IS & Trade Speculation-Some Links

Michael Totten links to Jonathan Spyer: ‘The Guns Of August: Inside The Kurdish-IS War

‘I left Erbil for Amman in the early hours of the morning. The streets were deserted but the refugees’ tents were still visible at the side of the road. Iraq and Syria, it appears, have become geographical expressions only. Political Islam in its various versions is fighting over much of what remains. The Kurds are standing for a radically different politics along a long line to the north. What is to come, and how all this – which may be just beginning – will end, remains hidden beyond the horizon.’

So, if and when we roll back IS, what next?

From Blackfive:

‘In a posting from last week, I mentioned what it will take to mount an airstrike campaign against targets in Syria. Given that we’re going to do this using every available air asset possible, we are looking at a combined force of about 15,000 strong. Navy, Marine, USAF, Army will all be posted to supporting this effort, at least initially.

Wait, Marines? Yep- look at some of their assets based on Navy ships; we’ll use a few of them during the campaign. I’m not sure we’ve established the Erbil base yet, so most of these will be flying from Qatar, Kuwait, and ships throughout CENTCOM and EUCOM areas (the Med being a EUCOM responsibility)’

I suppose we’ll see.


Tyler Cowen appears at a talk about Thomas Piketty’s book (1 hr 16 min long):

Also from his site, interesting speculation about trade and the growth of water/harbor cities such as Venice, and comment speculation about what makes a good port:

‘The greater the anonymity of exchange, and the greater the distance involved, the stronger is the role of a formal port as a centralized supplier of trust and also buyer-seller coordination. That will imply a small number of water nodes, all the more so as globalization and specialization proceed .’

6 thoughts on “IS & Trade Speculation-Some Links

    • What we’ve seen in Syria and Iraq is a breakdown perhaps back to when the British were involved.

      Removing Saddam (and Gadhafi, come to think of it) has created a vacuum yet to be filled, and out of that the craziest and most militant trained splinter groups have filled in.

      There has been an anti-modern, anti-colonial, Islamic resurgence chafing against all the built up authoritarian military and family/tribe run dictatorships that got swept up during the ‘Arab Spring.’ There are still birth rates to think about long term, but right now, it’s this breakdown threatening our security and IS filling the gap. The choices in Syria were always bad, now they’re much worse.

      Saudi, UAE and other Sunni interests are having to fight by proxy and Iran and Shia interests as well, but who’s ready to put boots on the ground for possible eradication?

      I saw Hassan Rounani tweeting about saving the Nuke deal (he’s got a point) but the region’s a hot mess and there’s terrorism funding, shady back-biting and bad actors under many of the more stable regimes.

      If you decide to eradicate IS, then it’s going to get intense in many areas, and has to happen in Syria and Iraq.

      Israel seems to have to side against Iran and interests, and also deal with more anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic Western shift due to a move Left in America under the current administration and the continued fruits of Euro drift.

      • No kidding about Turkey. The Brotherhood is not really an organization we can do business with, especially if Egypt is any indication.

        I’m aiming high here Ron, so reasonable accuracy is an achievement, somewhere above ‘this guy doesn’t really know what he’s talking about’ and quite far below ‘this guy really knows his s**t.’

        Somewhat accomplished armchair policy advice.

      • The so called experts don’t know what to do. It took forever to get Obama to budge. The military is very good at killing and blowing up stuff. We have to pray the desired results are achieved at minimum cost.

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