NATO returns to Libya to challenge Russia

Libyan conflict set to intensify as NATO plans to intervene.  The great game in Libya has begun surging with the United States shedding its strategic ambivalence and resorting to a proactive role. Earlier this week, the Pentagon marked a dramatic escalation by accusing Moscow of bolstering Kremlin-linked mercenaries who are allegedly helping Khalifa Haftar, the …

Russia makes a botch of its Syrian alliance

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad (L) at a meeting with visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin (R), Damascus, January 7, 2020 Russia’s relationships with its client states have never been easy. Of course, managing client states is always a complicated exercise. The Kremlin’s cupboard is full of skeletons — Hungary (1956), Czechoslovakia (1968), Cuba (1962), Afghanistan (1980), 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 …

Eastern Mediterranean is big enough for Turkey, Russia

Libyan National Army forces commanded by Khalifa Haftar prepare to advance to Tripoli, November 2019, File photo. Libya’s call seeking military assistance from Turkey and the latter’s prompt announcement on Thursday of its readiness to meet the request as early as next month is no doubt a carefully choreographed sequence of events.  Tripoli and Ankara …

Rumours of NATO’s death are greatly exaggerated

NATO leaders assemble for customary group photo at Leaders’ Meeting’ in London on Dec 5, 2019 amidst much finger-pointing and discord The decision to “downgrade” the NATO’s historic summit meeting in London on the 70th anniversary of the alliance to a mere “Leaders’ Meeting” implied that no joint declaration or communique would need to be issued …

Trump seeks grand bargain with Erdogan

US military convoy entering Iraq from Syria The morning after a summit meeting often holds surprises. Turkey lost no time to follow up on President Recep Erdogan’s hugely successful but “difficult” talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Tuesday.  On Wednesday itself, Ankara formally conveyed to Washington Erdogan’s decision that the Turkish …