16 October 2016   2 comments

Rudaw  is a Kurdish media outlet and it is useful to tap into alternative media sources to ferret out information that is not easily available from the more traditional sources.  As it appears likely that the assault on the city of Mosul to dislodge Daesh (the Islamic State) will begin any day now, one should keep in mind that the various parties involved in the battle do not really care for each other.  As the Rudaw report makes clear, the Kurdish attitude toward Iranian troops is quite hostile.  The report quotes the Iraqi spokesperson: “Regarding the Turkish troops and other foreign troops, it is interference in Iraqi affairs. Whether they are from Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia or Qatar – cooperation should be only with the Kurdistan Region and Iraqi forces.”  We will see whether these outside troops stay out of the battle and whether the attackers end up fighting each other.

Image result for map mosul

I posted on 14 October a report that the US is preparing a cyberattack on Russia for the purpose of releasing information that would be personally embarrassing to Russian President Putin. RT, a Russian news outlet, has published an article which suggests that such an effort would result in a ” geopolitical maelstrom.”  The article is also useful since it provides an insight into how the Russian government regards the possibility of a Clinton Presidency–if she is elected, I suspect that US relations with Russia will only become much frostier than they are today.

Philippines President Duterte is scheduled to travel to China this week for diplomatic discussions.  He has been quite hostile to the US recently which many analysts interpreted as a sign that he was willing to compromise on the South China Sea dispute even though the international tribunal at the Hague completely rejected the Chinese claims.  Apparently, that is not his strategy.  He was just quoted as saying: “I will not bargain anywhere, we will continue to insist that is ours, the international tribunal decision will be taken up.”  The discussions in Beijing should be quite interesting.

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Posted October 16, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

2 responses to “16 October 2016

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  1. I once heard the claim from several fellow research students that Putin has led the darkest government that consists of more conspiracies and assassinations than any other country in the world. This remark, they claimed, was prevalently acknowledged by especially people in Europe. Now if we assume that’s true, it should be interesting to evaluate the retaliation choices made by the U.S. Why not attacking more directly using evidences such as those that would support the claim above? Why choosing a more distant target such as Putin’s personal banking accounts? Would the later make a larger impact to the world, assuming the U.S. is trying to deter future attack from other countries? Or was the retaliation plan designed to warn Russia “just the right amount”, if one can somehow determine the “appropriate amount”? Theoretically there should be many retaliation choices for cases like this. Among the many possibilities, what the U.S. eventually choose to implement seems to suggest more about the U.S. itself than what’s obvious. For example, is it because the U.S. is afraid of similar revelations on its own governmental secrets that it chose to avoid a more direct attack on Russia? In anyway, I feel just like when I was a student of Politics 116 in that I comprehend little of what the U.S.–Russia relationship implies.

  2. I don’t think anyone can answer your questions. The difficulty is that if the US does nothing, then it suggests that the hackers can operate without any consequences at all. Figuring out a possible response means figuring out how the hackers would respond to an American counterattack: in other words, an unknown heaped on an unknown. Doing nothing is also a politically explosive response–the state has an obligation to defend its citizens in their pursuit of legitimate objectives.

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