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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‘They brought it on themselves didn’t they?’ How Trumps’ war on Muslims is working

by Rashmee

Posted on February 4, 2017


“They brought it on themselves, didn’t they?” people say, in sorrowful response – these are good, honest folks in America, Britain and elsewhere – to news that US president Donald Trump had banned all refugees’ entry and that of people from seven predominantly Muslim countries. I heard people I know well say this. Then I heard it … Continue reading “‘They brought it on themselves didn’t they?’ How Trumps’ war on Muslims is working”

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Remember the Obama-Hope poster? Too much world enthusiasm for a US president can be a problem

by Rashmee

Posted on November 5, 2016


I was amused to read a new poll on how the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) would vote if it had the right to vote on US Election Day, November 8. The poll, conducted by the Saudi daily Arab News and British pollster YouGov found that nearly half the respondents would abstain. Forty-seven per … Continue reading “Remember the Obama-Hope poster? Too much world enthusiasm for a US president can be a problem”

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Is Kunduz the beginning of the end for Afghanistan?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 6, 2016 / The National


Friday is the 15th anniversary of the United States’ and United Kingdom’s Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and it is a suitable, if sombre vantage point from which to consider America and Nato’s longest war. What did the blood and treasure of nearly two dozen countries buy Afghanistan and the world? This is a grim … Continue reading “Is Kunduz the beginning of the end for Afghanistan?”

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Is Europe really selling poor Afghanistan a ‘migration sensitive’ quid pro quo deal?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 4, 2016


The European Union says ‘no’, but a newspaper report has said that the two-day aid summit in Brussels starting October 4 will be “migration sensitive”. This basically means Afghanistan must agree it will take back 80,000 deportees in order not to lose billions of dollars of aid. There are two good points to make about this alleged … Continue reading “Is Europe really selling poor Afghanistan a ‘migration sensitive’ quid pro quo deal?”

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‘What is Aleppo’: A nothing on grand scale of American ignorance

by Rashmee

Posted on September 18, 2016 / The Arab Weekly


Anyone still surprised at or smirking about the ignorance on Aleppo displayed by American candidate for president Gary Johnson should take a look at choice examples of US statecraft and policymaking. Just more than 25 years ago, George H.W. Bush, the United States’ 41st president, was advised by senior aides to accept Saddam Hussein’s invasion … Continue reading “‘What is Aleppo’: A nothing on grand scale of American ignorance”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in eight countries in the past decade. She spent much of 2015 in the UAE and currently divides her time between the UK and Tunisia. Before that, she was in Haiti, the US, Afghanistan and India.