International crises are like London buses, it seems. You wait ages for one and then a whole load arrives all at once.
The last few months have seen a dizzying succession of problems that have grabbed international attention. We have seen the proliferation of al-Qaida franchises in North and East Africa, the military take-over in Egypt, political chaos and violence in Libya, the annexation of Crimea by Russia, the mass kidnapping of school girls in northern Nigeria, rising tensions between China and its neighbours in the South China Sea, the use of chemical weapons in Syria and now the rapid territorial expansion in Iraq by ISIS and the proclamation of a self-declared caliphate straddling the Iraqi-Syrian border. No wonder that a recent survey by Barclays Bank rated geo-politics as the number one concern for international investors. [Read more...]