSALEM- Reuters Hurriyet Citing security reasons, she declined to say how long it took to move the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, which is built by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon to Israel from its home base of Fort Bliss, Texas. The move comes amid increased tensions between Israel and Iran over Israel‘s bombing campaign in ... Read More »

How the next Australian government can balance security and compassion for asylum seekers

This is part of a major series called Advancing Australia, in which leading academics examine the key issues facing Australia in the lead-up to the 2019 federal election and beyond. Read the other pieces in the series here. Alex Reilly The Conversation With a rapidly changing climate and increased instability in the world order, patterns of people movement are likely to change dramatically in the future. It is not a tenable response to isolate Australia from the… Sadly, the politicisation ... Read More »

Turkey faces growing Kurdish insurgency in Syria’s Afrin

Ever since the Turkish military and allied factions from the Free Syrian Army drove the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) out of Kurdish-dominated Afrin in March 2017, there has been almost no independent reporting on how the… Amberin Zaman Al Monitor The United Nations and Human Rights Watch are among a handful of international bodies that have offered valuable insight on the massive human rights abuses — rape, theft, extortion, kidnappings and the… The UN said some of these actions amount to war ... Read More »

Canada allows extradition case against Huawei executive to proceed

China, whose relations with Canada have deteriorated badly over the case, denounces the latest move to extradite Meng Wanzhou. sky news Canada has said it will allow the US extradition case against Huawei’s chief financial officer to go ahead. Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested last December at the request of the US, which has accused her of fraud linked to violating sanctions on Iran. She is currently on bail in Vancouver and will appear ... Read More »

Arundhati Roy: Kashmir Is Potentially The Flashpoint For A Future Nuclear War

With his reckless “pre-emptive” airstrike on Balakot in Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inadvertently undone what previous Indian governments almost miraculously, succeeded in… Arundhati Roy HuffPost Since 1947 the Indian Government has bristled at any suggestion that the conflict in Kashmir could be resolved by international arbitration, insisting that it is an “internal matter.” By goading Pakistan into a counter-strike, and so making India and Pakistan the only two nuclear powers in history to have bombed each other, Modi has internationalised the Kashmir dispute. He has ... Read More »

Calming India and Pakistan’s Tit-for-Tat Escalation

Reciprocal airstrikes by India and Pakistan have been accompanied by shelling, troop reinforcements and small arms fire. Laurel Miller ICG In this Q&A calling for restraint between the nuclear-armed neighbours, Crisis Group’s Asia Program Director Laurel Miller notes that the airspace violations alone were the worst for 50 years. What happened exactly? On Tuesday, 26 February, India claimed that its air force had targeted “the biggest training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed … in Balakot”. The strikes – the most significant ... Read More »

Pakistan wins PR showdown as Khan announces release of Indian pilot

Delhi: After Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Thursday that his country would be releasing a captured pilot from India after days of military conflict, he offered a way out of the… By Jeffrey Gettleman, Maria Abi-Habib and Salman Masood The Age The New York Times “In our desire of peace, I announce that tomorrow, and as a first step to open negotiations, Pakistan will be releasing the Indian air force officer in our custody,” Khan said. After hours of relative ... Read More »

Crisis Group Yemen Update #6

Trendline: Putting Yemen to Work Late February brought some hope to Yemen’s embattled population, large segments of which were on the verge of starvation at the end of 2018. ICG The UN announced that it had both raised billions of dollars to pay for its humanitarian work over the coming year and had regained access to the Red Sea Mills, an important food storage and distribution hub outside the port city of Hodeida for the first time in five months. ... Read More »

Intel: How Turkey is turning to Russia amid row with US over Syria

The timing of the Turkish foreign minister’s unexpected phone call today with his Russian counterpart in the middle of US-Turkey talks on Syria is the latest sign that Washington and Ankara remain hopelessly at odds over how to move forward in the region. Al-Monitor Why it matters: Mevlut Cavusoglu’s call to Sergey Lavrov was made “upon the initiative of the Turkish side,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The Syria dossier topped the agenda. The call comes as ... Read More »

ExxonMobil makes biggest natural gas discovery in two years off the coast of Cyprus

ATHENS- Exxon Mobil announced on Thursday that it has made the world’s third-biggest natural gas discovery in two years off the coast of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean at the Glaucus-1 well. Nasos Koukakis CNBC The region is already know for some of the world’s largest such discoveries. It wants to become an alternative energy source for Europe. Based on preliminary interpretation of the well data, the discovery could represent a natural gas resource of approximately 5 trillion to 8 ... Read More »

India says many militants killed in Kashmir retaliation strike

India said Feb. 26 its warplanes launched a strike on a militant camp that killed a “very large” number of fighters preparing an attack, in a move that worsens tensions with arch-rival Pakistan over disputed Kashmir. NEW DELHI – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Pakistan’s military earlier announced Indian jets had crossed into its airspace over the ceasefire line in the Himalayan region and dropped payloads, although it said there were no casualties. The escalation comes in the wake of a suicide bombing that killed ... Read More »

The Political Management of North Korean Society

North Korea’s political management system of carrots and sticks has enabled the regime to survive for 66 years. By Subbiah Lakshmanan The Globalist Securing foreign currency is critical to the political management of North Korean society. It is the key element in buttressing loyalty for Kim Jong Un. That aside, both carrots and sticks are used to run the system of managing North Korea’s society politically. They can be categorized as follows. Carrots 1. “Gifting”/Patronage system In a society where ... Read More »

Turkey’s Lack of Vision in Syria

Ankara’s scare tactics in Afrin and state building in Azaz highlight Turkey’s continued attempts to inhibit Kurdish expansion, yet neither approach is sustainable. Ferhat Gurini Carnegie While all eyes have been fixed on Ankara’s plans in Manbij, Turkey’s creation of a buffer territory farther west of the Euphrates since 2016 has largely gone unnoticed. Turkey has taken a two-pronged approach to the areas it currently holds in northern Syria. In the northwestern areas captured under Operation Olive Branch, such as ... Read More »