Commentary on the economic , geopolitical and simply fascinating things going on. Served occasionally with a side of snark.
Saturday, March 22, 2014
War watch March 22 , 2014 -- Afghanistan and Iraq see violence spike as Elections loom in April ! Syria Government troops secure more territory as transit between Lebanon becomes dicey for Rebel forces in the
Afghanistan regularly lands at the top of lists of most corrupt nations on the planet, usually followed by admonishments from the US. Sopko warned that the lack of any specific US plan to tackle the corruption meant a lot of reconstruction efforts were wasted, and may wreck what reconstruction projects managed to get done.
While everyone seemingly shrugs off the corruption now, Sopko warned that may not be the case after the end of the year, when NATO will hype the drawdown as the “end” of the war. Afghanistan will at least nominally be standing on its own.
And it’s at that point that its ridiculous levels of corruption are going to start to cost it mightily, as a haven for money laundering where bribery is an expected part of government deals will inevitably start facing blacklistings.
Latest terror attack in Kabul ahead of the Election......
AFP reporter Sardar Ahmad, his wife and two of his children were among nine people killed in an attack on the Serena hotel in Kabul, a luxury hotel popular with foreign diplomats.
Reports say the attackers, four teenagers, managed to sneak pistols into the hotel hidden in their socks, and got past several layers of security at the hotel before launching their attack at the buffet.
Though the attackers had only tiny pistols they managed to keep shooting for two solid hours until security forces managed to kill the last attacker.
The interior ministry said they believe the attack is “threatening the security of the election” in April, and that the believe the target was an Afghan Senator, who was injured but alive. Three other MPs were also there, and threw their drinks at the attackers, escaping unharmed.
Iraq - terror attacks on the rise as Iraq nears its Elections......
Iraq Police Targeted Across Iraq: 113 Killed, 148 Wounded
The Syrian military has ousted rebels from the ancient Krak des Chevaliers today, chasing the rebels therein across the border into neighboring Lebanon. The army claims “at least 93″ rebels killed in the fighting.
The Krak des Chevaliers was built by a Kurdish faction in the early 11th century, and seized during the First Crusade by Raymond of Toulouse. It remained a crusader fortress off and on for nearly two centuries, after which time the occupying Knights Hospitaller relocated to the Island of Rhodes.
Near 1,000 years old, the fortress obviously wasn’t a very secure site for the current Syrian Civil War, but the rebels had set up a base inside as symbolic of their influence in the region. After the ouster from Yabroud, it was only a matter of time before the Krak was targeted.
Signs from inside the Krak suggest the rebels were taken by surprise at how quickly the offensive reached them, and a government tour of the interior of the site reported rebels had left food cooking on makeshift stoves inside, a hasty retreat that further secures military control of the area around Lebanon.