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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “war”

Moscow’s Little-Noticed Islamic-Outreach Effort

Russia’s growing presence in the Middle East is generally discussed in military and economic terms. Moscow’s 2015 intervention in Syria to prop up the regime of Bashar al-Assad increased its influence with Iran and enabled it to draw a wedge between Turkey and the United States… A little-noticed trend, however, is Moscow’s focus on promoting politically pacifist Islam, which has coincided with an aggressive push by certain Arab countries to combat Islamism.

Read Here – The Atlantic

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This Is How Social Media Is Being Used In The Middle East

Social media has played an increasingly important role in Middle East politics ever since the 2011 Arab Spring. State actors such as Iran and Saudi Arabia have sought to use social media to influence discourse at home and undermine rivals abroad. How will this new era of online opposition and internet troll armies play out?

Read Here – The National Interest

U.S. Has Spent $6 Trillion On Wars That Killed Half A Million People Since 9/11 – Report

The United States has spent nearly $6 trillion on wars that directly contributed to the deaths of around 500,000 people since the 9/11 attacks of 2001.

Some of the Costs of War Project’s main findings include:

  • 370,000 people have died due to direct war violence, including armed forces on all sides of the conflicts, contractors, civilians, journalists, and humanitarian workers.

  • It is likely that many times more than 370,000 people have died indirectly in these wars, due to malnutrition, damaged infrastructure, and environmental degradation.

  • 200,000 civilians have been killed in direct violence by all parties to these conflicts.

  • Over 6,800 US soldiers have died in the wars.

  • We do not know the full extent of how many US service members returning from these wars became injured or ill while deployed.

  • Many deaths and injuries among US contractors have not been reported as required by law, but it is likely that at least 6,900 have been killed.

  • 10.1 million million Afghan, Iraqi, and Pakistani people are living as war refugees and internally displaced persons, in grossly inadequate conditions.*

  • The US military is conducting counterterror activities in 76 countries, vastly expanding the counterror war across the globe.

  • The wars have been accompanied by erosions in civil liberties and human rights at home and abroad.

  • The human and economic costs of these wars will continue for decades with some costs, such as the financial costs of US veterans’ care, not peaking until mid-century.

  • US government funding of reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan has totaled over $170 billion. Most of those funds have gone towards arming security forces in both countries. Much of the money allocated to humanitarian relief and rebuilding civil society has been lost to fraud, waste, and abuse.

  • The cost of the Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria wars totals about $5.6 trillion. This does not include future interest costs on borrowing for the wars, which will add an estimated $8 trillion through 2054.

  • The ripple effects on the US economy have also been significant, including job loss and interest rate increases.

  • Both Iraq and Afghanistan continue to rank extremely low in global studies of political freedom.

  • Women in Iraq and Afghanistan are excluded from political power and experience high rates of unemployment and war widowhood.

  • Compelling alternatives to war were scarcely considered in the aftermath of 9/11 or in the discussion about war against Iraq. Some of those alternatives are still available to the US.

There’s No Path To Victory In Afghanistan

This month, for the first time, the U.S. armed forces are recruiting young men and women who weren’t yet born when the invasion of Afghanistan took place. The war has been going on for 17 years now (17-year-olds can enlist with parental consent), making it the longest war in American history. Yet we are no closer than we have ever been to accomplishing our objectives, in part because those objectives have been so sketchily, inconsistently, and unrealistically defined.

Read Here – Slate

An End To The War In Afghanistan

Finally, and perhaps ultimately what may prove most decisive of these factors, the notorious Great Game—in which outside powers have intervened in and jousted over Afghanistan for a century and a half—is proving surprisingly propitious in terms of a rare coinciding of the interests of these countries.

Read Here – The National Interest

The US-China Cold War Is Now Playing Out In Pakistan

Are America and Pakistan finally breaking up? The short answer is no. As much as both states are fed up with each other, they remain far too co-dependent to simply walk away.  What we are seeing instead is a tough and protracted re-negotiation over the terms of the relationship. The question of Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan is not necessarily the hardest issue…The far bigger question… is what India and Pakistan’s role will be in the emerging cold war between the US and China.

Read Here – Defense One

How America Beat Queen Victoria’s Britain Without Fighting

Westerners make much of China’s obsession with “winning without fighting.” As though any sane statesman, Eastern or Western, relishes losing or longs to take up arms with all the dangers, hardships and perverse turnabouts of fortune that come with combat. Winning without fighting is what we call “diplomacy,” and it is a mode of interaction that spans all countries, civilisations and times.

Read Here – The National Interest

Clashing With Kabul

After becoming prime minister, Imran Khan received a goodwill message from the president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani. It read like a routine gesture, but both Kabul and Islamabad have reached a point in their deadlocked relationship where they want “real peace”, that is, for the Taliban to end their aggression.

Read Here – The Indian Express

The Middle East’s Tinderbox Is Heating Up Again

After a months-long stretch of merely sporadic violence and simmering tensions, the Middle East seems on the verge of another fiery eruption, and there are no outside powers with the interest or leverage to douse the flames.

Read Here – Slate

Here’s How the Road To Iraq Is Repeating Itself With Iran

Expatriates and professional agitators have always taken advantage of America’s relative openness to influence the public debate here. George Washington worried about French and British agents trying to draw the new nation into Europe’s wars. Similarly, the fact that foreign money flows to American think tanks and publications is hardly breaking news . Still, the brazenness of the Iran war hawks’ willingness to peddle the Saudis’ fearmongering, and traffic MEK musings as credible intelligence, is striking.

Read Here -The National Interest

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