Salman Rafi Sheikh

Why Won’t Joe Biden Withdraw from Syria?

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Even while the US has been withdrawing its military hardware from Saudi Arabia and some other Middle Eastern countries, and even though it has withdrawn from Afghanistan to focus its military resources on Southeast Asia, Washington is unlikely to pull itself out of Syria anytime soon for reasons ranging from preventing Syria’s unification…

Disappointed by Biden, Turkey Eyes Closer Ties with Russia

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Amid the on-going explicit shift in the US foreign policy away from its decades old focus on the Middle East to Southeast Asia to counter what it considers the biggest challenge to the US in the 21st century i.e., China, profound changes to the US ties with many states in the Middle East/Gulf, including its old allies, are taking place. The US withdrawal…

NATO Crisis and the Making of European Defense Force

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If Afghanistan was not big enough a debacle for the US-EU ties, the anti-France US submarine deal with Australia, as well as the AUKUS defence partnership, shows how the US is increasingly configurating its global policies regardless of the mainland Europe i.e., excluding the UK. While Boris Johnson recently met Biden and reaffirmed the UK’s ties with the US…

US Defeated Itself in Afghanistan

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The latest testimony of the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark A. Milley has confirmed how the US lost its war in Afghanistan. Notwithstanding the Taliban’s ability to withstand the combined might of the US and NATO forces for two decades, the US, according to Milley, lost the war due mainly to a series of bad decisions made by the Bush, Obama, Trump…

The US Indo-Pacific Strategy Displaces ASEAN

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Whereas the QUAD and AUKUS aim to place the US at the centre of the Indo-Pacific region as a bulwark against China, these two different yet interconnected strands of US policies are unlikely to be accepted by the ASEAN. Specifically, these projects could overpower ASEAN, as well as neutralising the regional configuration’s own political ambitions as the centre…

US is Seeking to Build a QUAD No One Wants

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If the US divided the world into Western-capitalist ‘free’ and Eastern-communist ‘close’ worlds during the Cold War to project itself as the champion of the ‘free’ world, the ‘Cold War 2.0’, too, uses the same axioms to designate China as the prime example of ‘close’ world that the QUAD countries, led by the US, must break through to establish a ‘free’ Indo-Pacific. Although…

One Year since the Abraham Accords: Where Do Israel-UAE Stand?

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When the Abraham Accords were signed between the UAE and Israel in September last year, it appeared to be part of Donald Trump’s campaign for re-election. By projecting himself as someone who could bring peace to the Middle East, he must have expected to receive a big boost to his foreign policy success story. Whether…

Submarine Deal Triggers a Crisis in NATO

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France’s decision to call back its ambassadors from the US and Australia over the latter’s decision to cancel its deal with France and buy nuclear-powered submarines from the US has triggered a crisis in NATO. French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called the turn of events a stab in the back. “We had established a trusting relationship…

Why is Joe Biden Resetting his China Policy?

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Joe Biden’s most recent 90 minutes call with China’s Xi has created the impression of a US attempt to reset its ties with China. The White House readout says that a “broad, strategic discussion” has taken place resulting in a mutual agreement to engage “openly and straightforwardly” on areas where their interests converge as well as where “our interests, values and…

The Biden Administration Rips US-Saudia Alliance Apart

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While the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks has been marked by the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the end of the US’ longest ever war is also seeing some significant changes in the US geo-politics. Specifically, the arrival of Joe Biden in the White House has set in motion forces that could dramatically redefine the nature of US ties with one of its closest allies…

Why China and Russia May Choose to Help the Taliban Government?

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If there is one central reason that explains why Russia and China have decided to develop relations with the Taliban government in Afghanistan, it is the US inability to defeat and dismantle the terror networks that exist in Afghanistan today. Even after twenty years of fighting, the US retreated from Afghanistan without defeating the Taliban…

Afghanistan Withdrawal Puts the US-Europe Ties On the Line

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While the return of the “wise” and “experienced” Biden to the White House in 2021 was expected to be a pleasant change from the “erratic” and “unstable” era of Donald Trump, the extremely unstable nature of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan – which remarkably tells the state of crisis the US polity has been in for the last many years – has quickly vanished the euphoria…


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