November 2nd Update: ISIS Claims Responsibility For Downing Flight 9268 & The Upcoming Month For This Blog


The hot button topic at the moment is the crash of a Russian passenger jet in Egypt over the weekend. An executive from Kogalymavia Airline suspects the cause of the crash had to do with ‘external influences.’ Over the weekend, ISIS claimed responsibility for the crash and produced a video that purportedly showed 9268 being struck by a missile and crashing. The quality of the video is questionable at best and does appear to have been edited. No concrete evidence has been presented to suggest that the aircraft was shot down. With Russian involvement in Syria as the backdrop, the investigation is going to be under close scrutiny. The crash was a tragedy regardless of what the cause was. Our thoughts and prayers need to be with the family members of the victims.

As we move into November there are a growing number of hot spots around the world that have to be monitored carefully. Syria and the South China Sea are nestles at the top of the list. However, Eastern Europe and North Korea are also two areas still worthy of attention. As usual, this blog will produce updates on situations around the world throughout the month of November. We will also continue to provide in depth reports on defense and IR topics.

For November, the comprehensive focus is going to be on US strategic forces. A four part series will begin tomorrow with an introduction. I don’t want to spoil it, but let’s just say that if you are a fan of nuclear weapons and apocalyptic scenarios, this four part series is for you.

Today’s DIRT will also begin reviewing books and game software that are International Relations and/or defense-centric. For November we will be reviewing Command: Modern Air & Naval Operations. CMANO is a monster of a game that covers all conflicts from 1945 to the present. If you were a fan of Harpoon, this is a game you should seriously consider looking into.