Trump’s Afghan drawdown doesn’t mean war is ending

Then Vice-President Joe Biden (L) talks with Gen. David Petraeus (R), then Commander of the ISAF and US Forces in Afghanistan, aboard a Chinook helicopter over Kabul, Afghanistan, Jan. 11, 2011 As the US President Donald Trump chalks up his measly legacy in the White House, he is bound to scrap the bottom of the barrel. …

US leverages Delhi-Kabul nexus. But what’s in it for India?

India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval (L) and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar (C) met the US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad (R), Delhi, May 7, 2020 The two-hour stopover in Delhi on May 7 by the US special representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, accompanied by the White House official in charge of …

Russia-China entente deepens in the shadow of the pandemic

Richard Lugar Public Health Centre in Georgia, which Russia alleges to be a Pentagon laboratory for biological weapon development. Beijing has called on the US to respond to Russian concerns.   The Russian-Chinese entente emerged as one of the most significant templates of international politics in the recent period since the hugely consequential developments in Ukraine …

Trump’s threat to Iran has a hollow ring. It betrays angst.

Afghan President Asraf Ghani (C) received Iran’s special envoy Mohammad Ebrahim Taherian at the presidential palace, Kabul, April 20, 2020 A tweet by the US President Donald Trump on April 22 said, “I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at …

Russia cannot do without Turkey’s cooperation in Syria

People fleeing the conflict zone in Idlib, northwest Syria. File photo. The former Soviet Union was a satiated world power. It didn’t have to prove anything. The Great Patriotic War (1941-45) spoke for itself. Thus, triumphalism was never a diplomatic tool in the Soviet inventory.  The removal of the US nuclear missiles from Turkey in …

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 …