- February 20, 2017
In Syria, Russia got exactly what they wantedPresident Putin has already started withdrawing some forces from Syria. As it stands, we don’t know the extent of the withdrawal, or the timetable. As we have learned, he likes to keep everyone guessing. It has given him the upper hand in the past, and it continues to do so. But what is clear is that as he is leaving Syria, he is holding most of the cards. Consider the following five points:
There is no longer any doubt about who controls the fate of SyriaREAD MORE
Russia is putting its head back into the conflict in Syria, and seems poised to win it
Does anyone really understand what the war in Syria is truly about? Many analysts working for the various governments who have a stake in the conflict seem to think they have a pretty good idea — as do many independent academics. Trouble is, there does not seem to be very much agreement amongst them.
That various “insider” sources for the Russian or the American government should disagree profoundly is not that surprising.READ MORE
With Russian troops on the ground, and Russian fighters in the air, no Western leader has had the stomach to risk direct engagementWhat does the future hold for Syria? For the past five years, this question has been bitterly fought over. And it continues to be fought over. But now it is no longer a case of what will happen, so much as when it will happen. This is because, by now, it looks quite certain that when the dust settles, President Assad will still come out on top.
The game-changer for this situation, as I have written at length before, has been the involvement of Russia in the war on Assad’s side.READ MORE
There is no bigger threat to Islamic militancy than educated young MuslimsJust as we started celebrating Pakistan’s progress in the last year in cracking down on domestic terrorism, we hear about the attack on Bacha Khan University in the north-west of the country. In another brazen attack, carried out on January 20, gunmen killed 19 people and injured 17.
Just like the late 2014 attack on the Peshawar school, which forced the country’s leadership into the recent crackdown on militants, this attack is a highly symbolic one — targeting “Western,” as opposed to Taliban, education.READ MORE