This Week in Geopolitics, March 2018

The Places Mexico’s Government Can Hardly Reach

March 19, 2018

Mexico’s northern borderlands have become notorious for their lawlessness. At times, it can seem that organized crime groups have as much control as the federal government. The drug trade is the easy and obvious explanation for this phenomenon, and it isn’t wrong—but it is incomplete.

The Role of Militias in Iran’s Strategy for Iraq

March 12, 2018

Iran’s activities in Syria get a lot of press, but less attention is paid to what Iran has done in Iraq to make those activities manageable. Iran operates a Shiite foreign legion that over the years has trained 200,000 fighters in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen. And one part of that foreign legion is the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq. The militias of the PMF all but control northern Iraq, which Iran has transformed into a land bridge to supply its other proxy groups in Syria and...

Where Separatism Got Its Start in Eastern Ukraine

March 5, 2018

Since its formation in 2014, the Russia-backed Luhansk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine has been plagued by infighting, occasional violence, and even allegations of an attempted coup. Not much is likely to change in the immediate future.