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A regular round up of headlines and snippets which may have been lost in the deluge of news….


THAILAND/CONSTITUTION – A clear majority of people appear to have voted in favour of accepting a military backed constitution. This opens the way for a general election next year, but future governments can only govern under the military dictated terms of the constitution.

CHINA/ SOUTH CHINA SEA – The Chinese seem to have begun to do what they recently threatened – carry out military patrols in the airspace over the disputed Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal with a frequency intended to make them ‘routine’. Fighter jets and bombers have made passes through the airspace in recent days despite last month’s ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration that Chinese claims to the area were ‘invalid’.

SYRIA/MANJIB – The Syrian Democratic Forces, which are backed by the USA, have wrested control of most of the city of Manbij from ISIS after two months of fighting.  Manjib is strategically important because the area borders Turkey and has been used as a transit point for ISIS fighters and weapons.

IRAN/NUCLEAR – The tensions within the Iranian regime over the nuclear deal with the West were on display again during Friday prayers in the holy city of Mashhad.  The prayer leader there is Ayatollah Alamo ol Hoda, a close supporter of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Hoda mocked President Rouhani calling him ‘Mr Gullible’ for supporting the nuclear deal. Other prayer leaders also criticized Rouhani claiming that sanctions had not been lifted, and that the deal was a victory for the USA. The Supreme Leader’s office is thought to approve the sermons of Friday prayer leaders before they are given.

IRAN/AHMADINEJAD – Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has suggested he will not be running in next year’s Presidential election, but he didn’t rule it out. He told a rally in Yazd province that ‘ is not expedient now for me to enter politics. I will be in the service of nation when the time comes’. The election is next May.


The most interesting meeting this week is surely that between Presidents Putin and Erdogan. (See Diary). The Turkish leader will enjoy the discomfort his visit to St Petersburg will cause NATO allies, as indeed will the Russian President who will want to gauge how much joint relations have recovered since the shooting down of a Russian jet by Turkey last year.  This is Erdogan’s first bi-lateral meeting with a head of Government/State since the failed coup of July 15th.


Aug 8 – Japan’s Emperor Akihito to address the nation following reports he wishes to abdicate within the next few years.

Aug 8 – Presidents of Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan in Baku.

Aug 9 – Brazil’s Senate to rule if there is a legal basis to begin impeachment hearings against former President Dilma Rousseff.

Aug 9 – Turkish President Erdogan in St. Petersburg.

Aug 11 – Zambia holds presidential and parliamentary elections and a constitutional referendum.

Aug 12 – Data on the gross domestic products of the Eurozone, in the second quarter of 2016 released.

Aug 14 – Pakistan. Independence Day.  69th year.  LostSM2




3 Comments on "Things We Lost In The Mire – 39"

  1. mahatmacoatmabag | 8th August 2016 at 12:35 pm | Reply

    Tim I read on Ynet in Hebrew that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written to Obama urging him to prevent “the tragic mistake” of allowing the US Supreme Court to go ahead with hearing the compensation case of the victims families of the 1983 multi-national barracks bombing in Beirut carried out by Iranian agents and other international terror attacks carried out by Iran over the decades. I believe the families are seeking at least US $2 billion in compensation to be deducted from funds of Iran in US banks due for release in the near future. IMO Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is definitely seeking a way back into the top echelons of Irans leadership structure which buoyed by its victory on getting a legal pathway to producing a nuclear weapon is slowly increasing its aggressive plans as Obama’s presidency winds down.

  2. mahatmacoatmabag | 11th August 2016 at 12:37 pm | Reply

    Tim do think that there is a real possibility of an invasion of the Baltic states & the Ukraine by Russia in the next few years?.

    The Russians are massing an increasing number of divisions just behind the border with the West & the Russian air force has been gaining combat experience in Syria in a similar way that the Luftwaffe learnt its tactics for the blitzkrieg before WW2 in its service as the Condor Legion during the Spanish civil war .

    Just last night there was an interview with one of our recently retired generals on Sky News & a presentation on UK military strength being cut compared with the enormous rearmament that is going on in Russia right now . It was stated quite clearly that whilst the US, UK & other western states are downsizing large military formations and are engaged in counter insurgency in Iraq, Afghanistan & now Syria the Russians are increasing the size of their armoured & artillery formations being deployed in Western Russia with newer & heavier weapons and technology including increased numbers of advanced drones which reportedly cross over frequently into the Ukraine & the Baltics without being intercepted by NATO.
    Any thoughts on the matter, since geo-politics is your speciality ?

  3. mahatmacoatmabag | 11th August 2016 at 12:55 pm | Reply

    Post Script to my previous comment.
    I just read a Y-net news flash in Hebrew quoting the Russian MoD announcing a naval exercise to be held next Monday in international waters opposite Israels coast which will include the firing of missiles / rockets.
    The Russians are increasingly deploying warships in the East-Med, in the Atlantic and down the English channel & subs in Baltics . This positioning of warships in waters where NATO has interests is IMO yet another sign of Russia’s aggressive power projection & worrying for the UK in particular given the RN’s entire type 45 destroyer force is laid up in port with engine problems that don’t look like they will be easily fixed any time soon.

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