The Turkish government is considering deploying troops to create a “buffer zone” along its southern border with Syria, and it is clear that the intended target of such a move would be the Syrian Kurds, not Islamic State.
The Abe government is looking to expanded defense cooperation with Southeast Asian nations as a way to counter China’s growing assertiveness and military clout in the region.
China’s land reclamation moves in the South China Sea may be cause for reproach, but no one will do a thing about Beijing’s island-building program beyond the huff and puff of objection.
It is not the fear of Islamic State nor the desire to eliminate it that defines the strategies of the main players in the Middle East. Rather it is the fear of how the balance of power will shift after ISIS is eliminated.
Russia-Vietnam ties that seemed to be cooling after the end of the Cold War are warming up all over again. More than 20 years after Moscow abandoned its largest foreign base, Russian military aircraft are once again welcome visitors at Cam Ranh Bay.
If Mokhtar Belmokhtar is confirmed to have been killed by a US airstrike over the weekend, it would remove an obstacle keeping the al-Mourabitoun from pledging its allegiance to Islamic State.