India wary as Afghans discuss interim govt – Part 1

India’s NSA Ajit Doval (L) met chairman of Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah (R), New Delhi, October 5, 2020 The visit to New Delhi by Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation in Afghanistan, becomes an event of major importance for a variety of reasons, the most significant being its …

Oman-Syria ties impact regional politics

Walid al-Muallem, Syria’s deputy prime minister and foreign minister (L) receives the credentials of Oman’s Ambassador Turki bin Mahmood al-Busaidy, Damascus, October 5, 2020  The presentation of the Letter of Credence in Damascus on October 5 by the newly appointed envoy of Oman marks a defining moment in the Syrian conflict. The regional states recognise …

Gulf Sheikhs resent subaltern role

US-Israel joint training exercise ‘Enduring Lightning’ involving F-35 ‘stealth’ aircraft, Southern Israel, March 2020 The tabling of a “bipartisan” legislation in the US Congress on October 1 reiterating American commitment to Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME) creates an extraordinary dimension to the geopolitics and military balance in the Middle East region in the downstream of …

The Time of Troubles in Transcaucasia – Part 2

The desperate Battle of Shipka Pass in Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 between Ottoman Empire & Eastern Orthodox coalition led by Russian Empire, fought in the Balkans and the Caucasus which the Turks lost to be pushed back all the way to the gates of Constantinople. Part-1 of the three-part essay is here.  The German Chancellor Angela Merkel …

The Time of Troubles in Transcaucasia – Part 1

Transcaucasian Trail: Ancient lands & new frontiers in great game Three days into the renewed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh in the Transcaucasian region — also known as South Caucasus — it is becoming clear that the binary narrative dished out by western commentators of this being a Turkish-Russian clash of wills and strategies is either simply …