Salman Rafi Sheikh

Pompeo: The Man of US Foreign Policy Catastrophe


If a significant part of Mike Pompeo’s job as a Secretary of State was to persuade nations to align their foreign policies with that of the US on issues like China and Iran, he has clearly failed in it. Instead of aligning their policies with the US, even the US’ European allies are making their own and independent policies and engaging with China accordingly. Certainly, Europe…

Israel to Retain Military Supremacy in the Middle East


While the Abraham Accords may have made Israel a friend of the UAE and Bahrain, kicking off a ‘peace process’ that may ultimately include other Gulf Arab states as well, a growing possibility of US physical retrenchment from the Middle East logically leaves Israel as the sole regional power, capable of militarily handling Iran, Turkey and Qatar—the chief rival bloc…

Trump and Racialization of US Relations with China


When the US president recently delivered his UNGA speech, he signified how he has systematically racialized the US foreign policy. This was mainly evident from his choice of words about China and COVID-19, calling the virus, yet again, “China Virus” and presenting the pandemic as a ‘Chinese conspiracy’, demanding a probe into it to hold China accountable. While…

Europe’s Decisive Moves to Shun ‘Trans-Atlanticism’


When NATO was founded after the Second World War in 1949, it was not just a military organization; it was an idea based upon a shared European-US understanding of the then international politics and a weaker Europe’s willingness to infuse itself with the US to maintain balance of power vis-à-vis the Soviet Union. ‘Trans-Atlanticism’, therefore, became a system where Europe…

Turkey and the UAE Vie for Shaping a New Middle East


While the UAE-Israel and Bahrain-Israel deals, called the Abraham Accords, have certainly changed Israel’s position in the Middle East, and triggered a new politics of blocs whereby the self-styled regional leaders and those with ambitions to become leaders are coming closer to like-minded states, the struggle for power and re-shaping the Middle…

Why Bahrain-Israel Accord may be the Key to the New Middle East?


While the UAE-Israel accord was/is historical in its own sense and triggered forces of ‘normalisation’ in the Middle East, this agreement looked a lot like a result of solo flight of the Emirati political elite because of Saudi refusal to follow suit until the resolution of Israel-Palestine conflict and peace agreement. The UAE-Israel accord was then…

Trump Threatens War with Iran in a Bid to Win the Election


While the actual arena of electoral politics is always domestic, the US has a different case where international geo-politics, too, plays a significant role to the extent that a reference to what a given president/administration is doing or has done overseas to deal with the threats to the US national security becomes the most important point…

On the Emerging Rival Blocs in the Middle East


If violence begets violence, alliance produces a counter-alliance. The UAE-Bahrain-Israel agreements, called Abraham Accords, marks the beginning of an unholy alliance that aims to bring a decisive shift in the geo-political chessboard of the Middle East, allowing the UAE to increasingly project itself as the new ‘ring leader…

How China is Unwinding the US’ Middle East Supremacy


Whereas the last two US presidents campaigned for withdrawal from the Middle East—and both of them did so in the wake of ‘shale oil revolution’ in the US itself—doing so has not only been difficult due largely to the geo-strategic setback that this withdrawal will give to the US supremacy in the Middle East, but also to the increasing competition the US is already…

Russia-China Switch to Counter US-Indo-Pacific-Strategy Mode


Big power rivalry is often characterized by alliances and counter-alliances, involving smaller countries on both sides of the rivalry. Big powers thus tend to engage in a race for winning more and more allies to their side. This is precisely what is happening in the Asia-Pacific region where the US’ so-called “Indo-Pacific Strategy” has triggered forces of alliances…

US Revamps its North-Syria ‘Steal Oil Mission’


While a US company has secured rights in north Syria to drill and export Syrian oil, stepping up the US president Trump’s policy of ‘protecting the oil’ for the Syrians, this is being followed by a transfer of additional US troops from Iraq to Syria, indicating how the US policies are at the heart of permanently dividing Syria between an ‘oil-rich and oil-starved’ regions…

Erdogan Brings his ‘Ottoman Ambitions’ to the Middle East


When Turkey’s Erdogan recently hosted Hamas leaders, including the US-designated ‘terrorist’ and ‘wanted’ leaders of the Palestinian resistance, it did not ring bells in Jerusalem, Abu Dhabi or Riyadh. On the contrary, Erdogan’s meeting illustrated how Turkey is planning to respond to the new regional configuration which puts Israel at the heart…

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