Afghanistan: Opium yields at all-time high

Despite over $7.6 billion in expenditures by the United States to prevent opium cultivation in Afghanistan, crop yields have risen to their highest levels during the harvest this year. Cultivation of the poppy is a “significant” source of revenue for local Taliban groups, according to the new report released by the UN Office on Drugs…

Iran Deal: Obama Will Circumvent Congress if Agreement Reached

Talks surrounding the state of Iran’s nuclear program have resumed in Vienna. Negotiators on both sides predicted the meeting’s success in the days leading up to the meeting, though early indications show that fundamental differences still exist between the two sides. The Iranian Foreign Ministry has alleged that it has accepted Western stipulations that only…

Afghanistan Easing Relations with Pakistan

Pakistani National Security Advisor Sartag Aziz paid a short visit to new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani over the weekend, with future meetings set up between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Ghani forthcoming, an apparent sign of detente. A formal invitation was extended from Sharif to Ghani to arrange a meeting to ‘share his vision’ for…

Ukraine: Russian troops supposedly return to Rostov

NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe Philip Breedlove told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Greece that the alliance would welcome the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Donetsk region of Ukraine, but that no “major improvements” have been seen. Despite this proclamation, this past Saturday Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered 17,600 troops…

Iran: Talks to Resume in Vienna

Negotiations concerning the state of Iran’s nuclear program will resume this Thursday in Vienna. Ministers on both sides are expected to trifle little while attempting to quickly reach an agreement with the Gulf nation by the 24th of November. The two sides have throughout the process expressed an ever-fluctuating combination of cautious optimism and full-fledged…

Uzbekistan: $1 billion cotton harvest draws Western ire

Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyaev announced that roughly $1 billion worth of textile products have been shipped this year and that sales are expected to increase, making Uzbekistan the world’s fifth largest producer of cotton. Some 3.3 million tons of cotton were produced last year, but Western powers like the United States have been adamant…