Islamic State is a big business machine

Despite vast revenue sources – from taxes to extortion to the sale of antiquities to ramsom – the terrorist group faces a cash crunch

Islamic State is a big business machineThe Islamic State (IS) has been described as either one of the world’s richest terrorist organizations or one of its poorest countries. Neither is quite true. It is a hybrid – half destitute quasi-nation state and half wealthy jihadist organization. What it does have, however, are considerable financial assets. The assets are a combination of…

Divvying up the Middle East after First World War

Beating-up on Britain’s Sir Mark Sykes and France’s Francois Georges-Picot for today's mess in the Middle East is just plain silly

Divvying up the Middle East after First World WarIt was 100 years ago this May that two diplomats – Britain’s Sir Mark Sykes and France’s Francois Georges-Picot – concluded a secret agreement dividing the (prospective) post-war Middle East into British and French spheres of influence. And by virtue of ignoring local demographic realities, their agreement has been blamed for many of the region’s…

Operation Desert Storm 25 years later

Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait and the American response dramatically impacted the politics of the Middle East

Operation Desert Storm 25 years laterI don’t know about you, but Operation Desert Storm – the name the Americans gave to the campaign that evicted Saddam Hussein’s invading army from Kuwait – doesn’t feel like a full quarter-century ago to me. I clearly remember the surrounding tension, the prevailing idea that somehow it was going to produce a global cataclysm.…

Trudeau should push for a Kurdish state

A unified Kurdish state western interests because it would create a moderate majority-Muslim state that is largely pro-western

Trudeau should push for a Kurdish statePrime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau could establish a legacy for himself by helping solve the problem of the world’s largest stateless nation. Trudeau should expend political capital on a newly energized foreign policy goal of unified Kurdish statehood. This state would serve Canadian and western interests. There are about 30 to 32 million Kurds. They are…