Salman Rafi Sheikh

US Exit from Syria was Bound to Happen

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The US president Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US military forces out of Syria has certainly surprised many in the world, especially those closest to him i.e., James Mattis, the Pentagon and the hawks who wish to continue to use Syria as a proxy battlefield against Iran and…

Afghanistan: Negotiations or a US Military De...

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While the Trump administration may think otherwise and even take the credit for initiating dialogue with the Taliban on an unprecedented level with a view to pulling the US out of Afghanistan, there can hardly be any doubt that negotiations, after 17 years of continuous war, are nothing…

The Facade of Yemen Talks

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Despite all the positivity that one can extract from the first ever face-to-face bi-lateral talks between Yemen’s warring parties, the ceasefire agreements reached, and the reported ‘progress’ on peace and prison swap made, there is little hope that peace would eventually triumph. While this may…

The Case for Increasing US Military Spending ...

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Despite being the world’s biggest military power, spending a lot more than the combined defence budgets of China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, France, India and Japan, the US hasn’t been able to decisively win a single war in last many decades. Afghanistan is in total chaos…

How Kerch Strait Incident is a Deliberate Pro...

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When Crimea became a part of Russia through referendum, Ukraine practically lost the right to free passage through the Kerch strait. The recent Kerch incident that took place when Ukraine took things for granted, violated the norms of international law and then met a strong Russian…

What ‘New Phase’ of Israel’s Relations with t...

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On November 7, 2018, Israel’s Intelligence and Transportation minister made a speech in Oman, pushing for greater cooperation between Israel and the Arab world, presenting it as something extremely beneficial for the people and the region on the whole. The speech had been preceded…

On Quad’s Rapid Progress to Uncertain Future

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In 2017, after the Trump administration proposed an “Indo-Pacific strategy”, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the QUAD) was re-invented as a security mechanism, directed at combating not just ‘natural disasters’ but mainly containing China in the Indo-Pacific region. Ever since…

On the Geo-politics of “European Army”

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French president Macron’s call for the creation of a “European Army” and the implicit end of NATO alliance reflects the changing global order, the credit for which must, in the first place, go to the US president Trump, who, through his series of actions, has unwittingly done enough damage…

Moscow Initiative Compliments the Afghan-Led ...

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On November 9, 2018, Russia hosted the first round of Moscow initiative to resolve the Afghan conundrum, signifying its ever increasing interest in the country that has evolved, over the last 17 years, from a hot-bed of conflict between the US and the Taliban, including Al-Qaeda…

Why does Russia See a Potential European Role...

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More than merely seeking a European role in Syria’s post-war reconstruction, a European diplomatic presence in Syria’s post-war settlement through Sochi peace process would render it a lot more credibility and international acceptance. There is a geo-political dimension to it…

The US Pseudo Pressure Game with Saudia

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The US call for immediate commencement of talks on Yemen with the view to bringing the war to an end is, more than anything else, a pseudo game of pressure that it is playing with Saudi Arabia. In this game, Saudia isn’t a US rival; it is its partner. For one thing, the US president Trump…

Europe and the Post-INF Scenario

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While the Trump administration’s decision to end the Intermediate Range Nuclear (INF) treaty has certainly sent the world into a ‘strategic shock’, the biggest shock is certainly in Europe, which was always the primary beneficiary of this treaty. It had seen hundreds of missiles removed…


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