Michael Rubin | AEIdeas
Force Pakistan to close Taliban sanctuaries with a deadline
Michael Rubin | Washington Examiner
Russia’s relationships with its client states have never been easy. Of course, managing client states is always a complicated exercise. The Kremlin’s closet is full of skeletons – Hungary (1956), Czechoslovakia (1968), Cuba (1962), Afghanistan (1980), Ukraine (2014) and so on.
- “Forecast: The African Salafi-Jihadi Movement After COVID-19” by Emily Estelle
- “Eyes on the Other Global Crises” by Emily Estelle (Originally published in RealClearWorld)
Al Jazeera BBC
Libya will fragment further as strongman Khalifa Haftar loses support. Turkish military support for forces aligned with the UN-backed government in Tripoli delivered a potentially decisive blow to Haftar’s yearlong campaign to seize Libya’s capital on May 18. Haftar’s domestic coalition is weakening and his primary foreign backers (the UAE, Egypt, and Russia) must decide whether to prop up his failing campaign. A renewed campaign for Tripoli could likely bring violence on a scale that Libya has not yet seen as external players pour military resources into the conflict. But even if this case is averted, the freezing or ending of the Tripoli campaign is unlikely to stabilize the country. Anti-Haftar players around Tripoli will likely return to fighting each other in the absence of an external foe. In the east, Haftar’s military rule could disintegrate and yield a war-within-a-war.
Unfortunately, Libya’s is far from the only crisis that is benefiting or will likely benefit the Salafi-jihadi movement in Africa. The COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying economic crisis are putting unprecedented strain on many African states; governance will worsen in many cases, and the likelihood of instability and state collapse is rising.
Libyan pro-Government of National Accord (GNA) forces said on Thursday they have captured a key town south of Tripoli, marking another advance against eastern forces led by military strongman Gen. Khalifa Hifter. The town of al-Asabaa lies on the road leading to the city of Tarhuna, Hifter’s main stronghold. Meanwhile, the GNA launched five airstrikes in Tarhuna, according to a military spokesman. Hifter’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) has suffered a series of setbacks in recent weeks, with forces loyal to the government taking control earlier this week of the key al-Watiya air base southwest of Tripoli. This comes as the LNA’s air force chief Saqer al-Jaroushi threatened to attack Turkish interests in Libya since Ankara has significantly helped the UN-backed government resist the LNA's year-long attack on the capital. In turn, Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy warned that any attack on Turkish assets in Libya “will have very grave consequences.”
Zvi Bar’el writes: Sissi is careful not to present Egypt as the leading country in the Middle East, but contrary to Saudi Arabia, he is adept at evading problematic arenas such as Syria and Yemen and at avoiding open confrontation with the United States, thereby protecting his status as everyone’s partner. Sissi will lose no sleep over the cost of maintaining that status in terms of human rights in Egypt. – Haaretz