Salman Rafi Sheikh

The US is Under Pressure in Syria

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While the U.S. government, particularly president Obama and John Kerry, have been voicing two different courses of action with regard to Syria, some recent developments explain the reason for a sort of confused policy the U.S. is currently following…

Erdogan Continues to Squeeze Power Into His Hands

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Erdogan’s dream to revive Turkey’s ‘lost status’ as the most powerful Muslim country cannot be materialized, he and his advisers seem to believe, without first fundamentally altering Turkey’s own political system and this alteration is, he…

Turkey’s “Safe Zone” Politics is Not Over Yet

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While the conflict and conflict resolution in Syria is largely beyond the question of Balkanizing it into “zones”, Turkey’s “Sultan” continues to harp on the need to create “safe zones” in Syria as a means to “protect” refugees. While this is what…

The U.S. keeps ‘Un-freezing’ Its Relations With Iran

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Despite its Gulf allies’ displeasure, the U.S. continues to ‘un-freeze’ its relations with Iran. While it appears to be a clear policy shift vis-à-vis Iran, it seems to have been greatly influenced by the developments taking place in the Middle East than…

Obama Went On a Mending Mission to Saudi Arabia

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Barak Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia has happened at a time when political friction between the two states has reached a point where both have started to ‘threaten’ each other—hence, the need for bringing their ties back to ‘normal.’ While…

On the Revamped Saudia-Turk Strategic Alliance

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The apparent pomp and show of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman’s visit to Turkey carries a lot of strategic baggage as both countries prepare to open an entirely new chapter in the history of their bi-lateral relations, which have, historically…

Faсade of Obama’s Politics of Nuclear Summits

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The U.S. governments have always, as a matter of policy tradition, invoked the ‘nuclear question’ only selectively. Whereas the U.S. frequently tries to establish its global hegemonic position…

Israel Moves Towards Building an “Energy-Alliance”

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Amid the fast changing geo-politics of the Mid-East, Israel’s strategic manoeuvering appears to be aimed at raising the country’s bargaining position vis-à-vis not only some of its regional competitors such as Turkey and Iran but also its…

Russian Naval Base at Kuril Islands – a Counter to the ‘Asia Pivot’?

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While the United States and Russia continue to contest the future of Syria despite some reasonable progress achieved on the subject, their bi-lateral competition hardly seems to have eased down. Nor will it as global powers continue to…

Russian Withdrawal Means Different Things to Different Actors

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Recent days have witnessed some serious developments taking place with regard to international efforts at peacefully ending the war in Syria. While Russia’s decision to withdraw bulk of its fighting force from Syria does indicate…

Erdogan’s Infamous Quest for Fame

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While the Syrian crisis has been temporarily shelved through ‘cease-fire’, Erdogan’s own war for kingly political powers continues un-abated. Its latest manifestation came with Turkish state taking over Turkey’s top-selling newspaper Zaman…

Making sense of Turkey’s shift to Iran

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After experimenting with taking a belligerent stance on the Syrian question, Turkey seems to be shifting to diplomacy once again. This shift does make sense given that belligerence has cost Turkey a lot. On the domestic front, Turkey has…


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