MENA – odd way of saying it

A post by Orhan and the discussion in comments reminded me this morning that the denominator “Middle East North Africa”  seems to have linguistically replaced our old friend, the ever volatile “Middle East”.  And I’m reminded too that another old ‘friend’, the war in Afghanistan is happening  further to the east of that area close to Pakistan (and thus India and the slow simmering rivalry over Kashmir).

This AfPak, India, Kashmir nexus is something we no longer even mention. And yet, and yet . . . a failure of the government in Pakistan probably presents as much if not more danger to us as MENA.

So let’s remind ourselves that in the midst of all that, today is the 198th day of the tenth year of our war in Afghanistan. (And we’re now in our eighth year in Iraq.)

19 responses to “MENA – odd way of saying it

  1. Today the US announced that Predator drones will be deployed in Libya. I’m wondering at this point whether the Predator drone attacks/covert ops in Pakistan qualify as a separate war in its own right, or should still be counted as part of the Afghanistan war. If we add in the Predator drone/Special Forces operation in Yemen, the US is engaged in between 3 and 5 wars in MENA.


    • I saw a post or comment somewhere recently that said this could lead to a much wider war (WWIII anyone?). We never ever know where the tipping point is going to be.


      • Hm… wwiii.. new thought. Or a long series/huge pile of small, unrelated military interventions across the region.
        And Iran is expanding diplomacy and defense at a very rapid pace these days. We have religion, resources and geostrategy in MENA – so why not.
        The BRICS would love some covert tactics to weaken US and Europe as well. Maybe not India, but the others. Tacit approval. And it’s been close to a lifetime since last WW, so natural mass reluctance might be too feeble when the passions first ignite..


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  3. [religion, resources and geostrategy] – and here we go again mac, great minds, think alike and all that – I always say ‘religion, resources and real estate’ – all wars arise from one or the other.



  4. Brazil, Russia, India, China – and recently South Africa. Half the world’s population. They team up more often lately – and discuss mostly trade and economics – but alliances and security probably when the mic’s are off.

    As for wars, we could add the US defense industry would love more orders. To all sides. And real estate – yup. Think Israel. What happens when Iran fabricates an attack and retaliates on Tel Aviv? Most likely numbness all around.


  5. Yes it does.

    And it will probably rage within its confined boundaries and cause a lot of pain and suffering – and cause new bad blood for all those under thirty. Sowing the seeds for future conflicts. Nature’s course for human societies, under a certain set of parameters.


  6. U know I tried to rephrase that comment above over and over to make it end on a lighter note somehow – but had to give up. And plague is a good analogy. We try to prevent and we try to contain, but it still happens.


  7. Hey Moe, How have you been??

    I was wondering how do you keep the track of the days of these wars?


  8. Hi umer, long time. I’m fine and hope you are too.

    The wars? I keep track simply by counting. I haven’t got the actual dates handy, though I used them when I set up my ‘count’. We went into Afghanistan in October 2001 and Iraq in March 2003.

    Shocking really that they’ve gone on so long.


  9. So what F. Zakaria said in the monologue is mostly common sense. A lot of people think it that way and it has been said before but has anything changed?…No…Will anything change?…don’t seem like it.

    I would love to see things happen the way he said.


    • And I would love to have ice cream for breakfast and never gain a pound!

      I’m afraid umer that change comes slowly and understanding even slower. But you know what? We usually get there in the end.


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