Category: Current affairs

Macrosnap Myanmar election?

  • Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party's (NLD) historic win against ruling military-backed elite.
  • Despite landslide electoral win, 25% of parliamentary seats are allocated to the military, so they will have huge influence.
  • So she will need to work with them.
3960

Why did ISIS attack Paris?

  • French special forces have been tracking ISIS militants in the Sahara since 2013.
  • France was the first EU country to join the US air strikes on ISIS in Iraq in 2014.
  • France is the only EU country to have joined the US air strikes on ISIS in Syria in 2015.
3955

If Beirut bomb in Hezbollah stronghold is indeed ISIS, explain why?

  • Hezbollah is Lebanon-based Shia political movement & Islamist militant group.
  • They back Shia Syria leader Assad who is fighting ISIS.
  • ISIS is an extremist Sunni movement, and hence don't like Hezbollah.
3945

Airspace concern for US in S-China Sea?

  • In attempt to to demarcate sovereignty over waters, China has been building artificial islands for last 18 months.
  • Next concern is establishment of an air identification zone.
  • i.e. China attempting to claim control of the airspace in the region.
3942

Macrosnap Modi in India?

  • Narendra Modi is India's PM and head of ruling BJP - landslide election win 2014.
  • His dominance of the party has been unchallenged since then, and he has moved to centralise power.
  • But BJP defeat in the state of Bihar this last weekend resulted in unprecedented criticism from within his own party - Modi magic is waning - he's accused of being divisive instead of consensual.
3939

Russia angers Sunnis?

  • No cogent Western strategy - Russia steps into vacuum.
  • Putin turns Assad's minority-based Alawite (Shia) regime into a Russian protectorate.
  • Chance that Sunnis, of all persuasions, ISIS and non-ISIS, will now target Russia (1980s Afghanistan-style, anti-Russian mujahideen jihad) not inconceivable.
3936

Macrosnap Saudi oil strategy?

  • Oil price has more than halved in the last year, so as OPEC cartel leader, one would expect Saudi Arabia to cut output (and hence force the price up).
  • But instead they have chosen to maintain supply, despite the financial pain this is causing domestically.
  • Strategy is to prioritise its own long-term market share, and perhaps to inflict pain on fellow OPEC members Iran and Russia (who Saudi Arabia believes have destructive geopolitical ambitions in the Middle East).
3932
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