Author Archives: jonathanspyer

Iraq falls apart as Iran-backed forces keep Islamic State at bay

The Australian, 4/7 Baghdad in the early summer has the atmosphere of a city under siege. Armoured vehicles carrying heavy machineguns are patrolling the area surrounding the international airport. The nearest positions of Islamic State are just 65km away. The … Continue reading

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John Le Carre and the Last of Empire

The British novelist  David Cornwell  (John Le Carre) is best known for his fictional depictions of the British intelligence services during the period of the Cold War.  That this constitutes the main focus of Le Carre’s considerable prominence is probably … Continue reading

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Turkey’s Syrian Kurdish problem

Jerusalem Post, 3/7 Syrian Kurdish forces this week succeeded in turning back a murderous and determined attempt by the forces of Islamic State to claw back control of areas of northern Syria recently liberated by the Kurds. The cost was … Continue reading

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RIP Keith Broomfield, Killed in a Firefight with ISIS

PJmedia, 19/6 Keith Broomfield, of Westminster, Massachusetts, was born in 1979 and buried this week. He was 36. Keith was killed in a firefight on June 3rd with the Islamic State organization near the town of Kobani in northern Syria. … Continue reading

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Fall of Eagles: the Eclipse of the Arab Nationalist State

Tower Magazine, June 2015. The most significant dynamic in the Middle East over the last decade has been the collapse of strong, centralized regimes in a series of Arab states and their replacement by chaos, civil war, and the proliferation … Continue reading

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Born in Lebanon, dying in Syria?  

Jerusalem Post, 29/5 Hizballah shoulders new responsibilities in the Syrian war The latest reports from the Qalamun mountain range in western Syria suggest that Hizballah is pushing back the jihadis of Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State.  The movement claims to … Continue reading

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The March of Folly in Iraq

PJmedia, 19/5 (published under the title ‘Did US Policy Allow Ramadi to Fall?’) The fall of Ramadi to the fighters of the Islamic State is a disaster for the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. The taking of the … Continue reading

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