History strikes back: Turkey, Iran inevitably jockey over Syria

Interesting times.

Erdogan and Rouhani meet in modern times.  (Image via Aydanlik Daily)
Erdogan and Rouhani meet in modern times. (Image via Aydanlik Daily)

The beginnings of a dynamic are emerging, one as predictable as anything ever was.  “Turkey” and “Iran” (in their earlier as well as contemporary incarnations) have jockeyed over the disposition of Syria (and Mesopotamia) for many centuries, and now that the clamps of the post-World War I order have been released, they are going to do so again.

Michael Ledeen initiated a fresh focus on this with a short post late last week, in which he predicted that Iran would soon form a federation with Syria and Iraq, or at least with the nominal central governments that remain to them: an arrangement that would formalize the Iranian military presence for which the mullahs have big plans.  Says Ledeen: Continue reading “History strikes back: Turkey, Iran inevitably jockey over Syria”

Ramadi’s fall has positioned Iran for a big score

Interesting times.

Refugees from a fallen Ramadi clog the roadways outside Baghdad in May 2015. (Image: Corbis vis Newsweek)
Refugees from a fallen Ramadi clog the roadways outside Baghdad in May 2015. (Image: Corbis via Newsweek)

If you listen to the mainstream media, you probably think mainly that a superior force of Iraqi national troops abandoned the city of Ramadi to Islamic State 10 days ago – by implication, doing so in spite of U.S. support to the Iraqis and the battle.

As Americans were wondering “What happened?” over the past week, words uttered by Ashton Carter, the U.S. secretary of defense, came to seem like the answer.  His signature comment was to the effect that the Iraqis were unwilling to fight.

As a cherry on top, I heard (Tuesday evening) a news anchor on the local ABC affiliate chirp out the theory that Carter’s harsh assessment “may have prompted” the Iraqi government to mount its impending operation to retake Ramadi.  The implication is that the Iraqis had to be goaded into it.  Local affiliates don’t make up foreign-affairs news narratives on their own; this was undoubtedly fed to them by the staff at ABC headquarters. Continue reading “Ramadi’s fall has positioned Iran for a big score”

Most likely direction of Yemen war may not be the one you think

Interesting times.

Ammo storage site under attack in Aden, 28 Mar. (Image: Reuters via CBC)
Ammo storage site under attack in Aden, 28 Mar. (Image: Reuters via CBC)

New post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!

Fear-grinning: Team Obama’s military support to allies Ukraine and Iraq (now including air strikes)

Interesting times.

Back in the air again.  Tactical drone footage from 2008. (Image via Diamondmind50, YouTube video)
Back in the air again. Tactical drone footage from 2008. (Image via Diamondmind50, YouTube video)

New post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!

Empire: The Iran edition

History returns.

Khamenei, with combat mosque, broods over Baghdad's Tahrir Square, Mar 2015. (Image: AFP, Ahmad al-Rubaye, via IBTimes)
Khamenei, with combat mosque, broods over Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, Mar 2015. (Image: AFP, Ahmad al-Rubaye, via IBTimes)

New post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!