The scenes across Iran are no surprise after years of economic mismanagement, state brutality and heavy spending that fails to benefit the public. The revolt seems to be spreading as workers walk off the job in solidarity, but the loyalty of state security forces will shape the future of the protests.
Decades of inattention on the part of European leaders are coming home to roost as far-right parties are securing stronger support and national office. The future of the EU as a bastion of liberal democracy and tolerance is in jeopardy as Eurosceptic populism surges across the continent.
The presence of Ayman al-Zawahiri in the heart of Kabul casts doubt on the Taliban’s pledge that the country will not be a haven for terrorists. Whether the Taliban limits itself to austere Islamist domestic policies or involves itself in external jihadist politics may depend on the winners and losers of the Zawahiri affair.
EU sanctions could leave Russia in ruins if Putin’s brutal war drags on, drawing worrying parallels with 1930s Germany. The mistakes of the Treaty of Versailles offer a warning on how economic punishment can give rise to extreme nationalism and expansionism.
The ‘new’ Taliban wants to avoid a return to isolationism, so its dealings will be tempered by pragmatism. Qatar and Turkey have moved quickly to take advantage of the US absence, and China stands to benefit handsomely in economic and geopolitical influence.