Iraq

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Destabilising the Middle East by absence

It has never, at least since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, been stable. Instability is endemic to the Middle East, a region that suffers, as many have pointed out, from a surfeit of history, although new layers continue to be added. Relative stability has come from outside in [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Will there be a Kurdish state?

The Kurds have been scourged by history (as well as by British and French designs, with their 1920s ‘peace to end all peace’, as David Fromkin termed it in his remarkable book). In drawing up the borders that followed World War One and the fall of the Ottoman Empire, [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Averting an ISIS 2.0

Mosul, where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed the Islamic State (IS, otherwise known as ISIS or Daesh) as a caliphate in 2014 has almost fallen after nine months of fierce fighting. The recapture of Raqqa, the IS capital in Syria, is only a matter of time following the offensive by [...]

Libya: finding a way out of the labyrinth must be by way of the oil terminals

In recent years the production of oil in Libya has endured a rollercoaster ride reflecting a succession of blockades, attacks, strikes and sabotage carried out on oil and gas installations (some accounts catalogue up to 75 incidents and dozens of fatalities). Output in 2010 was close to 1.6 million [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Paris: a war over an essential not an existential threat

Yesterday the French President François Hollande, before the two parliamentary chambers sitting together as Congress in Versailles, said that ‘France is at war’ and that the coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris have been an ‘act of war’ of the Islamic State (ISIS or Daesh). And indeed, we are involved [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Savage continent: the longer term will not resolve the shorter

Europe, it is now being repeated ad nauseam, is experiencing the worst refugee crisis since the Second Post World War, which after the horror of war underwent a horror of population transfers, well documented in Keith Lowe’s Savage Continent. But Europe seems to have forgotten where it comes from [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The Caliphate, an idea with a territory

The West, and several governments in the Middle East, have made a serious error of judgement with Daesh, the self-styled Islamic State or ISIS. They have looked at it from the terrorist perspective alone, equating it with al-Qaeda. But it is, in fact, a very different kettle of fish. [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Giving up on regime change, but hoping to transform them

In the last stretch of his second and final term, Barack Obama is coming out of the closet as an activist, using his presidential prerogatives. First has come the regularisation of nearly 5 million immigrants, then a push forwards in the negotiations with Teheran –which have gone beyond the [...]

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