• China eyes taking over strategic airbase in the Atlantic

    Over Thanksgiving, I briefly visited the Azores, an archipelago in the middle of the North Atlantic, home to Lajes Field, a Portuguese Air Force Base that’s also home to the US Air Force’s 65th Air Base Wing. The US has had almost a century of interaction with the Azores. During World War I, the US Navy briefly occupied Ponta Delgada, from which it flew hydroplanes to help spot German submarines. With the end of the war, the American contingent returned home, but various Azores airfields served as waypoints as transatlantic aviation developed. – Business Insider

  • Interviewing ISIS prisoners

    No sooner am I settled in an interviewing room in the police station of Kirkuk, Iraq, than the first prisoner I am there to see is brought in, flanked by two policemen and in handcuffs. I awkwardly rise, unsure of the etiquette involved in interviewing an ISIS fighter who is facing the death penalty. He is small, much smaller than I, on first appearances just a boy in trouble with the police, his eyes fixed on the floor, his face a mask. We all sit on armchairs lined up against facing walls, in a room cloudy with cigarette smoke and lit by fluorescent strip lighting, a room so small that my knees almost touch the prisoner’s—but he still doesn’t look up. – The Nation

  • The media has begun making the case for war against ISIS using the 2003 WMD narrative

    It’s no secret that the Barack Obama administration doesn’t have much to show for its efforts in Syria. About the only thing that has gone right is the lucky break when Syria agreed to abandon its chemical weapons after the president had gone to comical lengths to avoid enforcing his own ad libbed red line. Well, about that. A new report, released last week while you were probably thinking about cranberry sauce instead of mustard gas, makes for a gloomy holiday read. Earlier this year, following a series of allegations about continuing chemical weapons use in the Syrian civil war, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) dispatched a fact-finding mission to Syria. – Foreign Policy

  • Al-Shabab terrorist arrested on a UN vehicle

    1st December 2015, Kenya’s Anti-Terror Police Unit arrested a most wanted terrorist and terror cell operative leader in the country. The terrorist who was arrested today in mid-morning was on-board a United Nations (UN) vehicle. Kenya’s Intelligence Service towards the end of last week issued an alert for three lost UN- vehicle number plates. The arrested terrorist is believed to be a leader of an active Al-Shabaab operative cell in the country. Al Shabaab militants believed to have stolen the number plates with an aim of using them in mounting suicide vehicle bound improvised explosive devices (SVBIED) and later conducting attacks on soft targets in Kenya. – Strategic Intelligence News

  • Oh brother…Prince Charles blames Syrian civil war on Climate Change

    Was the Syrian civil war partly caused by climate change? Prince Charles, for one, seems to think so. “There is very good evidence indeed that one of the major reasons for this horror in Syria was a drought that lasted for about five or six years,” he told Sky News, adding that climate change is having a “huge impact” on conflict and terrorism. The Prince is not alone on this one: he joins a chorus of voices making similar claims. In the US President Obama, Al Gore, and the democratic presidential hopefuls Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders have all talked of a link between climate change and the Syria conflict, Sanders going so far as to argue that climate change is “directly related to the growth of terrorism”. – The Guardian

[Featured image: U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Zachary Wolf]