The fight over America’s forever wars

by Rashmee

Posted on November 19, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


Something extraordinary has happened in the capital of the world’s most powerful country: For the first time in more than 40 years, legisla­tors in the United States formally questioned the American president’s unchallenged authority to launch a nuclear strike. This is undoubtedly a reaction to the perceived unpredictability and rash temperament of the current inhabitant … Continue reading “The fight over America’s forever wars”

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In Afghanistan, Trump’s grand strategy begins to fall apart

by Rashmee

Posted on October 25, 2017 / The National


Coincidence, a leading science fiction writer once said, is the word we use when we can’t see the levers and pulleys. In the context of  Afghanistan , where the current conflict has decimated lives and hope for 16 years, coincidence is generally a sign of changing realpolitik. It is no coincidence that  US secretary of state Rex Tillerson … Continue reading “In Afghanistan, Trump’s grand strategy begins to fall apart”

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Is the US a rich, underdeveloped country? Why else would it allow child marriage?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 24, 2017


  Watch this story by the BBC’s Aleem Maqbool. Had I not heard the American accents of his interviewees I would’ve thought he was reporting from a developing country, or perhaps one of those that the United Nations categorises Least Developed. (LDCs exhibit the lowest indicators of socioeconomic development. Currently, there are 48, not least Haiti, … Continue reading “Is the US a rich, underdeveloped country? Why else would it allow child marriage?”

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Will a peace-for-justice trade-off be viable in Afghanistan?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 10, 2017 / The National


He may not have meant for it to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Che Guevara’s death, but Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani recently spoke about peace in reference to a conflict inspired by the exploits of the iconic guerrilla leader. Mr Ghani told the BBC that there were lessons for Afghanistan in the Colombia peace … Continue reading “Will a peace-for-justice trade-off be viable in Afghanistan?”

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Donald Trump’s ‘path forward’ in Afghanistan is a rebrand not a step ahead

by Rashmee

Posted on August 23, 2017 / The National


No one knew exactly what to expect from Donald Trump’s “path forward” address on Afghanistan on Monday night. It was billed for prime time television in the US and Mr Trump’s defence secretary, a retired general, heightened anticipation by admitting the president “wants to be the one to announce it to the American people”. Mr … Continue reading “Donald Trump’s ‘path forward’ in Afghanistan is a rebrand not a step ahead”

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A row of Gazebos on US Embassy Kabul compound. Camoflage uniforms that are anything but

by Rashmee

Posted on June 22, 2017


Anyone – American or not – who has considered the US war in Afghanistan would have the vague suspicion that it’s a profligate affair. And if, like me, you’ve actually seen some of the operation close up – ie from the US Embassy in Kabul – you know that it’s immoderate. I still remember walking … Continue reading “A row of Gazebos on US Embassy Kabul compound. Camoflage uniforms that are anything but”

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Is US facing its Vietnam moment in Afghanistan?

by Rashmee

Posted on June 21, 2017 / The National


Nearly every week brings bad news from Afghanistan for the United States. Its troops suffer “insider” attacks by men in Afghan army uniform. The Taliban steadily takes more territory and promises to wait out the “invaders”. US defence secretary James Mattis is forced to admit “we are not winning in Afghanistan right now”. But then … Continue reading “Is US facing its Vietnam moment in Afghanistan?”

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MENA’s poor showing on Global Peace Index is hardly surprising

by Rashmee

Posted on June 18, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


Even before the crisis over Qatar and the attack by a white American man who opposed US President Donald Trump’s politics, it was clear the Middle East and North America were in a dangerously febrile state. The turmoil in those regions is not comparable in any way except for its deeply destabilising potential. Strangely enough, … Continue reading “MENA’s poor showing on Global Peace Index is hardly surprising”

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‘Don’t freak, I’m a Sikh’. The slogan America’s Sikhs might want to take from the UK

by Rashmee

Posted on May 3, 2017


“Don’t freak, I’m a Sikh”. I remembered the quavering slogan on a T-shirt worn by a young man on the London Tube in the days after the 7/7 bomb attacks, when I read of American Sikhs’ new publicity campaign. That T-shirt was a desperate and innovative way to reassure jumpy Londoners that darker-skinned people with … Continue reading “‘Don’t freak, I’m a Sikh’. The slogan America’s Sikhs might want to take from the UK”

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Mother of All Bombs reminds the world of Mother of American Failures in Afghanistan

by Rashmee

Posted on April 19, 2017


Donald Trump may not have intended this particular effect but the Mother of All Bombs, the 22,000-pound GBU-43 dropped on Afghanistan, has reminded people of America’s failure. Sixteen years on, thousands of deaths, trillions of dollars later, the US is still fighting the Afghan war. But who and what is it fighting? And for whom … Continue reading “Mother of All Bombs reminds the world of Mother of American Failures in Afghanistan”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, UK and US