Pakistan’s Afghan jig irks regional states

(Russian FM Sergey Lavrov receiving Pakistani FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Moscow, Dec 26 2018) With what mixed feelings Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wound up on Wednesday his hurried 3-day regional tour of Kabul, Tehran, Beijing and Moscow, we will never know. What sticks out is that Islamabad’s newfound role as “facilitator” of the …

Why Mattis’ exit is a defining moment in US foreign policy

  (“We are going to appoint ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis as our secretary of defense,” Donald Trump, Jan 2017)  Within the week, President Trump’s sudden announcement of “total” troop withdrawal from Syria has ripped apart the American political system and exposed its fault lines. Trump’s decision is intrinsically a sound one. He didn’t start the Syrian …

Trump’s Syrian pullout is a game changer

(US bases in northeast Syria)  The US President Donald Trump’s announcement on Wednesday regarding the withdrawal of American military from Syria has predictably run into strong headwinds in the Washington Beltway. A formidable coalition appeared overnight – comprising the Deep State, US defence and security establishment, leading members of the Congress, major media organs –branding …

CPEC to traverse the Durand Line

  (Khyber Pass) The 2nd Afghanistan-China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue, which took place in Kabul on Saturday, largely covered familiar ground – reaffirming the commitment of the three countries to strengthen their relations, resolutely fight terrorism, support Afghan reconciliation, extend support to Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process, exhort Taliban to come to peace talks, foster security …

Russian deployment to Venezuela served the purpose

(Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers in Venezuela, Dec 10) The brief deployment of two Russian Tupolev Tu-160 ‘Blackjack’ strategic bombers to Venezuela last week became a sensational event. Indeed, it is a display of the growing Russian military prowess that has been restored under President Vladimir Putin’s watch. Blackjack has appeared on the Syrian skies more …