A flare-up in the skies above Israel and Syria over the weekend has put a strain on Binyamin Netanyahu’s close ties with Vladimir Putin. The clash also makes it clear that Moscow is the boss when it comes to the Middle East.
As the longest war in US history rumbles on, Moscow looks at the Afghanistan conflict with interest. Allegations of Moscow’s meddling in the country, particularly its aid to the Taliban, raise questions over Russia’s geopolitical interests in Afghanistan, with the Kremlin’s mixed strategy reflecting how it is also precariously balanced.
It is tempting to draw immediate conclusions about the US response to the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime in Syria. However, the question is whether the launching of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base constitutes Trump’s doctrine for interventions and foreign policy. This is somewhat hard to determine.
There is something about the way our opponents confront us, the way they combine different military and non-military measures in campaigns that have clear political objectives that we find really difficult to counter.
As the threat from Islamic State evolves, security responses must too. Financial intelligence must continue to play a critical role in identifying and disrupting new threats, in investigating foreign terrorist fighters and prosecuting their supporters.
Russia’s S-400 surface to air missile system and its Su-35 fighters in Syria are a major headache for the US-led coalition. However, from Moscow’s standpoint they create almost as many problems as opportunities.
With the US recently increasing its air operations in Yemen, the West still has a role to play in the Houthi conflict. But what conditions need to be in place for the coalition to triumph conclusively?