“What in the World?” Quiz – Week of October 31, 2016

Check your global affairs awareness with these ten questions taken from the week’s news reports.




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Charles Bowers, Nashville, TN

Patricia Paiva, Nashville, TN

Todd Statome, Charlotte

Patrick Higgins, Nashville, TN

Deb Monroe, Alexandria, VA

Deanna Kendall, Nashville, VA


Each week's quiz winners are entered for a monthly prize. This month's prize:


LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD • A searing reassessment of U.S. military policy in the Middle East over the past four decades from retired army colonel and New York Times bestselling author Andrew J. Bacevich - from Amazon.com

From the end of World War II until 1980, virtually no American soldiers were killed in action while serving in the Greater Middle East. Since 1990, virtually no American soldiers have been killed in action anywhere else. What caused this shift? Andrew J. Bacevich, one of the country’s most respected voices on foreign affairs, offers an incisive critical history of this ongoing military enterprise—now more than thirty years old and with no end in sight.

During the 1980s, Bacevich argues, a great transition occurred. As the Cold War wound down, the United States initiated a new conflict—a War for the Greater Middle East—that continues to the present day. The long twilight struggle with the Soviet Union had involved only occasional and sporadic fighting. But as this new war unfolded, hostilities became persistent. From the Balkans and East Africa to the Persian Gulf and Central Asia, U.S. forces embarked upon a seemingly endless series of campaigns across the Islamic world. Few achieved anything remotely like conclusive success. Instead, actions undertaken with expectations of promoting peace and stability produced just the opposite. As a consequence, phrases like “permanent war” and “open-ended war” have become part of everyday discourse.

Connecting the dots in a way no other historian has done before, Bacevich weaves a compelling narrative out of episodes as varied as the Beirut bombing of 1983, the Mogadishu firefight of 1993, the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the rise of ISIS in the present decade. Understanding what America’s costly military exertions have wrought requires seeing these seemingly discrete events as parts of a single war. It also requires identifying the errors of judgment made by political leaders in both parties and by senior military officers who share responsibility for what has become a monumental march to folly. This Bacevich unflinchingly does.

A twenty-year army veteran who served in Vietnam, Andrew J. Bacevich brings the full weight of his expertise to this vitally important subject. America’s War for the Greater Middle East is a bracing after-action report from the front lines of history. It will fundamentally change the way we view America’s engagement in the world’s most volatile region.

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We'll post the answers and the names of the winner(s) on Wednesday afternoon

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1. The Philippines President walked back comments made in Beijing about a “separation” from a historic partnership with the United States a day after his summit with Chinese leaders where he also called for closer Manila-Moscow ties. In his clarification he said, “It is not severance of ties. When you say severance of ties, you cut diplomatic relations. I cannot do that," adding, “It's in the best interest of my countrymen to maintain that relationship." WHO is the President of the Philippines?

A. Benigno Aquino III
B. Rodrigo Duterte
C. Joseph Estrada
D. Fidel Ramos

2. Just as US-Philippines relations were becoming more strained Vietnam opened the door to a more vigorous American presence in the region when Hanoi announced, through the Defense Ministry, that the country would support U.S. “intervention” in the Asia-Pacific if it would help keep peace and stability. The statement was a milestone in the long road back for US-Vietnam relations from America’s war there that ended with the fall of Saigon ON THIS DATE:

A. January 6, 1969
B. November 5, 1971
C. April 30, 1975
D. June 22, 1978

3. The International Criminal Court (ICC), the world’s first permanent war crimes court, has been under pressure over charges it was pursuing a “neo-colonial” agenda based on 9 out of 10 of its prosecutions having been against African leaders. Last week THIS COUNTRY announced its intention to withdraw from the court after it was criticized for failing to arrest visiting Sudanese President Bashir, wanted by the court for genocide and war crimes.

A. Ghana
B. Rwanda
C. Zimbabwe
D. South Africa

4. WHAT COUNTRY announced it could not remain idle and would “take measures” in response to prospects that Kurdish militants and Shi’ite militias would participate in current fighting in Iraq after Baghdad declined its offer of military support.

A. Syria
B. Iran
C. Jordan
D. Turkey

5. A Reuters article noted that, “A cartoon which appeared on social media shows a drowning Egyptian, only his hand protruding from the depths, waving for help. The next strips show [the country’s President] diving in, taking the drowning man's watch and turning away. The cartoon captures the mood of desperation and anger among Egyptians clobbered by tax rises, soaring food price inflation and cuts in state subsidies. Some fear a repeat of the mass street protests that drove [THIS PRESIDENT’S] two immediate predecessors from power.

A. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
B. Mohammed Mursi
C. Sherif Ismail
D. Ibrahim Mahlab

6. Viktor Orban, right-wing leader of THIS COUNTRY, marked the commemoration of the 1956 anti-Communist uprising in his country by saying they must stand up to Europe’s “Sovietization” and defend against mass migration. He said they wanted to be a European nation not a nationality within Europe.

A. Czech Republic
B. Romania
C. Poland
D. Hungary

7. A three-day truce to allow for humanitarian aid movement expired last Sunday without extension and was marked by renewed air strikes from a coalition led by Saudi Arabia in THIS COUNTRY.

A. Yemen
B. Syria
C. Oman
D. South Sudan

8. THIS BRITISH LEADER told the European Unit summit that the UK would “play a full role until we leave” but in reality Britain’s representatives in EU offices and the Parliament have already become sidelined following the Brexit decision.

A. Boris Johnson
B. David Cameron
C. Theresa May
D. Nigel Farange

9. Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister invited his Russian counterpart to an important Gulf meeting of energy ministers as part of efforts to cooperate with non-OPEC members to stabilize the oil market according to Reuters. Which of these countries is NOT A MEMBER of OPEC?

A. Indonesia
B. Oman
C. Nigeria
D. Ecuador

10. The American general responsible for US military forces in the Middle East said he thought THIS COUNTRY had a “role” in the recent anti-ship missile attacks against U.S. Navy ships off the coast of Yemen.

A. Syria
B. Iraq
C. Iran
D. North Korea





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