Turkey, Iran, and Russia (as a surrogate for Assad) have been discussing a plan to end the war in Syria. It's an odd grouping, to be sure — they've been at each other's throats for decades. In fact, they seem to have only one goal in common: preventing the establishment of anything resembling an independent Kurdistan. Personally, I believe it is time for the USofA to stop toadying to the likes of Erdogan and Abadi and back the idea of a Kurdish state in Iraq and Syria — perhaps even with an eye towards parts of Turkey. The Kurds are the most dependable friends we have in the region, and will remain so unless we betray them.
Nuclear Arms Race
If there is any more dangerous combination than belligerence, ignorance, and vanity, I can't think of it right now — although I suppose we should be grateful that Tr*mp, unlike many of his supporters, at least is not looking forward to the Apocalypse.
I was pleasantly surprised when Obama instructed Samantha Power to abstain from, rather than veto, the Security Council vote condemning Israel's expansion of settlements on the West Bank. It won't make any difference on the ground, of course, but the president certainly must have enjoyed poking a parting stick into Netanyahu's eye.
The Berlin Aftermath
Angela Merkel's political future is looking dim, and so is the outlook for the EU. Still, the waves of migration won't be stopped, driven by climate change and the brutal struggles for resources it foments. As right-wing xenophobes come to dominate the West, any unified response to common threats seems less and less likely.