Salman Rafi Sheikh

How Selling the ‘Russia-China’ Threat Serves the US


Today, if there is one issue in the United States that draws equal support from both the Republicans and the Democrats, it is the fact that China presents the most serious threat to the US global supremacy. Related to this is the other point of agreement i.e., developing a global coalition against China. The Trump administration’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, was on…

US-Saudia Ties Set for a Long Nosedive


Although it seems inadvertent, the Russia-Ukraine war has bitterly exposed the limits of US influence in the Middle East. On the one hand, Washington has failed to force the OPEC countries to increase oil production, and on the other hand, the region is already calibrating to form a joint security architecture independent of Washington. In fact…

The Making of an ‘Arab-Israel NATO’ in the Middle East


The recent meeting of Arab and Israeli leaders in Israel in the southern Negev Desert is a remarkable event, not just because it signifies how Arab states and Israel are increasingly normalising their ties but also because this summit could be the first serious step towards establishing a joint security mechanism against common threats i.e., Iran. Most importantly…

Why the EU is Confronting China


The EU is clearly on a diplomatic war path vis-à-vis China. In the most recent (April 1, 2022) virtual EU-China summit, the Europeans clearly told Beijing that the latter’s support for Russia in its ongoing military operation in Ukraine will have a serious cost i.e., a rupture in the EU-China economic ties. China, on the other hand, emphasised the need to treat EU-China ties separately…

Why Turkey is Playing on All Sides in the Russia-Ukraine Conflict


Ever since the beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine last month, Turkey has been seeking to project itself as a key mediator between Russia and Ukraine. As it stands, it has even achieved some success as far as its role in facilitating mediation is concerned. This role – and the success it has so far – complement…

The Geopolitics of the US-Iran Rapprochement


The US push to revive the JCPOA with Iran has accelerated in the wake of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. As many reports have indicated, the ongoing talks in Vienna are very close to a successful outcome. As other reports have also indicated, the US is also willing to lift sanctions on Iran, including removing the Revolutionary Guards’ designation…

The Middle East and the US ‘War of Sanctions’ on Russia


While the US has so far been able to cobble together the crumbling trans-Atlantic ‘unity’ by aggressively, provocatively and irresponsibly pushing for NATO’s expansion into Eastern Europe purportedly against Russia, the Middle East – which was once a completely US dominated geography – has refused to side with the US. Due to Washington’s own poor relationships…

How the US Expands the European Conflict to China


The US has been using war and geo-political conflicts to advance its global influence more explicitly than any other state for the past three decades or so. The Russia-Ukraine conflict – which is primarily an outcome of the same US strategy and stands to bring the US some tangible benefits – is yet another opportunity for Washington to use to expand the ambit…

How America will Make Money from War in Europe


When the US President Joe Biden announced, on March 8, his decision to ban imports of Russian oil and gas to the US, he opened up a potential business opportunity for the US LNG gas business to expand further into Europe and beyond. While Biden’s decision does not automatically apply to Europe, given how Europe is mindlessly following the US in its footsteps…

US is Now Provoking Taiwan


Expansionism knows no bounds. After taking Europe to the verge of a major war by pushing for NATO’s expansion further into Eastern Europe to encircle Russia, the US is now increasingly focusing on Taiwan for what the US officials have been, for over a year now, calling an ‘increasing possibility’ of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. There is a flurry of activity going on around Taiwan to prevent it from suffering…

The Biden Administration Steals Afghanistan’s Money


After keeping it under direct occupation, destroying the country for 20 years – and failing to militarily defeat the Taliban (banned in Russia) – Joe Biden’s executive order to simply seize half of Afghanistan’s little over US$7 billion to use it to pay to the victims of 9/11 is just a mockery of the “values” that the US always claims to hold. With the world’s richest…

Sanctions on Russia Cost the US More Than it Thinks


For more than many weeks now, many Western leaders have been calling for blocking Russia out of the SWFIT payment system. The UK’s Boris Johnson thinks that this is a potentially good way of ‘punishing’ Russia. But the US/EU have not blocked Russia out of this global payments system yet. There are two reasons for this ‘reluctnace.’ First, even if the West decides…

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