Zaka Panezai

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30 years ago, Trump proposed allying with the USSR against France and Pakistan

Way back in 1987, journalist Ron Rosenbaum interviewed real estate developer and casino mogul Donald Trump on a somewhat unusual topic — nuclear weapons.<p>Rosenbaum has long been interested in the issue (he even wrote a book, <i>How The End Begins: The Road to Nuclear World War III</i>), but Trump at the …

Afghanistan’s vice president is known for brutality. But he may have gone too far.

KABUL — For 30 years, Gen. ­Abdurrashid Dostum has reigned as northern Afghanistan’s untouchable warrior-king: first as a ruthless pro-communist general, later as an armed U.S. ally against the Taliban and finally as a reliable, if unsavory, political boss who could deliver votes from his ethnic …

Hezbollah using U.S. weaponry in Syria: senior Israeli military officer | Reuters

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Israel has informed the United States that Lebanese Hezbollah fighters in Syria are using U.S. armored personnel carriers originally supplied to the Lebanese Army, a senior Israeli military officer said on Wednesday.<p>Smoke rises as seen from a governement-held area of Aleppo, …

How the rivalry between Russians and Turks shaped the world

A gunman shot Andrey Karlov, Russia's ambassador to Turkey, at a photo exhibition in Ankara on Monday. Karlov's condition was not immediately known. Initial Turkish media reports claimed the assailant, before he was "neutralized" by police officials, shouted out that his actions were retribution …

This isn’t the start of a new cold war – the first one never ended

If Russian secret services did meddle with the US election as officials had warned, and as US intelligence agencies now believe “with high confidence”, then it has serious consequences for US domestic politics – widening divisions within political and intelligence circles and within the electorate …

Russia

The pre-war intelligence on Iraq: Wrong or hyped by the Bush White House?

<i>“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”</i> <b><br>— statement from the Trump transition team on Washington Post report that the CIA concluded that Russia intervened in the election to help Trump</b><p>Donald Trump’s staff dismissed U.S. intelligence conclusions that …

Trump’s coming war against Islam

Donald Trump is about to lead the West into the third and darkest phase of its 15-year quest to neutralize the threat of Islamic extremism. The first was George W. Bush’s freedom initiative, which posited that political liberalization in the Middle East’s rotting autocracies would dry up terrorist …

Donald Trump

'Kangaroo mothering' helps boost a child's health and intelligence, study finds

Kangaroo mothering”, the practice of continuous skin-to-skin contact with a newborn baby, results in healthier, more intelligent and successful offspring, a new study reveals.<p>A 20-year follow-up from a landmark trial found that those nurtured in the kangaroo method scored higher in IQ tests and …

Shell’s Iran agreement signals a MidEast power shift

The agreement by Royal Dutch Shell to explore for oil and gas in Iran marks another remarkable step in the transformation of the country over a …

The Republicans are delivering America into Putin's hands

At the beginning of the 18th century, Poland was one of the largest states in Europe, a sovereign, multi-ethnic republic. By the end of the century it had vanished from the map, absorbed by the expanding empires of Russia, Prussia and Austria.<p>Intelligence figures fear Trump reprisals over …

Russia

The Continued Unravelling of the Middle East: A Deep Dive into History

<i>Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announcing the creation of the Islamic State, June 30, 2014</i><p>The political constellation of the Middle East has been, until recently, relatively durable for the better part of three-quarters of a century. Except for the division of the British mandate of Palestine between Israel …

Iran’s attempted genocide of the Sunni Arabs

The military assaults against Mosul in Iraq and Aleppo in Syria are not as disparate and separate as people imagine. Yes, the cities are located in …

Middle East

Why the world is suddenly so obsessed with Italy’s constitution

On Dec. 4, Italians will vote in a referendum that has been compared to Brexit, despite the Italian government’s insistence that the stakes aren’t nearly as high. Indeed, unlike the UK’s in-out vote on EU membership, the Italian referendum will ask voters to approve a somewhat convoluted package of …

The graffiti kids: How an act of teenage rebellion sparked the Syrian war

At the start of it all, before the uprising and the civil war – and the refugee exodus and the terror and the hatred that have sprung from it – a 14-year-old boy stood giggling with a can of black spray paint, pointing it at the wall of his school in southern Syria.<p>Naief Abazid’s graffiti sparked a …

Saudi Arabia vs. Iran: How Will Donald Trump Influence The Middle East Cold War?

When President Barack Obama moves on from the White House in January, he will leave in place a precarious power struggle between Saudi Arabia and …

What Genghis Khan Could Teach Trump

Revered by the likes of Chaucer and Jefferson, the Mongol leader is dismissed today as merely a ruthless barbarian. So why did he succeed in the …

Iran May Be Using Iraq and Syria as a Bridge to Lebanon

In recent days, two developments took place near Syria's borders that suggest the intentions Tehran and its proxies hold for that country and the …

Turkey renews OK for military operations in Syria, Iraq

Turkey's state-run news agency says parliament has extended by another year a motion allowing cross-border military operations into Syria and Iraq against Kurdish militants and the Islamic State group.<p>The resolution, first passed in 2014, was renewed on Saturday, the first and only item on the …

Obama Administration Is Pushing Iraq Into Further Chaos

AN ASSAULT by U.S.-backed Iraqi forces on Mosul, the largest stronghold of the Islamic State, is expected within weeks — far sooner than seemed …

Obama Administration

Podcast: How the U.S. got caught between two nuclear neighbors - India and Pakistan | Reuters

It's a situation where the United States has interesting choices to make. India and Pakistan are often at each other's throats. Both want U.S. support. Both are allies of necessity for the United States. Both have nuclear weapons.<p>An Indian army soldier stands in front of the wreckage of a MiG-21 …

United States can no longer school Pakistan; the real rein is in the hand of China

One may be pleased as punch about the United State’s strong statement urging Pakistan to act against terrorists that target its neighbours, but let’s …

Iranian Kurds Are Rising Up Against the Mullahs

A center-left separatist insurgency, based in northern Iraq, has taken to fighting Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.<p>In an unprecedented escalation in the …

Iraq: the real question

Instead of asking why we fought in Iraq, we should ask why we lost<p><i>‘If it falls apart, everything falls apart in the region’</i><p>— Note from Tony Blair to George W. Bush, 2 June 2003.<p>The extraordinary length of time that we have had to wait for Sir John Chilcot’s report into the 2003 invasion of Iraq has …

Middle East

UNICEF: One in nine children being raised in war zones

The UN agency has published a new report on the dire conditions for the 250 million youths worldwide living amidst violence. Lack of education, child …

The Iran deal at one year: Reality vs. the promises

To mark the first anniversary of President Obama’s deal with Iran, the folks at the Foreign Policy Initiative have just published a comprehensive …

South Asia

How the Taliban and the US fell out of love | Afghanistan

<i>In the seventh part of his Chronicle of a Caged Journalist series, Egyptian war correspondent Yehia Ghanem explores the relationship between the United States and the Taliban, and the misunderstandings he believes are at the heart of it.</i><p>There is a saying that "man is an enemy to that of which he is …

Explaining The Istanbul Bombing: Turkey's Six Foreign Policy Sins

Sibel Oktay, <i>University of Illinois at Springfield</i><p>You don't have to be an avid follower of international news to have heard about the terror attack at Istanbul's Ataturk airport - Turkey's biggest and Europe"s third largest hub for air travel. Most likely carried out by ISIS, the attack killed 42 …