Salman Rafi Sheikh

Biden Wants a Pliable Turkey: Will his Strategy Work?

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By dropping the “genocide bomb” the sitting US president seems to have unleashed a process that, in his opinion, would force Turkey into falling in line with US policies, as Erdogan’s political fortunes are apparently falling. Let’s not forget that Joe Biden had pledged during his election campaign to recognise the Armenian genocide. As such, while the Trump…

On the Middle East’s New “Strategic Axis”

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The ‘Cyprus meeting’ of officials from Israeli, the UAE, Greece and Cyprus highlights the ‘changing’ Middle East. While the US has, ever since Trump’s defeat and Joe Biden’s arrival into the White House, seemingly taken a step back from pushing the Gulf and Arab states for signing The Abraham Accords, the pact still continue to shape the Middle Eastern geo-political…

Will the US Really Withdraw its Military Assets from Afghanistan?

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While the Joe Biden administration has confirmed a US withdrawal from Afghanistan with or without a political settlement between Kabul and the Taliban, the story that has started to unfold following Biden’s announcement shows that withdrawal isn’t after all going to be a straightforward pull out of all military resources currently deployed…

How the US is Creating Trouble Around Russia

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When the US president Joe Biden delivered his first major foreign policy speech in February, he signalled America’s return to an interventionist and confrontationist policy design, one that thrives on creating troubles for its competitors. Accordingly, whereas we see the US continues to blame the Chinese authorities for carrying out a “genocide” in Xinjiang – which is a major…

How China Aims to Navigate the Complex Middle East

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While China has already made its mark in the Middle East and is already outsmarting the US, the recently signed China-Iran pact is perhaps the biggest economic venture China has made in the Middle East so far. However, while China does have big ambitions with respects to its economic engagement with countries in West Asia, Middle East remains…

How a US-led Un-Holly Alliance is Preventing Syria’s Normalisation

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If there is major stumbling block to Syrian unification and normalisation back to the pre-war years, it is the continuing presence of foreign forces inside Syria and the support they continue to provide to jihadi elements and militias that continue to seek to overthrow Assad’s government. Their presence, therefore, not only dovetails pretty closely…

Why is the US Involving Turkey in Afghanistan?

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With Turkey’s direct involvement in the Afghan peace process increasing in an unprecedented way, the latter is likely to be swamped by an era of sharp geo-political tussle in the months and years to come. Given that Turkey has historically good relations with Afghanistan, the Pentagon and the CIA, with both of them being ardent opponents of US withdrawal by May 1…

How the Middle East States are Bringing their Rivalries to Africa

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Growing competition among Middle Eastern powers – Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and the UAE – has forced almost all of them to establish their influence beyond the Gulf region and look for allies elsewhere. For almost all of these states, Africa is the best destination, not only because the continent is well poised to develop fast economically…

The So-Called ‘Cold War 2.0’ Isn’t about Nuclear Weapons & Missiles

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The so-called ‘Cold War 2.0’ brewing between the US and China/Russia bears little resemblance to the post Second World War scenario. The present scenario is different in two fundamental ways: it does not have roots in two opposing ideologies of communism and capitalism, with one trying to overwhelm the other, and it is least about establishing…

How China is Going to Reshape Asia

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With China and Iran signing a multi-billion dollar deal for the next 25 years, there remains little gainsaying that the former is going to increase its footprint in West Asia/Middle East in a way that once was thought to be unimaginable for reasons that included China’s own economic policies and West Asia’s too close ties with the West to allow for any players. Forces of…

Turkey Expands its Neo-Ottoman Footprint in Africa

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Even with Erdogan facing an increasing number of political and economic difficulties at home, Turkey continues to expand its geo-political footprint beyond its borders. Whereas Turkey’s recent adventures in Libya were largely seen as the country’s first major military deployment and direct involvement in a conflict in the continent, Turkey’s presence in Africa exists…

Building an anti-China Alliance is the Last US Bid for Political Survival in Asia & the Pacific

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While the recently held QUAD summit-meeting did not mention China directly, there is little gainsaying that the basic thrust of the group is against China. Although there are internal disagreements on whether to tackle China through military means or otherwise, or whether to keep this grouping strictly anti-China or not…


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