Globe Trot: Will the U.S. partner with Assad to save Iraq?

by Mindy Belz
Posted 6/25/14, 09:40 am

IRAQ: The Pentagon said 130 U.S. military advisors now are in place in Baghdad to assist the Iraqi army’s ability to wage war against terrorists. Syrian warplanes struck insurgent targets in western Iraq—highlighting an emerging conflict for the Obama administration: Having supported rebels to topple the Assad government in Syria, will it side with the Syrian government in the fight against affiliated insurgents in Iraq? ISIS is clear, after all, in wanting to unite Syria and Iraq under a single Islamic caliphate. And nighttime treks across that border (without U.S. military advisers in place) helped metastasize an internal conflict into a regional conflagration.

UK: The communications chief for Prime Minister David Cameron was found guilty of conspiring to hack phones while he was editor of News of the World. Andy Coulson faces jail time but his predecessor Rebekah Brooks was found not guilty in what’s been a high-profile trial over the ethics of tabloid journalism in Britain.

CHINA: Air pollution is turning Beijing into a hardship post, and more expatriate workers are leaving what was once a plum assignment.

YEMEN: Here’s the U.S. Justice Department memo providing legal justification for the targeted killing of Yemeni-American Anwar al-Awlaki, who died in a 2011 U.S. drone strike. The New York Times and the ACLU obtained the memo this week through a Freedom of Information Act request and are making much of how it shows the Obama administration at fault. But the president is legally justified and authorized by Congress in carrying out this warfare. The only inconsistency is that the Obama administration now is asking Congress to end the AUMF (Authorization of Military Force) it used to justify targeting Awlaki and others.

LONG READ: World War I changed everything.

NOTE: No Globe Trot starting this Friday. Globe Trot will return on July 7.

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Mindy Belz

Mindy wrote WORLD Magazine's first cover story in 1986 and went on to serve as international editor, editor, and now senior editor. She has covered wars in Syria, Afganistan, Africa, and the Balkans, and she recounts some of her experiences in They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Mindy resides with her husband, Nat, in Asheville, N.C. Follow her on Twitter @mcbelz.

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