Info

Around The Empire

Around the Empire podcast explores the massive apparatus of the American Empire. In-depth interviews, discussions. Hosted by Joanne Leon.
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
Around The Empire
2018
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: 2017

Around the Empire podcast explores the massive apparatus of the American Empire. In-depth interviews, discussions. Hosted by Joanne Leon.

Dec 13, 2017

Dan and Joanne speak with Middle East commentator Sonia Mansour Robaey. Sonia is a neuroscientist, philosopher, ethicist, educator and she is a Lebanese francophone living abroad.

Follow Sonia at @les_politiques and find her work at Les Politiques.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions

Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

Find all of our work at our website aroundtheempire.com

Follow @aroundtheempire

Follow Dan & Joanne: @USEmpireShow,  @joanneleon

Please subscribe/follow us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on November 24, 2017. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

The Shiites of Lebanon under Ottoman Rule, 1516-1788, Stefan Winter

Nov 30, 2017

Dan and Joanne talk with author and journalist Joe Lauria about Russiagate and the growing censorship of dissent.

Joe Lauria is an American journalist based in the Middle East, author of "How I Lost By Hillary Clinton," and he has been a UN correspondent for 25 years. He now writes for Consortium News and has previously written for the Boston Globe and Wall Street Journal and numerous other publications.

Follow Joe at @unjoe and find his writing at Consortium News.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions

Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

 

Find all of our work at our website aroundtheempire.com

Follow @aroundtheempire

Follow Dan & Joanne: @USEmpireShow,  @joanneleon

Please subscribe/follow us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

 

Recorded on November 24, 2017. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Huffington Post Pulls Down Article That Runs Afoul of DNC/HuffPost Guidelines on Russia-gate, Ray McGovern
  2. PDF copy of Joe Lauria’s article “On the Origins of Russia-gate,” published on Nov. 4 and removed less than 24 hours later
Nov 15, 2017

Dan and Joanne discuss the Saudi purge, unrest in Lebanon, and the possibility of wars escalating in the Middle East.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions

Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

 

Find all of our work at our website aroundtheempire.com

Follow @aroundtheempire

Follow Dan & Joanne: @USEmpireShow,  @joanneleon

Please subscribe/follow us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on November 10, 2017. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

 

Reference Links:

  1. “Senior Saudi figures tortured and beaten in purge” Middle East Eye
  2. State Dept. statement “On the Situation in Lebanon
  3. Israel Channel 10 published leaked diplomatic cable (Twitter)
  4. Interview with Saudi foreign minister Jubeir, CNBC
  5. Interview with Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, CNBC
  6. “Yemeni rebels enhance ballistic missile campaign” Jane’s Intelligence Review (PDF)

“US Air Force official: Missile targeting Saudis was Iranian” AP News

Oct 26, 2017

Ep. 37 AFRICOM

Dan and Joanne discuss the War on Terror shift to the African continent and the recent loss of US troops in Niger.  

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions

Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

 

Find all of our work at our website aroundtheempire.com

Follow @aroundtheempire

Follow Dan & Joanne: @USEmpireShow,  @joanneleon

Please subscribe/follow us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on October 24, 2017. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. The U.S. military is conducting secret missions all over Africa, Nick Turse
  2. Where does the U.S. have troops in Africa, and why?, CBS
  3. The U.S. Military Moves Deeper into Africa, Nick Turse
  4. U.S. will expand counterterrorism focus in Africa, Mattis tells senators, Washington Post
  5. 2013 Interview with Emira Woods, The Real News
  6. Interview with Léonce Ndikumana, The Real News
  7. Interview with Horace Campbell and Mark Fancher Part 1, DemocracyNow

Interview with Horace Campbell and Mark Fancher Part 2, DemocracyNow

Oct 4, 2017

Dan and Joanne talk with correspondent Pepe Escobar about the new axis of evil. We discuss the geopolitical and economic importance of the New Silk Road and newly developing alignments on trade and security in Eurasia.

Pepe is the correspondent-at-large for Asia Times, author of several ebooks, and commentator. He is a frequent contributor to websites, TV and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia. Born in Brazil, he's been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions

Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

Follow Pepe Escobar on Facebook and find his work at Asia Times.

Find all of our work at our website aroundtheempire.com

Follow @aroundtheempire

Follow Dan & Joanne: @USEmpireShow,  @joanneleon

Please subscribe/follow us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

 

Recorded on October 2, 2017. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

 

Reference Links:

  1. Unmasked: Trump Doctrine vows carnage for new axis of evil,” Asia Times, Sept., 2017
  2. Shadow play: the New Great Game in Eurasia”, Asia Times, Jan., 2017
Sep 22, 2017

Dan and Joanne talk with Scott Horton about his new book, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan.

Scott is an author, managing editor at the Libertarian Institute, editor at antiwar.com, host of Antiwar Radio for Pacifica, and the Scott Horton Show podcast.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions

Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

Follow @scotthortonshow, find his work at libertarianinstitute.org/scotthortonshow, foolserrand.us

Find all of our work at our website aroundtheempire.com

Follow @aroundtheempire

Follow Dan & Joanne: @USEmpireShow,  @joanneleon

Please subscribe/follow us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on September 15, 2017. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

 

Reference Links:

  1. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives (Brzezinski) https://www.amazon.com/Grand-Chessboard-American-Geostrategic-Imperatives/dp/0465027261
  2. “Toward a Global Realignment” (Brzezinski)  https://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/04/17/toward-a-global-realignment/
  3. “The Broken Chessboard: Brzezinski Gives Up on Empire” https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/08/25/the-broken-chessboard-brzezinski-gives-up-on-empire/
  4. Scott Horton interviews archive: https://scotthorton.org/all-interviews-2/
  5. No Good Men Among the Living (Anand Gopal) http://anandgopal.com/
Sep 20, 2017

Dan and Joanne talk with Syrian analyst Ehsani @ehsani22 about the origins of the war and the new prospects for an end to the war. We also talk about the current situation in Deir Ezzor and Idlib.

Ehsani is from Aleppo, Syria. He is active on social media, especially Twitter, mainly with analysis and discussion about Syria. He has also written for Syria Comment under this pseudonymn “Ehsani”..  

Follow @ehsani22 on Twitter. He has also been published many times at Syria Comment.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions

Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

Find all of our work at our website aroundtheempire.com

Follow @aroundtheempire

Follow Dan and Joanne: @USEmpireShow, @joanneleon

Please subscribe/follow us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on September 17, 2017. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

 

Reference links:

  1. Ehsani at Syria Comment
  2. Russian foreign ministry comment on crossing the Euphrates
  3. SDF Issue Statement Condemning Syrian/Russian bombardment of their forces
  4. Ahmed Abu Khawla (commander of Deir Ezzor military council) claims SDF won’t allow Syrian forces to cross the Euphrates
  5. Russian military spokesman denied targeting SDF

 

Sep 6, 2017

Dan and Joanne talk with Syrian Kurdish photographer and journalist Kovan Direj about his perspective on Syria and the region.

Kovan is a Kurd from Rojava, Syria. He is a photographer, journalist and documentary film producer who spent most of his life in Aleppo and Qamishli and now works with refugees in Sweden.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions

Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

Follow @kovandire, find his work at www.kovandirej.com

Find all of our work at our website aroundtheempire.com

Follow @aroundtheempire

Follow @DanSWright @joanneleon

Please subscribe/follow us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on August 24, 2017. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Aug 29, 2017

Dan and Joanne talk with Max Blumenthal about the history of the national security state and the ruling elite using radical and extremist groups as proxies both abroad and at home. We discuss the Syrian “rebels”, neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine  and we also talk about Charlottesville and how we got here.

Max is an author, journalist, senior editor of the Gray Zone Project at alternet.org, and co-host of the Moderate Rebels podcast. He is well known for his acclaimed books, The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel and Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions

Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

Follow @maxblumenthal, find references to all of his work at maxblumenthal.com.

Find all of our work at our website aroundtheempire.com

 

Follow @aroundtheempire

Follow @DanSWright @joanneleon

Please subscribe/follow us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

 Recorded on August 20, 2017. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links

1)      18 August 2017 (VIDEO) The Real Story of How Bannon and Trump Got to the White HouseThe Real News Network - Thomas Hedges

 2)      23 June 2017 John McCain and Paul Ryan Hold 'Good Meeting' With Veteran Ukrainian Nazi Demagogue Andriy Parubiy Alternet - Ben Norton, Max Blumenthal

 3)      18 November 2014 How the Israel Lobby Protected Ukrainian Neo-Nazis Alternet Max Blumenthal (Rep. John Conyers wanted to block U.S. funding to neo-Nazis in Ukraine. But the ADL and Simon Wiesenthal Center refused to help.)

 4)      24 February 2014 Is the U.S. Backing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine? Alternet Max Blumental

(Exposing troubling ties in the U.S. to overt Nazi and fascist protesters in Ukraine.)

 5)      16 June 2017 (VIDEO) Anti-Muslim Manchester Demo Unites Britain's Far-Right 

 
 

6)      16 June 2017 Former EDL leader holds large anti-Muslim demonstration in ManchesterHope Not Hate - Dr Joe Mulhall

 7)      18 March 2017 New European Branch of International Alt-Right Group to Launch Hope Not Hate - Dr Joe Mulhall

 8)      17 March 2017 More Transatlantic co-operation by the international Alt/Far Right  – Hope Not Hate - Dr Joe Mulhall

 9)      20 March 2017 (VIDEO) Can Europe Stop the Far Right if It Doesn't Stop Neoliberal Austerity? The Real News Network, Liz Fekete (Institute of Race Relations)

 10)   20 June 2016 Return of the Reich - Mapping the Global Resurgence of Far Right PowerInsurge Intelligence - Nafeez Ahmed (A four part INSURGE intelligence investigative series commissioned by Tell MAMA)

11) 2012 (PDF) Pedlars of Hate: The Violent Impact of the European Far Right Institute of Race Relations - Liz Feket
Aug 24, 2017

Preview of episode 31 (a bonus episode for our patrons), part 1 of a series of bonus episodes on the alleged “Russian hack” of the 2016 presidential election. 

Full episode: https://www.patreon.com/posts/bonus-e...

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions

Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

Find all of our work at our new website aroundtheempire.com

Follow @aroundtheempire

Follow @DanSWright @joanneleon

Please subscribe/follow us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

 

Recorded on August 20, 2017. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Aug 18, 2017

Dan and Joanne talk with American author and investigative journalist Ken Silverstein about power and influence peddling in Washington and the role of think tanks, NGOs and the media.

 

Ken is a DC-based investigative journalist,  and creator of Washingtonbabylon.com. He is a contributing writer to VICE and columnist for the New York Observer. His stated goal for Washington Babylon was "to cover DC politicians and journalists like Hollywood celebrities —  not the way they are worshiped by our current media masters." He also wrote for Harpers Magazine, AP and LA Times.

 

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions

Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

 

Follow @kensilverstein1, find his work on washingtonbabylon.com

Find all of our work at our new website aroundtheempire.com

 

Follow @aroundtheempire

Follow @DanSWright @joanneleon

Please subscribe/follow us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

 

Recorded on August 11, 2017. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Aug 9, 2017

We talk with Elijah Magnier, chief international war correspondent for Al Rai media, reporting from Baghdad on current situation in Iraq and Syria.  

Elijah has covered wars in Lebanon, the Balkans, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, and Syria.  Beyond reporting on wars from the ground, Mr. Magnier also offers expert analysis on terrorism and terrorist organizations. He spoke to us from Baghdad.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions

Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

 

Follow @ejmalrai, find his work on elijahjm.wordpress.com

Find all of our work at our new website aroundtheempire.com

Follow @aroundtheempire

Follow @DanSWright @joanneleon

Please subscribe/follow us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

 

Recorded on August 4, 2017. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Aug 4, 2017

Ep. 28 War & Peace With North Korea feat. Tim Shorrock

Dan and Joanne interview Tim Shorrock, an author, investigative journalist and commentator on US foreign policy, on national security and intelligence, and East Asian politics.

Tim grew up in Japan and Korea and was recently in South Korea for an extended visit. He’s the author of the popular book “Spies for Hire”. You can find Tim’s work at The Nation, Newstapa/Korea Center for Investigative Reporting, and many other media outlets and also at his website timshorrock.com.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions
Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

Follow @TimothyS. Find his work at timshorrock.com

Find all of our work at our new website aroundtheempire.com

Follow @aroundtheempire
Follow @DanSWright @joanneleon
Please subscribe/follow us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on August 1, 2017. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Jul 10, 2017

Dan and Joanne interview psychologist and writer Jeffrey Kaye about the history of torture in the American empire and the latest news of black sites and outsourced torture in Yemen.

Jeff is a psychologist and a writer, specializing on the topics of torture, national security, civil rights. He has done some major collaborative investigatory work (some co-written with Jason Leopold) that have been published at Firedoglake, Truthout, and The Public Record.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions
Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire, Donations: aroundtheempire.com

Follow @jeff_kaye. Find his work at valtinsblog.blogspot.com

Find all of our work at our new website aroundtheempire.com

Follow @aroundtheempire
Follow @DanSWright @joanneleon
Please subscribe/follow us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on June 27, 2017. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Jun 21, 2017

If you want to support the show and receive access to bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month.

In Around the Empire Episode 24, Dan and Joanne talk with Angela Keaton, executive director of Antiwar.com about libertarian and right-wing opposition to war and about areas of common ground with the antiwar Left where alliances or coalitions might be formed.

Angela is a second generation libertarian, a writer, legal researcher, and the Executive Director of Antiwar.com. She has worked in news and public affairs broadcasting since 1999 and she has served on the Libertarian National Committee. Her work is focused on a long term goal of ending militarism, war and torture.

Follow Angela on Twitter @Antiwar2.

Follow Around the Empire @aroundtheempire.

Jun 14, 2017

If you want to support the show and receive access to bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month.

In episode 23 of Around The Empire, Dan and Joanne talk with Phil Giraldi about his recent article, "Do High-Level Leaks Suggest a Conspiracy?" Former intelligence officers are questioning whether leaks and other events signal an ongoing soft coup based in the national security establishment.

Phil Giraldi is a former counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer of the CIA. Giraldi is a columnist at The American Conservative and unz.com. He is also a commentator on mainstream and independent media. He is a consultant, the Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, and he is a member of a group called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

Phil's article: "Do High-Level Leaks Suggest a Conspiracy?"

Follow Around the Empire @aroundtheempire

Jun 7, 2017

Dan and Joanne speak with author and scholar Dr. Christopher Davidson about manipulation of the Middle East by Western powers, the use of extremist groups as a strategic asset, the strife and extremism that has resulted. We also focus on the recent attack in Manchester by a man who fought with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) which helped overthrow Gaddafi.

Dr. Christopher Davidson is a scholar and expert in Middle East politics who teaches at Durham University in northern England. He is the author of numerous books including his latest: "Shadow Wars: The Secret Struggle for the Middle East," based on four years of archival work and interviews with former intelligence officials.

Follow Dr. Davison on Twitter @Dr_Davidson

Follow Around the Empire on Twitter at @AroundTheEmpire.

If you want to support the show and receive access to bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month.

May 24, 2017

Dan and Joanne talk with Doug Henwood about the anti-Trump faction's endgame, the force applied by the unelected permanent government, and about the prospect of a President Pence (a "horror") and Republican-controlled Congress implementing the Republican dream in short order.

Doug Henwood is an American journalist, economic analyst, and financial trader who writes frequently about economic affairs. He publishes a newsletter, "Left Business Observer" and he hosts "Behind the News" a weekly radio show covering economics and politics."

Follow Doug on Twitter @DougHenwood

Doug's recent article "The post-Trump Era?"

Follow Around the Empire on Twitter at @AroundTheEmpire.

May 9, 2017

If you want to support the show and receive access to bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month.

In Episode 19, Dan and Joanne talk with Gareth Porter about how US national security bureaucracies or the "Deep State" sell out the American counterterrorism interests by conducting policy and operations that serve their own and their allies' interests. The result is that they strengthen and fuel the rise of extremist groups like al Qaeda.

Gareth Porter is an American historian, investigative journalist and policy analyst specializing in the national security state. He is the author of several books including: "Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare."

Porter's work has been published in distinguished media for decades, and he was the 2012 winner of the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. He is also working on a new book on the same subject as his recent article.

Follow Gareth on Twitter at @GarethPorter.

Gareth's recent article "US 'deep state' sold out counter-terrorism to keep itself in business"

Follow Around the Empire on Twitter at @AroundTheEmpire.

May 2, 2017

In Episode 18, Dan and Joanne interview photographer and film director Joe Lawrence (Joey L.) about Kurdish fighters in Iraq and Syria, particularly the YPG/YPJ, the Yazidis YBS, the Peshmerga, and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

We discussed his trips and photography in Raqqa and Sinjar, the recent Turkish airstrikes on Kurdish groups, and the precarious triangle of the United States, Turkey and the Syrian Kurds.

Joe Lawrence, known professionally as Joey L., is a Canadian-born photographer now based in Brooklyn who specializes in long term portrait photography projects. He is also a film director. One of his documentaries is titled: "Guerrilla Fighters of Kurdistan". Joey has traveled far and done work in Iraq, Syria, Ethiopia, and India. Many well known faces and high profile organizations are among his clients.

Follow Joe on Twitter: @JoeyLDotCom

Apr 25, 2017

If you want to support the show and receive access to bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month.

On this episode of Around The Empire, Dan and Joanne interview progressive journalist and activist Kyle Kulinski (Secular Talk) about media concentration and the seemingly coordinated strategy to weaken, undermine, and destroy independent media.

The discussion focuses on "ProporNot" blacklist and other "fake news" claims that establishment media has used to call for a crackdown on platforms such as Facebook, which has now agreed to begin blacklisting unapproved content.

A similar crackdown has occurred against independent media on YouTube known as the "Adpocalypse," which has demonetized numerous independent media content under the guise of preventing advertisers from being in front of "extremist content." The crippling demonetization of Kyle and others' news and politics shows comes as YouTube begins to launch YouTube TV with establishment media companies.

The blacklisting and demonetization are occurring on both platforms as independent media is increasingly taking market share and relevance from legacy outlets. The dangers of "fake news" and "extremist content" appear more and more to be pretexts for anti-competitive practices to protect established media monopolies.

Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleKulinski

Apr 20, 2017

If you want to support the show and receive access to bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month.

On this episode of Around The Empire, Dan and Joanne interview educator, investigative journalist, and Marine veteran Brad Hoff on the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Civil War.

Hoff has traveled and lived in the Middle East, including Syria. The discussion focuses on the recent chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun and the 2013 attack in Ghouta, and the parallels between the two.

Also examined is the White House assessment and counterarguments from experts about the evidence, the parties involved, and the potential for further military intervention by the United States.

Follow Brad on Twitter @BradRHoff ‏

Apr 18, 2017

If you want to support the show and receive access to bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month.

On this episode of Around The Empire, Dan and Joanne interview China expert Peter Lee about the future of U.S.-China relations and the situation in North Korea.

Lee discusses how solving the Korean crisis is actually antithetical to the goals of the U.S. empire. If there ever was a unification of North and South Korea the U.S. would have difficulty justifying its presence in the region and South Korea would gravitate away from America towards China.

China's own ambitions are also discussed, including the country's scramble to secure resources in the developing world, especially in Africa where China is on a collision course with an ever-expanding U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).

Follow Peter on Twitter @chinahand

Apr 12, 2017

If you want to support the show and receive access to bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month.

On this episode of Around The Empire, Dan and Joanne interview cybersecurity expert Jeffrey Carr about Crowdstrike's controversial claims on successfully identifying Russia as the actor that hacked the Democratic National Committee. The evidence has always been thin despite U.S. intelligence agencies ultimately supporting the claim.

Carr discusses Crowdstrike's history of bad calls, including having to recently rewrite a report on alleged Russian hacking in Ukraine. The Ukrainian government as well as other cybersecurity experts heavily disputed Crowdstrikes initial claims.

Carr also offers a broader view of the cybersecurity industry and why firms like Crowdstrike are incentivized to often make specious claims concerning attribution of a hack. For firms like Crowdstrike, there's no financial downside in pretending to be able to attribute a hack as the nature of cyber makes it hard to prove or disprove an attribution. Additionally, each report serves as marketing material for future clients.

Follow Jeff on Twitter @JeffreyCarr

Apr 3, 2017

If you want to support the show and receive access to bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month.

On this episode of Around The Empire, Dan and Joanne interview Syria expert Professor Joshua Landis on the battle for the Syrian city of Raqqa and the various competing forces in the Syrian Civil War.

Professor Landis discusses the difficulty the United States has in deciding who to work with once ISIS is driven out of its claimed capital of Raqqa. While, in theory, the Assad government is the only government recognized under international law, it appears unlikely that the U.S. will assist that government in reasserting jurisdiction.

Other factions in the Syrian Civil War on better terms with the U.S., such as Turkey and the Kurds, have their own designs for the city.

Such complexities mirror the larger struggle on how to govern Syria itself. Landis details a current plan to break up Syria into five statelets including; a Kurdish state (Rojava), Idlib state (currently run by Al Qaeda), Assad governed state, a southern state run by Jordanian militias backed by Israel, and a Euphrates valley state of Sunni Arab tribes.

Opposed to this structure are both the Kurds and the Assad government, who do not want a Sunni state backed by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the other gulf states within Syria.

Landis believes Assad, backed by Iran and Russia, will ultimately prevail with a carve-out for the Kurds, who will continue to have U.S. backing.

Follow Josh on Twitter @Joshua_Landis

1 2 Next »