U.S. considers opening new front against Islamic State to create a safe zone in Syria -Washington Post


“The Obama administration is weighing the opening of a new front in the air war against the Islamic State in Syria, part of an offensive to push back militants along the western part of Syria’s border with Turkey and create a relatively safe zone for U.S.-backed Syrian rebel forces to move in.”

As noted by a colleague at McGill, this is what mission-creep sounds like. If Obama does adopt this new strategy, the logic will be partially military and partially coalition management. Turkey has been asking for a no-fly zone in Northern Syria for a while and this would be a step in that direction.

This article, along with “U.S. relies on Persian Gulf bases for airstrikes in Iraq” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-relies-on-persian-gulf-bases-for-airstrikes-in-iraq/2014/08/25/517dcde0-2c7a-11e4-9b98-848790384093_story.html) also provide some details about how the US has been carrying out airstrikes in the conflict.

Putin cancels new natural gas pipeline to Europe in a surprise move -Washington Post


“The cancellation appeared to end an era, at least for now, in which Russia pursued grand, expensive infrastructure projects in Europe that gave it political clout through energy supplies. The decision follows a drop in the price of oil by more than 30 percent since the summer, starving Russia of revenue and forcing it to curtail its economic ambitions.”