Iran loathes Pompeo’s Chabahar gift

India-Iran Joint Commission meeting co-chaired by Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif (L) and Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar (R), Tehran, December 22, 2019 Sometimes a crisis is needed to judge the efficacy of a country’s regional policies. The US-Iran confrontation is one such moment for Delhi.  In retrospect, the India-US meeting of foreign and defence ministers …

Bereft of soft power, India stands diminished in Hindu Kush and Central Asia

Bagh-e Babur (Garden of Babur) in Kabul, Afghanistan The dichotomy between the regime policy and public opinion is nowhere near as sharp as in the world of diplomacy. And nowhere in the contemporary situation is this maxim so sharply visible as in the dalliance of the West Asian oligarchies with Israel. The romance began at …

With eye on Trump, India scrambles for Russian support

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) at informal meeting in Sochi in May 2018  Within a week of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s consultations in Moscow on August 21, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar is travelling to the Russian capital for talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday.  Prima …

‘America First’ means nuclear superiority

(Russia test-fires enhanced version of RS-24 Yars thermonuclear intercontinental missile, 6th February, 2019.) The US president’s annual State of the Union address traditionally focuses on domestic issues but it also throws some light on the foreign policy priorities. President Trump’s speech on Tuesday adhered to the pattern and if anything, the portions on foreign policy …

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 unchecked hold on power comes to an end

The US midterm results are out. In a nutshell, Republicans retain majority in the Senate, while Democrats have seized control of the House of Representatives after a gap of 8 years. On balance, the midterm results constitute a setback for President Donald Trump insofar as while Senate confirmations for his executive and judicial appointments will …