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by Lawrence Sellin on 25 Nov 2017 1 Comment

It seems like all the players in the South Asian power game think Balochistan, Pakistan’s southwest province on the Arabian Sea, is important - except the United States. For the sake of argument, imagine that Balochistan reverts to its previous condition as an independent and secular state before it was forcibly incorporated into Pakistan or, more simply, is...

by Vladimir Platov on 24 Nov 2017 2 Comments

In response to the USA’s request to increase defense expenditures, the European member states of NATO, at the insistence of France and Germany, have suggested establishing the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) within the EU, which “may be perceived as the predecessor of the European army.” So, though supporting ‘independence from the USA’ in questions...

by Lawrence Sellin on 23 Nov 2017 2 Comments

It is simply a matter of reverse engineering. If you get to the Taliban through Pakistan and you get to Pakistan through China, then clearly, Beijing is in the driver’s seat. Pakistan merely holds the valve that regulates the Taliban and the supply of our troops. The conflict will end in a whimper, a political settlement whose main purpose is to provide a g...

by Lawrence Sellin on 22 Nov 2017 1 Comment

In a brief four minutes during a June 2017 PBS interview, retired Gen. David Petraeus, unconsciously revealed just how convoluted the thinking behind US strategy in Afghanistan truly is. Petraeus said, “We need to recognize that we went there for a reason and we stayed for a reason, to ensure that Afghanistan is not once again a sanctuary for al-Qaida or oth...

by G B Reddy on 21 Nov 2017 3 Comments

At the outset, let none suffer from illusions over the culpability, responsibility and accountability of the Jawaharlal Nehru-Krishna Menon duo for the political and military debacle in 1962 India’s China War. The fact that the Chinese unilaterally declared ceasefire and withdrew forces from the foothills of the North East Frontier Agency (Arunachal Pradesh)...

by Israel Shamir on 20 Nov 2017 1 Comment

One Hundred years after the Balfour Declaration – what is actually going on in Palestine? I’d like to say that Palestine is burning and Israel suffers, but the truth must be told: Israel and Palestine are prospering under Netanyahu. It has never been so good. The minimum wage on the Israeli side is now over $1500; in a couple of years it went up from 4000 to...

by G B Reddy on 19 Nov 2017 4 Comments

Many things can be done to bring down the levels of air pollution and smog in northern India. This writer first heard the words “aandhi (dust storms); dhund (mist/fog) and loo (heat wave), which describe various weather patterns in the north, whilst serving in Punjab in 1972. These are all annual recurring natural phenomena. The crucial difference is that wi...

by R Hariharan on 18 Nov 2017 4 Comments

It looks like Sri Lanka’s balancing act in the China-India power play in the Indian Ocean is going to get more and more difficult in the coming months and years. China’s assertion of economic and military power is poised to grow stronger in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) if we go by President Xi Jinping’s speech at the recently concluded Communist Party of Ch...

by Ghassan Kadi on 17 Nov 2017 0 Comment

The sudden resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri raises a number of questions. To fast track the main relevant events of the last decade or so, Hariri was Saudi Arabia’s favourite kid on the Lebanese block. After all, his father was a close friend and a business partner of Prince Fahed, who later on became King Fahed. And because he harbours sim...

by Lawrence Sellin on 16 Nov 2017 6 Comments

The Pentagon is spinning its wheels in Afghanistan, continuing a questionable counter-insurgency and nation-building strategy because, quite literally, it knows that it won’t work, but cannot think of anything else to do. It will not succeed because the US and NATO will never regain the military dominance the alliance had in the years immediately after the 2...

by Pepe Escobar on 15 Nov 2017 3 Comments

The House of Saud’s King Salman devises a high-powered “anti-corruption” commission and appoints his son, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, a.k.a. MBS, as chairman. Right on cue, the commission detains 11 House of Saud princes, four current ministers and dozens of former princes/cabinet secretaries – all charged with corruption. Hefty bank accounts are froze...

by Sandhya Jain on 14 Nov 2017 16 Comments

Days after being selected to the UN Human Rights Council on 16 October 2017, Pakistan suffered a huge embarrassment when its growing crimes against the Baloch, especially the phenomenon of “enforced disappearances”, blew up in its face. The dispute centres on Baloch inability to reconcile to the annexation of Kalat State (core of Balochistan) by...

by G B Reddy on 13 Nov 2017 1 Comment

Name-calling or censure by rival political leaders during election campaigning is most heinous from the national unity and integrity point of view. Unfortunately, political leaders without exception are indulging in denunciation of each other’s policies and strategies with utter disregard to the damage to their reputations and credibility: “Ham Sab Chor Hai”...

by Ghassan Kadi on 12 Nov 2017 3 Comments

Love him or hate him, Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman (MBS) is like no other prince that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has seen since its inception under the rule of his founding grandfather King Abdul Aziz in 1932 and the establishment of the Al-Saud dynasty that changed Arabia; including its name. Some argue that even the worst of humans can do a bit o...

by Israel Shamir on 11 Nov 2017 1 Comment

The Pope of Jerusalem (one of the five original popes, His Beatitude the Patriarch of the Holy Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem and Holy Land, by his usual title) Theophilos III hardly dares to visit churches nowadays. Whenever he is coming, his flock stands outside and prevents his entry. Last week, Jewish police helped him to enter a village church, whil...

by R Hariharan on 10 Nov 2017 0 Comment

Sri Lanka has the longest history of Buddhism among Buddhist countries in the world. Ever since Buddhism was introduced in the 3rd century BCE, it had faced threat of survival due to overwhelming cultural and religious influence of Hinduism, internal jockeying for power between the Mahayana and Theravada schools and colonial sponsorship of Christianity and I...

by Tom Engelhardt on 09 Nov 2017 5 Comments

Honestly, if there’s an afterlife, then the soul of Osama bin Laden, whose body was consigned to the waves by the U.S. Navy back in 2011, must be swimming happily with the dolphins and sharks. At the cost of the sort of spare change that Donald Trump recently offered aides and former campaign officials for their legal troubles in the Russia investigation (on...

by G B Reddy on 08 Nov 2017 8 Comments

The politics of Patel-Patidar agitations, as per media reports, is likely to play a significant role in the current Gujarat elections. But things are not as simplistic as a partisan media suggests. Is the agitation a prelude to a “Storm before the Storm” or a “Storm before the Calm” – that is the question. Hardik Patel, leader of the Patidar Anamat Andolan ...

by N S Rajaram on 07 Nov 2017 4 Comments

The late Sita Ram Goel, historian, thinker and creator of the publishing houses Voice of India and Aditya Prakashan was a fighter par excellence for nationalist causes which he saw as inseparable from Hinduism or the Sanatana dharma tradition. He supported and published the writings of authors who believed in the greatness of Hindu civilization and opposed i...

by Edward Curtin on 06 Nov 2017 6 Comments

But who killed him? Douglass presents a formidable amount of evidence, some old and some new, against the CIA and covert action agencies within the national security state, and does so in such a logical and persuasive way that any fair-minded reader cannot help but be taken aback; stunned, really. And he links this evidence directly to JFK’s actions on behal...

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