Following on from the other day, Dr Carter Malkasian writes, in Foreign Affairs, that in 2015 and 2016 the war in Afghanistan went from bad to worse for the US-supported Afghan government. That rejuvenated Taliban went from victory to victory, from strength to strength. Then, "When President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, the … Continue reading Afghanistan in retrospect (3) (the Future?)
A few weeks ago I commented on the long (2001 to 2014) Afghanistan campaign ... one hesitates to call it a war; the Canadian Forces were, pretty clearly, at war; Canada was, equally clearly, not. It was Canada's largest and most costly, in both blood and treasure, military operation since Korea (1950 to 1953) but … Continue reading Afghanistan in retrospect (2) (History)
The situation in and around the Middle East is horrifically complex and changes fast. A couple of days ago Murray Brewster wrote, for CBC News, that "A NATO team has been meeting at the U.S. State Department in recent days to draft proposals on what an expanded alliance presence in the Middle East would like … Continue reading NATO in the Middle East
What we do know, for sure, is that: Qassem Soleimani is dead. That is, without a shadow of a doubt, a good thing. He was a monster and his demise makes the world an ever so slightly better place. We should not dance on anyone's grave, not even those of Hitler, Stalin, Tojo and Mao, … Continue reading What we know and don’t know, for sure, so far
John Ibitson, writing in the Globe and Mail, suggests that Justin Trudeau might want to try what former diplomat, national strategic planner in the Privy Council Office, and commentator David Mulroney refers to (on social media) as... ... "the "Ostrich" school of Canadian foreign policy." It has, he says, two pillars: First, "Canada has no … Continue reading But that may prove impossible.
Terry Glavin, writing in Maclean's magazine, says, and I fully agree, that "It may well have been capricious in the extreme for Donald Trump’s White House to order that spectacular hit in Iraq, but lets face it: the airstrike target was the Lord of the Flies. He got nothing less than he visited upon countless … Continue reading What next?
The digital newsletter Breaking Defense published this report, a few days ago, on 21 Nov: "Warships from several NATO allies tracked and knocked down ballistic missile targets from the sea for the first time sharing targeting information across a shared alliance network ... [that, alone, is significant; planners and engineers have been talking about this since the … Continue reading Neat and cool and important, too
This is the fifth of five of my 'thoughts' on diverse strategic issues in the first 10 days of 2019. Well, one was related to the state of democracy in Canada, that's not exactly a matter of great strategic import but it should be of concern to some of us. Look at these maps, please: … Continue reading Just a thought (5): What happens next in the Middle East?
A few months ago we saw and read stories, on Global News and in the Toronto Sun, about Canadians who had been Da'esh/ISIL/ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq who had, along with their wives and children, been captured and detained by Kurdish forces. The Kurds want to send them back to Canada (and other 'parent' … Continue reading A study in contrasts
Katherine Zimmerman, a research fellow at the generally conservative American Enterprise Institute, has written a good article for Foreign Affairs in which she explains that, while: "It may appear as if a global victory over the Islamic State is near, but it is not. What U.S. policymakers never seem to learn is that when it … Continue reading Everyman’s Strategic Survey: Salafi-jihadism