Weekend links post: #China, #Syria, #Turkey, #KurdistanJanuary 24, 2014
While reporting often makes the rise of China to global dominance seem inevitable, the Chinese elite might not be quite so confident themselves, as thousands of the richest and most powerful in that nation are busily expatriating their wealth to safe havens offshore.
In Syria, Assad has managed to cling to power by importing a mercenary force of foreign fighters, most of whom serve interests with their own designs on Syria. This Washington Institute analysis indicates that Assad may have mortgaged his ability to lead his nation in the future by using these forces to maintain power in the present.
In Turkey, we see the results of Erdogan ‘s paranoid style. He purged the military over fears of a coup; now, he is attempting to purge his former Islamist allies against the military, thinking they are more likely to stage a coup. Turkey is more threatened by the Wars of the Kurdish Unification which are being waged on its very doorstep; this kind of internal division could open the door for another Kurdish front within Turkey itself.