Unknown soldiers: America’s secret, privatized army

Civil War, Threats

Unknown soldiers: America’s secret, privatized army

While many American policy makers believe that their country is ‘exceptional’ and thus shouldn’t have to follow long established laws, other governments see the precedents they set and act accordingly.

It’s been years since Newsweek has been a regular news source for large numbers of readers but it still occasionally produces good investigative reporting. In a long feature story titled “Inside the Military’sSecret Undercover Army” published in the magazine last month, William Arkin, author of a number of books on U.S. national security, revealed that the Pentagon and, even more alarmingly, private contractors working with it, have deployed thousands covert operatives at home and abroad. These covert programs are believed to have 60,000 operators, twice as many as the CIA.

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Weak Strongman: The Limits of Power in Putin’s Russia

Demographic, Russia

Weak Strongman: The Limits of Power in Putin’s Russia

The prevailing narrative about Russia, Frye writes, is overpoliticized and oversimplified. All too often, outside observers reduce Russian politics either to “Putinism,” defined by the character and background of Russian President Vladimir Putin, or to Russia’s unique history and culture. They neglect the numerous comparative studies that portray Russia as a personalist autocracy with much in common with other contemporary regimes in Hungary, Turkey, or Venezuela. Standard political commentary on Russia also gives little importance to dynamics within Russian society.

But survey-based academic research—including Frye’s own—illustrates the impact of Russian public opinion on the Kremlin’s decision-making process.

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Strong diplomacy, strong status: Turkey in the region

Demographic, Diplomacy, Wild Cards

Strong diplomacy, strong status: Turkey in the region

After the end of the Cold War, the United States declared itself the sheriff of global politics. The new world order of American neo-cons amounted to the sole hegemony of the U.S. around the world.

Devastating the established international order, this unipolar international system nullified the status of international law and organizations, particularly the United Nations.

During the first two decades of the post-Cold War period, the U.S.’s unlawful occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq concluded, providing lasting political instability in the Middle East. However, the eruption of the Syrian civil war soon proved that the unipolar international order was simply not working. Losing their role as a playmaker, the U.S. administration injected itself into the Syrian crisis as one of the parties of the regional conflict by using two terrorist organizations, Daesh and the PKK, as proxies

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Seen from the sky: Polluted waters around the world

Ecology, Threats

Seen from the sky: Polluted waters around the world

About four billion people experience severe water shortages for at least one month a year, and around 1.6 billion people – almost a quarter of the world’s population – have problems accessing a clean, safe water supply, according to the United Nations.

While the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals call for water and sanitation for all by 2030, the world body says water scarcity is increasing and more than half the world’s population will be living in water-stressed regions by 2050.

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Waste To Energy Technologies to Watch in 2020

Energy, Policies

Waste To Energy Technologies to Watch in 2020

The worldwide waste-to-energy (WTE) technologies market is expected to grow by 6.54% by 2025. WTE can be described as a process of using organic waste material into heat or electricity, which is used to power vehicles while saving the environment at the same time.

The primary reason that WTE technology is so popular is the fact that it converts solid waste substances – including paper and plastic – into energy, cost-effectively and sustainably.

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The Silk Roads, 2nd: includes routes through Syria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and China (Silk Roads: A Route & Planning Guide)

Demographic, Iran

The Silk Roads, 2nd: includes routes through Syria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and China (Silk Roads: A Route & Planning Guide)

The Silk Road was never a single thread but an intricate web of trade routes – Silk Roads – linking Asia and Europe. This new practical guide helps travellers explore all these threads and covers Turkey, Syria, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and China.

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The Knock at the Door: A Mother’s Survival of the Armenian Genocide

Genocide, Threats

The Knock at the Door: A Mother’s Survival of the Armenian Genocide

In 1915, Armenian Christians in Turkey were forced to convert to Islam, barred from speaking their language, and often driven out of their homes as the Turkish army embarked on a widespread campaign of intimidation and murder. In this riveting book, Margaret Ajemian Ahnert relates her mother Ester’s terrifying experiences as a young woman during this period of hatred and brutality.

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The Turks in World History

Demographic, Wild Cards

The Turks in World History

Beginning in Inner Asia two thousand years ago, the Turks have migrated and expanded to form today’s Turkish Republic, five post-Soviet republics, other societies across Eurasia, and a global diaspora. For the first time in a single, accessible volume, this book traces the Turkic peoples’
trajectory from steppe, to empire, to nation-state. Cultural, economic, social, and political history unite in these pages to illuminate the projection of Turkic identity across space and time and the profound transformations marked successively by the Turks’ entry into Islam and into modernity.

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A Guide to Biblical Sites in Greece and Turkey

Demographic, Wild Cards

A Guide to Biblical Sites in Greece and Turkey

Nearly two-thirds of the New Testament–including all of the letters of Paul, most of the book of Acts, and the book of Revelation–is set outside of Israel, in either Turkey or Greece. Although biblically-oriented tours of the areas that were once ancient Greece and Asia Minor have become increasingly popular, up until now there has been no definitive guidebook for these important sites.
In A Guide to Biblical Sites in Greece and Turkey, two well-known, well-traveled biblical scholars offer a fascinating historical and archaeological guide to these sites.

The authors reveal countless new insights into the biblical text while reliably guiding the traveler through every significant location mentioned in the Bible. The book completely traces the journeys of the Apostle Paul across Turkey (ancient Asia Minor), Greece, Cyprus, and all the islands of the Mediterranean. A description of the location and history of each site is given, followed by an intriguing discussion of its biblical significance. Clearly written and in non-technical language, the work links the latest in biblical research with recent archaeological findings.

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Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds

Demographic, Wild Cards

Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds

If Turkey lived up to its potential, it could rule the world – but will it? A passionate report from the front lines

For centuries few terrors were more vivid in the West than fear of “the Turk,” and many people still think of Turkey as repressive, wild, and dangerous. Crescent and Star is Stephen Kinzer’s compelling report on the truth about this nation of contradictions – poised between Europe and Asia, caught between the glories of its Ottoman past and its hopes for a democratic future, between the dominance of its army and the needs of its civilian citizens, between its secular expectations and its Muslim traditions.

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