Here’s your Situation Update for May 18, 2018


U.K. soldiers in Afghanistan in 2010 (NATO photo)

Welcome to your Situation Update, a regular feature from Insurgentsia that covers irregular war and runs weekday mornings.

The weather forecast this morning is sunny with a 90% chance of disastrously thinking your self-esteem requires outside validation. I hope that helps you wherever you are located as you read this.

An Iranian-backed insurgency in Bahrain might be good for the U.S. says the former American ambassador. The Washington Post interviewed imprisoned Shiite insurgents in the majority Shiite, Sunni ruled country. They said they received training from Iran or Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, confirming that Iran is supporting a low-level insurgency. Yet the fact that the insurgency is supported by Iran might be the reason no attacks have been made against U.S. forces in Bahrain. Iranian support means some Iranian control and Iran does not want to risk direct conflict with the United States. Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

Trump asked, U.K. may deliver troops to Afghanistan, but also maybe not because troop numbers are down, overseas operation are many, and an internal poll of British forces says 61% of troops consider morale to be low.

Kuwait authored a U.N. resolution to send peacekeeping troops to Palestine, but it will likely never pass because it would require no veto from the United States. The United States historically has voted against all U.N. action in support of Palestine or condemning Israel.

The U.S. accused Cameroon of “targeted killings” against English speakers in a press conference today. Cameroon has been fighting Anglophone separatists for 18 months and has killed unarmed civilians and burned down English-speaking villages.

The cause of explosions at Hama military airport in Syria today has not been identified, but Israel has been conducting air strikes in Syria recently. 11 Syrian soldiers are reported dead.

The U.N. said 2018 was the worst year yet in the Syrian Civil War today. The official also said Syria was the worst war in modern history for attacks on protected hospitals and medical personnel.

Egypt killed 19 militants in Sinai in the last few days. Egypt is in the midst of a three-month long operation to clear the Sinai peninsula of Islamist fighters including Islamic State.

This concludes your Situation Update. Questions may be asked in the comments section and answers will be given if the questions do not end in a preposition. To receive these updates in your inbox, use the follow button on the sidebar (web) or below (mobile).

Here’s your Situation Update for February 9th, 2018


Amber Clay photo

Welcome to your Situation Update, a new feature from Insurgentsia that runs weekday mornings. The scope of these posts will cover the globe’s small wars with big hearts.

The weather forecast this morning is clear and dry with a 50% chance of Fulda Gap fantasizing. I hope that helps you wherever you are located as you read this.

Bad news, the Syrian Civil War is getting worse, contrary to popular belief. With Islamic State territory mostly liberated, the Russian and Iranian-backed Syrian government is free to focus its attention on rebel held areas near Damascus and in Idlib province while Turkey attacks Kurdish-held areas in Northern Syria. Since December, over 300,000 civilians have fled new fighting. You can watch new video of the devastation here.

Good news, two infamous Islamic State fighters were captured by Kurds in Syria. The two British fighters were part of a group of four known as “The Beatles” because of their Liverpool-like accents. They were known for their presence in the videos beheading Western journalists. The other two members of the group were already killed or captured.

Egypt launches its largest offensive against Islamic State in years in the Sinai Peninsula. The offensive is a combined arms operation intended to cut off and destroy the militants who have been operating in the peninsula, notably killing more than 350 people in a complex mosque attack in December.

Reuters published a detailed report of a massacre of Rhohingya men in Myanmar in which two of its journalists were imprisoned during the investigation. This bloody event is only one day in the ethnic cleansing occurring in the northern Rahkine state.

Human Rights Watch accuses Kurds of mass executions in a statement by the director. The group claims that in a week during the summer offensive against Islamic State last year, Kurdish security forces may have killed hundreds of male detainees.

How do civil wars end? With civil wars raging in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, and other places the U.S. and foreign powers are involved in around the world, political scientists examine how civil wars end and what role these external forces play in their ending on Political Violence at a Glance.

This concludes your Situation Update. Questions may be posted in the comments section but we are unaware of answers at this time because we were traveling. To receive these in your inbox daily, use the follow button on the sidebar (web) or below (mobile). Your next Situation Update will be Monday, February 12th, 2018.

Inequality and the Egyptian Revolutions: The Political Economy of Pre-Revolution, Pre-Coup and Post-Coup

The four year anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution of 25 January has come and  gone and at the moment things are not looking good. But it’s only been four years. Four years after the French Revolution the French were at war with the British, Dutch, and Austrians and the Jacobins under Robespierre were just starting their Reign of Terror in which tens of thousands may have been executed.

To mark the anniversary, I would like to share my undergraduate capstone paper on the Egyptian Revolutions (written a year ago). I make some observations on inequality in Egypt and some (very humble) recommendations. I hope you enjoy and I welcome any commentary or discussion below:

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