Results for Category: International Affairs
Since the fall of Mosul in July 2017, the capture of Raqqa has become ‘priority number one’ for the US military, although top generals have refused to put a timeline on the campaign. It took Iraqi forces more than eight months to free Mosul. More worryingly, however, in April 2017 a senior counterterrorism official in the Trump administration admitted that the White House has no long-term plan once Raqqa is freed.
On 15 July 1840, Great Britain, Austria, Prussia and Russia signed the London Convention. This granted Muhammad Ali and his descendants permanent control over Egypt if he withdrew his forces from all occupied areas in Syria, Adan, the holy cities in Hijaz and the island of Crete. However, Muhammad Ali refused to comply with the demands of the convention and found himself facing the European powers on his own in a short but brutal military campaign that left him soundly defeated.
Observers have described the relationship between China and the Middle East as politically ‘baggage free’. Since it became a net importer of oil in 1992 and subsequently the world’s largest importer of crude oil, China has been predominantly interested in securing long-term oil supplies and has avoided becoming entangled in the internal politics of the countries with which is does business.
It has already become clear that intensifying trade relations with the countries of the Gulf ranks very high on Britain’s list of strategic priorities. In a December speech 2016 outlining British foreign policy post-Brexit, Secretary for Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson stressed free trade as a key interest of a ‘global Britain’.
Today, Russia has a presence in almost all of the Soviet Union’s former zones of influence, namely Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Algeria. Furthermore, it is getting closer to the other non-Arab hegemon apart from Iran; Turkey. The Middle East therefore represented the best forum for a show of force by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Ironically, it is the Arab Spring – which Russian media outlets criticize continuously – that has allowed Putin to achieve his goal.