25 February 2015   Leave a comment

Egyptian leader, Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has called for a joint Arab combat force to take on the Islamic State.  The call comes amid signs of deterioration throughout the region.  The call resonates strongly with other Arab states who fear the Islamic State, as well as the US who would prefer not to introduce large numbers of ground troops into Syria and Iraq.  The problem is that it is unlikely that the Arab militaries could carry out such a difficult and dangerous operation without jeopardizing their domestic support.

Many of us have been wondering why this winter (and last) has been so miserably cold.   Fortunately, some smart people have been intrigued by the question as well, and some of the tentative evidence suggests that climate change is responsible (which means that the change may not be ephemeral—aaaargh!!!!).  Apparently a warming Arctic (which is not questioned at all by anyone, even climate change deniers) changes the flow of the jet stream, making it weaker and more “wavy.”  This allows really cold air from the arctic to dip down and end up right on my toes.  I think it is time to move Mount Holyoke College to Aruba.

Novaya Gazeta, an independent investigative newspaper in Russia has published a document that purports to show a Russian plan to annex Crimea that was drawn up before the Maidan protests forced the ouster of former President Yanukovich.  Russian President Putin has often claimed that support for the Russian-speaking separatists in Crimea was granted only after what he termed a NATO-inspired coup d’etat threw out the Russian-leaning Yanukovich.  The document,if authentic, challenges that narrative.

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Posted February 25, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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