1538 CE was a huge year for the Ottoman navy– in both the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. It also saw the usual kinds of things going on, on land, in Europe and the Americas, and some tragic things happening in China: Diu is a coastal city in Gujarat in northwest India. In the early … Continue reading Key developments of 1538
Three weeks after the United States’ January 3 assassination of Gen. Qasem Soleimani, how likely is the eruption of a US-Iran shooting war, what paths might lead to it, and what factors might brake or reverse the trend towards war? Two weeks ago, I wrote about how, despite the extremely sharp escalation in tensions that … Continue reading Barometer: US-Iran war prospects
It is less than 140 hours since Pres. Trump ordered the killing of Iran’s Qods Force chief Qasem Soleimani and Iraq’s Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Since then, the terrified world has watched as the leaders of Iran and the United States lobbed fierce rhetorical attacks against each other, leading to (quite rational) fears of a major … Continue reading Trump & Khamenei de-escalate. Political struggle inside Iraq continues.
With the decision he made late January 2 to kill the head of the Iranian “Qods Force”, Lt.-Gen Qasem al-Soleimani, Pres. Donald Trump set the United States on a course to an upheaval– certainly political and possibly also military– of truly global impact. The first reverberations of the heightened U.S.-Iran tensions have already been felt … Continue reading World poised on post-Soleimani knife-edge. Possible off-ramp emerges?
Over the past three-plus months it has become increasingly clear that, despite the bombast that Pres. Donald Trump has hurled against the Islamic Republic of Iran (along with a full deck of extremely harmful sanctions and some cyber attacks), neither he nor his closest regional allies in the anti-Iran coalition have been willing to escalate … Continue reading Mutual deterrence: Good for the Middle East, bad for the nuclear weapons industry?
The Washington Post’s David Ignatius had a column in today’s paper that gave a muddled, fairly escalatory take on the continuing crisis in the Persian Gulf between the Iranian government and the forces lined up against it. His lede (intro) is fairly straightforward: It’s a good rule never to start a fight you’re not eager … Continue reading WaPo’s Ignatius gets “mugged by reality” on Iran
In May, President Donald J. Trump rolled out his policy of “maximum pressure” designed to force Tehran to concede to far-reaching demands. He tightened U.S. sanctions against Iran considerably and ordered the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier and numerous other military units deployed to (or toward) the Persian Gulf. Then-especially after Iran shot down a large U.S. Navy drone in late June-the world braced for a showdown.
Washington DC, May 14-In the 13 months since he became Pres. Trump’s national security adviser, the extreme hawk John Bolton has successfully ramped up Washington’s tensions with Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, and to some extent also Syria. But in the case of Iran, he may have met his match, since Iran’s government has a broad … Continue reading Bolton pushes United States to over-reach in Iran
This week the U.S. Senate is expected to consider its response to the cruel veto that President Donald Trump announced two weeks ago, of legislation from both houses of Congress that would force the administration to end U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen within 30 days Can the voices of conscience muster … Continue reading A crucial vote on Yemen, aka ‘Saudi Arabia’s Gaza’
Washington DC, April 23 — Last week, the redacted text of the Mueller Report dropped-into a Capitol Hill that will spend much of the rest of the present Congressional session dealing with its fallout. Robert Mueller’s investigation was into allegations only of Russian interference in U.S. politics. But at one point his report highlights some highly questionable … Continue reading The UAE’s seedy influence operations are a footnote in the Mueller Report