Salman Rafi Sheikh

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…

What does the Future Hold for the US after the Afghan Debacle?

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The chaos we have seen in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover and the American rush to evacuate its diplomatic staff and other personnel signifies the US failure at multiple levels. On the one hand, the Taliban takeover within days of the US withdrawal was/is an intelligence failure. In May, a US intelligence report had predicted…

Kamala Harris Reveals Washington’s Desperation to Contain China

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Ever since its inauguration, the Biden administration has not missed any opportunity to give vent to its institutionalised and bi-partisan supported anti-China global orientation. The US Vice President Kamala Harris’ recent visit to Southeast Asia yet gain reinforced the narrative in more than one way. Although she said that the US…

After Afghanistan, the US Eyes China

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The US withdrawal from Afghanistan is going to allow the US “deep state” to focus even more keenly on the rapidly rising military and economic threat to the US unilateralism: China. When the US secretary of Defense recently visited Southeast Asia, the message he delivered was unequivocally about countering this very threat. Although the US was already lacking any…


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