No theme today as we are going every direction to catch-up with most of the big stories we have discussed the last few months and then one final rather unexpected story that I had no idea was turning 20.
Our first stop on our trip around the world we will go to the story that has dominated recent headlines – Kazakhstan and a report from Reuters – Russian troops to quit Kazakhstan, says president, taking aim at the elite.
Russian-led forces will begin withdrawing from Kazakhstan in two days’ time after stabilising the Central Asian nation following serious unrest, the president said on Tuesday, in a speech that took aim at wealthy associates of his predecessor.
The article details the political infighting that may have led to the unrest and noted how the former president and his extended family have benefited financially. It appears most of the blame for economic inequlities have been laid at the feet of the former president. As for Putin and the Russians:
Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed victory in defending Kazakhstan from what he described as a foreign-backed terrorist uprising. read more
Kazakh authorities say order has been largely restored in the nation of 19 million and that almost 10,000 people have been detained over the unrest, with a hunt for others ongoing.
The article is very detailed and worth your time to get up to speed if you have not yet had the chance. For a different perspective on Kazakhstan, Al Monitor reports – Turkey caught off guard in Kazakhstan as Russia emerges on top.
Ankara has offered “all kinds of support” to help restore order after the central Asian nation was rocked by violent protests…
The dynamics at play in Kazakhstan are far more complex than a simple popular backlash against corruption and mismanagement. They likely caught Turkey off guard analysts say, with its longtime partner, the former President Nursultan Nazarbayev, on the losing side and Russia, the ultimate winner.
Next stop, Ukraine and The New York Times with, A Russian Pledge of No Invasion? Ukrainians Are Skeptical., which has an update on the Ukraine – NATO-Russia negotiations. The headline says it all but there are signs of a positive outcome.
There were at least some positive signs for Ukraine to come out of Monday’s high-stakes negotiations in Geneva, analysts said. Russia called the talks “deep” and “concrete” and committed to continue negotiations this week — with NATO on Wednesday and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Thursday. The O.S.C.E. talks will include Russia and Ukraine, the first high-level, publicly announced meeting recently that will include both countries.
Over to Yemen and the AP: Yemeni government says southern province retaken from rebels. There is a strategic significance to the territorial gains also.
Forces of Yemen’s internationally recognized government have reclaimed the entire southern province of Shabwa from Iran-backed Houthi rebels, officials said Tuesday. The development is a blow to the rebels after government forces earlier this month made significant advances in the country’s south…
Taking Shabwa enabled government forces to cut major supply lines for the Houthis, who have been attacking the key city of Marib, the last government stronghold in northern Yemen, since early last year. The rebels have repeatedly pushed back against U.N. and U.S. diplomatic efforts to halt the Marib offensive, as well as rebel missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia.
Our next headline takes us to the Hindu Kush and The Search for Stability in Afghanistan: Can Iran and Pakistan Manage the Taliban’s Emirate? from Foreign Affairs. Iran and Pakistan have the most to gain and conversely lose as the Taliban find stability there. Both countries have deep ties ethnically, culturally and economically but that alone understates what it at stake for the two largest neighboring countries.
The Taliban’s reconquest of Afghanistan comes at a time when both Iran and Pakistan are experiencing turmoil at home. Pakistan faces its deepest economic troubles since independence, with inflation rising exponentially and the country seeking to negotiate yet another loan deal with the International Monetary Fund, all exacerbated by unprecedented tensions between the military establishment and civilian leaders. Similarly, after four decades, Tehran’s clerical regime is in the midst of a major transition from a moderate to a more hard-line president and faces the looming question of who will succeed the ailing supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Iran is also experiencing a great deal of financial pain due to international sanctions. If Afghanistan begins exporting unrest, refugees, and militancy, it will only make matters worse for both countries.
If you chose only one article that I link to this one should be it.
And finally, the widely reported on the prison that turn 20 today, The ‘forever prisoners’ of Guantanamo. From DW:
The notorious US prison camp is 20 years old. Over the years, several plans to close it have been rejected. For the detainees, little has changed in the last two decades. Oliver Sallet reports from Guantanamo Bay.
There was no particular reason I chose the DW article, I could have chosen anyone of about a half-dozen or so but I think it is probably time to close it down. I have no idea what happens to the people still detained there though if anyone will even take them. Regardless, I am ready for this chapter to be permanently closed.
For something different and wrapping this up on a lighter note, how about What to expect from the world’s sixth mass extinction from DW. All of this and more in Today’s Daily Dump.
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January 11, 2022
Rethinking “Man, Train, and Equip” for Information Advantage – Modern War Institute
#Reviewing Sid Meier’s! Lessons in Game Design: Civilization and Wargames – The Strategy Bridge
Log4J Cyber Threat Requires New Approach to Design Flaws – War on the Rocks
ISIS or al-Qaeda: Which Looms as the Greater Threat to Global Security? – Small Wars Journal
1/11/2022 National Security and Korean News and Commentary – Small Wars Journal
2022 Is the Year of Decision – Center for Strategic and International Studies
The Importance of Water in Foreign Policy – Center for Strategic and International Studies
Burundi and Rwanda on a reconciliation path – Institute for Security Studies
North Korea’s hypersonic missile is a game-changer – Asia Times
Covid separating China from the world – Asia Times
A Russian Pledge of No Invasion? Ukrainians Are Skeptical. – The New York Times
In Talks on Ukraine, U.S. and Russia Deadlock Over NATO Expansion – The New York Times
‘Creepy’ And ‘Scary’: People Leaving Kazakhstan Describe The Mood – Radio Free Europe
Armenia, Azerbaijan Blame Each Other For Deadly Shooting Along Border – Radio Free Europe
The North Korean ‘Ghost Ships’ Washing Onto Russia’s Coast – Radio Free Europe
Mali’s junta leader ‘open to dialogue’ after sanctions – Africa News
Kazakhstan’s Instability Has Been Building for Years – Foreign Policy
U.S.-Russia Talks Reach Murky Conclusion – Foreign Policy
It’s Time to Close Guantanamo – Lawfare
For a Troubled Russian Region, Stalin is a Local Hero – The Moscow Times
Defending the Rule of Law Requires Ending Guantanamo Detention – Just Security
Colombia Police Reform: The Critical Need to Include Rural Forces – The United States Institute of Peace
Best of CES 2022: The Most Noteworthy New Tech This Year – Popular Mechanics
Every. Single. Aircraft Carrier. In the World – Popular Mechanics
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