Sunday, January 29, 2017

On the selection of countries for the recent US travel ban

The travel ban applies to seven countries (in alphabetical order): Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. If we cross-reference against countries which US air and/or drone strikes have targeted in the fight against AQ and ISIS (Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen), we find that five of the seven are on the list. Why were Afghanistan and Pakistan left off the list? Perhaps because those countries have airbases open to US forces. The addition of Iran and Sudan to the travel ban implies an objective other than Sunni-inspired militancy, as Sudan was targeted as part of a proxy conflict between Iran and Israel.

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