Salman Rafi Sheikh

Is Biden going to Re-Set US-Saudia Ties?


The newly elected US president Joe Biden appears to be in the middle of formulating a “new” policy vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia. Biden has already put arms sales to the Kingdom under “procedural review”, although there is no certainty that he will actually cancel the deal at some point in the future. While the “review” appears to be a hoax, Biden still appears poised to ignore Saudi…

The US War in Syria is Far from Over


Apart from the fact that the US sanctions regime is directly plundering Syria by keeping Syria’s oil resources under its control, the US is already moving to expand and entrench its military position in the country. This is happening despite the fact that the ISIS has already been defeated and the Syrian government is committed to rebuild and unify Syria and maintain…

Biden’s Interventionism Meets Russia-China Multilateralism


In his first major foreign policy speech, the newly elected US president made it clear that the era of US’ traditional interventionist and confrontationist policy is going to take over Donald Trump’s “America First”, a controversial policy that emphasized economic nationalism and a reduced US involvement in conflicts. In his last speech as president, Trump took a lot…

Joe Biden Appropriates Trump’s War on China


Joe Biden’s first call to president Xi has set the stage for US-China relations under the Biden administration. While there is no gainsaying that the Biden administration was always expected to revive the “Asia Pivot”, some recent developments have largely made it official. For the Biden administration, very much like the previous administration, China…

Joe Biden Adopts Trump’s “Maximum Pressure” Strategy Towards Iran


Whereas the newly elected US president does want to revive the JCPOA with Iran, the process is far from straightforward. Joe Biden, who is looking to make America “great” again at global level, sees this revival as a crucial mark of America’s re-entry as a “responsible” super-power, reversing the way it was largely left out of many important…

How the US Sanctions Regime is Plundering Syria


While the US military presence in northeastern Syria is purportedly aimed at preventing the re-emergence of ISIS, there is little denying that the US presence and the overall policy regime it is following in Syria is actively contributing to down grading the country’s military and political gains in the ten long years of a multi-front war. On the one hand…

Biden Offers Russia Deep-seated Aggression and Confrontation


When the newly elected US president recently called his Russian counter-part and raised some “critical issues”, it became clear that Joe Biden’s foreign policy towards Russia in the next four years will be guided by a very traditional type of Russophobia that has been a part and parcel of US foreign policy for decades. The mainstream…

Biden’s “Review” of US Arms Sales to Saudia & UAE is a Hoax


While the Biden administration has decided to “review” the sale of arms and F-35 fighter jets to Saudi Arabi and the UAE, the proposed “review” is hardly an indication of a change in US policy towards its traditional allies in the Gulf. A change in US policy towards the Gulf cannot happen merely on the basis of halting arms sales; it can happen only when core US interests in the region…

Why the “Brain Dead” Transatlantic Alliance Cannot be Revived


While the Transatlantic alliance continues to exist and even wield some military power, last four years have seen it becoming increasingly irrelevant in terms of its ability to shape bi-lateral relations between the US & Russia, EU & Russia and EU & the US. Its ability to influence the outcomes of different conflict zones, including Afghanistan…

How Russia and China are Reshaping the South Caucasus


The Russia brokered negotiated end of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has laid the basis for a major geo-political transformation of the South Caucasus. While Russia’s role in bringing the military conflict to an end and holding the ceasefire did put it in-charge of the South Caucasus, subsequent developments show how Russia has expanded its role and consolidated its position…

How Nord Stream 2 Could ‘Liberate’ Europe


More than anything else, riots in Washington D.C. showed that the US politics, while apparently shifting from the ‘mad’ Republicans to the ‘wise’ Democrats, is likely to remain in the grip of intense internal power struggle between what have become ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ Trump groups. The Biden administration is most likely to remain, at least for some time, focused on diffusing…

Joe Biden’s “Asia Pivot 2.0” is Already Here


The Joe Biden administration has already made its intentions clear about reversing, through a series of executive orders, some of the policies of the Trump administration. The new regime is well poised to reverse the over-all course of the previous regime. This includes not only domestic policies, but foreign relations as well. During the Trump era, China was the main…

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