Iraq seeks US presence but rejects occupation

(Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif personally briefs Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Grand Ayatollah Bashir Hussain Najafi at his home in Najaf, regarding the Iran nuclear deal, before a visit to the Imam Ali shrine in the city, 27 July 2015.)  The US President Donald Trump has been struggling to terminate America’s ‘endless wars’, but without much …

Putin’s firewall around Russia-Turkey partnership

(Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Turkish President Recep Erdogan following joint press conference at the Kremlin, Moscow, Jan 23, 2019)  The much-awaited meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his visiting Turkish counterpart Recep Erdogan in Moscow last Wednesday focused on the the withdrawal of US troops from Syria. The timeframe of the US …

Trump has mixed signals for Astana partners

(Turkey deploys battle tanks on border with Syria.) Trump’s tweets earlier today regarding Syrian withdrawal plan came out of the blue – “Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions. Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms. Will devastate Turkey …

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 …

Istanbul summit on Syria was successful but caveats remain

  The four-nation Turkey-Russia-Germany-France summit on Syria on October 27 in Istanbul had an impressive outcome. All participants – each with own interests – has some ‘takeaway’ from the summit, which itself is a measure of the success of the event. This is also important because the participants now have a reason to work together. …

India, Russia join hands to strengthen multi-polarity

Amidst the months-long India-US war of nerves over our S-400 missile defence deal with Russia, the joint statement issued after the 19th India-Russia annual summit in New Delhi on Friday largely passed unnoticed. Yet, the salience of the document becomes important. After all, what endures is the final document – not photo-ops, not gossips. And …